CFL bulbs should be a thing of the past

Published 7:00 am Tuesday, March 31, 2015

The light bulb. While Thomas Edison is regarded as the inventor of the light bulb we know today, there were several versions that came before his.

Today we have been told to use a version that is more energy efficient that the incandescent bulbs he made so popular. First came the compact fluorescent light bulb, otherwise known as a CFL. A CFL is really just a smaller version of the fluorescent light bulbs you see in offices or large retail stores.

While they are a bit more energy efficient that an incandescent bulb, and emit less heat, there are several downfalls to using one.

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I’ve noticed that they don’t really last as long as the package touts. Many times I will replace a bulb with the costly CFL, to find that it didn’t last any longer than the incandescent bulb it replaced. Apparently CFL bulbs don’t like to be turned on and off within a short time span because it shortens the lifespan of the bulb. That means in order to get the most life out of a CFL, I would have to leave it on longer than I need it, which seems like a waste of energy to me.

Another downfall of these types of bulbs is that most can’t be dimmed. There are specialty CFL bulbs on the market that can be dimmed, but most don’t support that feature.

The most worrisome feature of these types of bulbs is the mercury inside. Mercury is a toxic substance, and that means these types of bulbs have to be disposed of properly. Fortunately Home Depot stores have committed to recycling the bulbs, and some power companies also accept them, like Coast Electric. In light of the negative experiences I’ve had with CFL bulbs, I have decided to try the newer LED bulbs. They are said to not contain Mercury, support dimming, and are supposed to last longer than CFL bulb.