How Many Politicians Does It Take To Change A Lightbulb? We'll Find Out Next Month

from the bright-idea dept

The environment continues to be a hot-button political issue, as it presents a chance for politicians to score some easy points with the public by mandating all sorts of new laws and restrictions to prove their green credentials. But this political grandstanding overshadows the fact that many green or clean technologies offer economic benefits to those who use them -- for instance, making facilities more energy-efficient isn't about companies just wanting to be nicer to the planet, it's about cost savings too. One example of this in the consumer realm is fluorescent lightbulbs. Despite their higher upfront cost, their longer life and lower power consumption offers substantial savings over traditional incandescent bulbs. Given these cost savings (as well as the ongoing improvement in the bulbs' quality and decrease in price), it would seem to be a matter of time before fluorescent bulbs will become more popular and they push incandescents out of the market. But that hasn't stopped politicians from all over to push for laws banning or phasing out incandescent bulbs, and it now appears that the US Congress will add such legislation to a wide-ranging energy bill that's expected to be voted on in October. The legislation would begin phasing out incandescents in 2012, and then by 2020, would call for lighting standards that could be met only by compact fluorescent bulbs or ones with equivalent efficiency. Lighting manufacturers aren't happy with the timetable, saying it's too quick, and add that they're exploring several different technologies to improve the efficiency of lighting, including more efficient incandescent bulbs, new types of halogen lamps and LEDs. It would certainly seem that the market will sort this issue out on its own, as technology improves and more consumers become aware of the cost savings that fluorescents and other types of bulbs can offer. But it would also seem that the brownie points on offer are too hard to refuse for politicians who want to make it look like they're making a difference to the environment.


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  1.  
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    Gene, Sep 13th, 2007 @ 11:49am

    How much money does it take to screw in a compact

    How much money does it take to screw in a compact fluorescent light bulb?

    About US$4.28 for the bulb and labour -- unless you break the bulb. Then you, like Brandy Bridges of Ellsworth, Maine, could be looking at a cost of about US$2,004.28, which doesn't include the costs of frayed nerves and risks to health.

     

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  2.  
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    Gene, Sep 13th, 2007 @ 11:51am

    Re: How much money does it take to screw in a comp

     

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    The Man, Sep 13th, 2007 @ 12:07pm

    Government hurts the market not helps

    All of this environmental crap hurts the economy and slows down actual help to the environment. The market will sort everything out. If using Flouresent lights is more economical businesses will use them as old lights burn out. If going solar is more economical, business will slowly convert or use solar when building a new facility. When the Gov. gets involved it screws everything up. The Gov wants to force everything. A company would have switched slowly as to not waste any product that is in use. Governement says you have to switch now. The company now must send a perfectly good product to pollute the landfills and spend a large amount of capital to change to the new law. They must now raise prices or not give raises to cover this abrupt uplaned cost. What is even worse, is that soon the government will learn that the new fluorescent lights the mandated the use of are worse for the environment and then create a new law to change them again. One needs to look only as far as CA and the fuel additive MBTE. That was a forced additive to clean the emissions of gasoline engines. Turns out that MBTE is far worse for the environment and now wants it removed. CA gas is already quite abit higher than other states because of MTBE. Government sucks at everything. they should just stay out of the way.

    Holy, Crap!! Imagine if they force Socialist health care. We can all pick a number and wait in line to die. No thanks.

     

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  4.  
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    Culture Artist, Sep 13th, 2007 @ 12:08pm

    CFLs and Mercury

    CFLs and Mercury
    by Chuck Hall

    Compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) can greatly reduce the amount electricity used to light your home. An average CFL uses only 15 watts of energy to produce the same amount of light generated by a 100-watt incandescent bulb. However, several readers of this column have written to express their concern about the fact that CFLs contain mercury.
    While it is true that CFLs contain mercury, and that mercury is toxic, there is no danger of the mercury escaping as long as the bulbs remain intact. That means that unless you break the bulb, the mercury is safely contained. In the event that a bulb breaks, a few basic precautions should keep your family safe: first, open doors and windows in the room so that any potential mercury vapors may escape; next, sweep up the fragments (don’t vacuum, as the blower in the vacuum will vent the mercury into the room and disperse it into the atmosphere); finally, secure the fragments in an airtight container (a tied plastic bag works well) until they may be properly disposed of.
    To reduce danger of mercury contamination, never dispose of your CFLs in the trash. Instead, find a recycling center that will accept CFLs for reprocessing. If you are unsure if there are CFL recycling centers in your area, Earth 911 maintains a database of recycling centers at: www.earth911.org.
    How serious is the danger from mercury contamination in CFLs? A standard CFL contains about 5 milligrams (mg) of mercury. There are several other common household items that contain more mercury than a CFL. Here are some examples:
    A standard lithium watch battery contains about 25 mg of mercury. That’s equivalent to 5 CFL light bulbs.
    Older dental fillings contain about 500 mg of mercury. That’s equivalent to 100 CFL light bulbs.
    Old-fashioned home thermometers contain up to 2000 mg of mercury. That’s equivalent to 400 CFL light bulbs. If you use the new battery-powered ones, these usually run off of lithium batteries, so you’ve cut the mercury down to the equivalent of 5 CFL light bulbs.
    Automatic safety shutoff switches in steam irons (the ones that shut off the iron if it’s accidentally knocked over) contain about 3500 mg of mercury. That’s equivalent to 700 CFL light bulbs.
    Some other common household items that may contain mercury include greeting cards that play music, shoes with lighted soles, pilot light sensors, electric switches, barometers, analog blood pressure devices, stoves, ovens, water heaters, space heaters, clothes dryers, furnaces, ball point pens, latex paint manufactured before 1992, pesticides manufactured before 1994, older children’s chemistry sets, batteries, and anything with a safety shutoff switch.
    This is not to suggest that mercury is a safe thing to have around your household, but if you are concerned about mercury contamination, there are plenty of other items around your home that pose a greater risk than CFLs. If CFLs are properly handled and properly disposed of, there is less risk of exposure to mercury than posed by other household items.
    One final thing to consider with CFLs is the energy savings. Since CFLs generate the same amount of light as a 100-watt bulb for only 15 watts of power, they save a tremendous amount of energy. Most energy generated in the United States comes from coal-burning power plants. Burning coal releases mercury into the atmosphere. So it is conceivable that using incandescent bulbs poses a greater risk of mercury contamination than using CFLs,
    Chuck Hall is a Sustainability Consultant and author. His latest book, Green Circles: A Sustainable Journey from the Cradle to the Grave, is now available at the Culture Artist Web site at www.cultureartist.org. You may contact Chuck by email at: chuck@cultureartist.org.

