Tuesday, May 12, 2009

How Many People Have Your Lightbulbs Poisoned?

I'm done buying CFL light bulbs. In addition to the fact that they cost more, are shipped over from China (thus killing jobs in the USA) and don't work with dimmers, they're also poisoning the workers making them:
Large numbers of Chinese workers have been poisoned by mercury, which forms part of the compact fluorescent lightbulbs. A surge in foreign demand, set off by a European Union directive making these bulbs compulsory within three years, has also led to the reopening of mercury mines that have ruined the environment.


Andrew said...

Naturally, CFLs are a transition technology anyway. Although they're more expensive now and need refinements so they'll be brighter as bulbs, LED illumination will most probably be the future technology for general lighting. They're more efficient, producing less heat and more light per watt.

What's interesting is the general trend of the environmental movement in the United States. It's okay to poison people and land in other countries, just so long as we feel good about what we're doing here.

The U.S. should take charge of making our own energy rather than continuing to foist the responsibility off on people of other countries.

Big Jay said...

I like CFL's for a couple of reasons. - First they really are less expensive when you take into account total cost of ownership. Electricity to light the bulb is about 10 times more than the cost of the bulb. But mostly I like the fact that I don't have to constantly change light bulbs. It's annoying.

Notice that 'protecting the environment' isn't on the list. I find it funny that they're turning CFL's into a big crusade to save mother earth.

Andrew said...

That's actually the most ridiculous part of all this for me.

I use CFLs for the same reasons. They save money, and in the right fixture, you can't tell the difference between the fluorescent light and a standard incandescent.

When a manufacturer puts out a product that's better overall and saves people money, they'll use it. There's no need or reason to try to force the issue with legislation.

Right now LED light bulbs need to become less expensive and more powerful. The last longer and are more efficient than CFLs, so as soon as the price drops low enough, that's what I'll be buying.