We are encouraged to switch from incandescent light bulbs to compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) in the name of the energy conservation and the environment. I have long had a problem though with the mercury, albeit a small amount, that is in CFLs. It just seems an odd thing to bring more of into our homes, rather than less, when we now know how bad mercury exposure is.
When even the strongest CFL proponents recommend exiting and airing out a room for about 30 minutes after a CFL bulb breaks, that hardly inspires confidence in their safety. Let alone the environmental concerns given how many used CFLs do not get properly disposed of and instead find their way to landfills where they will surely break and leak mercury.
Personally I’d rather enjoy the light of incandescents, and more than make up for the increased energy use compared to CFLs, by just using fewer lights and for shorter times.
But there may be a third and best option that wins over us all. LED lights are nothing new to our lighting repertoire when it comes to things like Christmas lights or flashlights these days. But what is new to me, are LEDs that are actual replacements for our homes’ regular old incandescents, or of late, CFLs. I was very happily surprised to discover there are a number of different LED alternatives with standard light bulb bases.
Not cheap to initially purchase compared to other bulbs, but cheaper long term given what a fraction of the energy they use, and that they last 5 times as long as CFLs. And CFLs last 10 times longer than incandescents. So now we have a bulb, with NO mercury I might add, that lasts 50 times longer than an incandescent.
I really can’t figure out why we’re not hearing more about these standard light fixture LEDs. Kind of reminds me of how hard it was to get alternative power/electric car technology available to the public when it threatened those in the oil/gas business. Why are we still being pushed in the CFL direction, the one that’s not as efficient or as long lasting as LED, can flicker (LEDs do not), and contains hazardous mercury that makes breakage and safe bulb disposal an issue?
Since these bulbs are not yet getting their due in my opinion, I thought I’d share a few different ones I’ve found so far. In checking reviews and feedback, it appears there’s quite a range of quality, with many cheaper versions (not listed here for that reason) not living up to expectations. Clichés ring true again it appears, “You get what you pay for.”
“Imagine a light bulb that lasts for years and consumes only a few watts of power – the
90 LED Light Bulb 120v Ac Warm White. LED technology has made it possible! This LED replacement bulb screws into standard light sockets. It’s perfect for hard-to-reach installations where bulbs are difficult to change. If left on for 12 hours a day for a year this bulb would use about $2 worth of electricity!”