     

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  5.  
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    A. Lloyd Flanagan, Sep 13th, 2007 @ 12:21pm

    2012?

    That's five years from now. I know there are late adopters, but I expect that by then 90% of light bulbs will be white LEDs. So who cares what they put in the bill?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 13th, 2007 @ 12:43pm

    You're right Carlo, we should just harm the enviroment as much as possible. Thats what I call sticking it to the man.

     

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    Anonymous of Course, Sep 13th, 2007 @ 12:43pm

    What Loyd Said

    About 10 years ago I entered a bunch of light bulb
    data into a spread sheet to determine the cost of
    ownership. I was surprised that the halogen
    incandescent was the winner. To be fair, CCFL
    prices have dropped dramatically since then.

    I did not factor the quality of the light which is
    best for halogen. The CCFL was horrible but has
    steadily improved.

    The manufacturing of CCFL is not green. Their content,
    circuit board, plastics, phosphors and the previously
    discussed mercury mean you have to pay for their disposal.

    Many CCFL's do horrible things to the utility power
    quality and/or generate excessive amounts of radio
    frequency noise.

    CCFL's still suffer from some limitations. Let the market
    decide. Soon enough the LED bulbs will obsolete the CCFL.

    The best way to conserve energy, regardless of the bulb
    employed, is to turn the lights off when they are not
    in use. Perhaps congress's efforts would be better
    spent on trying to legislate that.

     

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  8.  
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    Richard Banks, Sep 13th, 2007 @ 12:46pm

    Apples and Oranges

    Until you can convince my eyes that that there is no difference between an incandescent bulb and newer technologies, I won't be switching.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 13th, 2007 @ 1:00pm

    So who's going to put mercury bulbs that may break in there oven ?

     

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    Brad, Sep 13th, 2007 @ 1:04pm

    I have replaced just about all the standard bulbs in my apartment with those little curly-cue fluorescent bulbs. I can tell you that if you get the standard type, aside from a brief "warmup" period where the light is a bit dim at first until the bulb warms up, the light is exactly the same, if not better. It really is not apples and oranges at all, more like what shade of red the apple is.

    On the other hand, though they're a bit spendier, you can get the "daylight" type where you get more of a white or bluish-white light. I have those in my living room and kitchen, and they are absolutely wonderful. Yellow lights distort colors, where as these white lights, while not true daylight, are a lot closer and give off nice, true colors in the lighted areas. Anybody who has tried to color-match clothing under dim yellow lights in a bedroom and then walks outside into the daylight should understand this concept, since the colors can sometimes look entirely different under true white light. I am considering getting those daylight bulbs for my hall light and bedroom lights too now.

     

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    Sanguine Dream, Sep 13th, 2007 @ 1:06pm

    That's the government for you...

    Pogress
    Technological advancement
    Innovation
    The Ebb and Flow of any market

    Despite the fact that when left alone these things will often resovle themselves politicians and other grandstanders just cannot resist the chance to score some brownie points.

     

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  12.  
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    TheDock22, Sep 13th, 2007 @ 1:07pm

    Re: 2012?

    I agree. Incandescent is on the way out anyway. CFLs will be starting to phase out by then too. So let the politicians put it in the bill. Beside, if you aren't at least using CFLs by now you are wasting way too much money on your electric bill.

     

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    TheDock22, Sep 13th, 2007 @ 1:10pm

    Re:

    I love the daylight bulbs. I use them all over my house. It took a little getting used to...turning on a light at night and feeling like it is daytime and all. I am so used to it now I don't really like yellow-light bulbs. They make everything seem dingy.

     

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    Xiera, Sep 13th, 2007 @ 1:12pm

    Sadness

    It is sad to see some of the comparisons being made between this lightbulb situation and other environmental legislation. There is a distinct line here that should be noted, though I will only do so briefly. The market will indeed resolve the lightbulb situation without government interference. Furthermore, it is IMPORTANT that the government does NOT interfere because that is a clear violation of consumer rights.

    There are certain things that consumers do not have direct control over, however. Claiming that energy production will naturally be handled by the market is simply wrong. In many areas (I hesitate to say all, but I suspect that may be the case), consumers have one choice when it comes to energy. In cases such as this, the government should step in to protect consumer and environmental interests. If politicians want to take steps towards "green" laws, they should focus on the bigger picture: phase out fossil fuel power in favor of solar and other natural energy sources. The market will take care of the rest.

    Even more notable is the fact that it won't matter whether a lightbulb is fluorescent or incandescent if they are both running on solar (or wind, hydro, thermal, etc.) power. This is a case of politicians manipulating people and laws to their own gain, and of the voters being too ignorant to understand the difference between the actions taken and the intentions and results thereof.

    If politicians want to make a statement, they should make it big and loud or not make it at all.

     

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    Morgan, Sep 13th, 2007 @ 1:15pm

    It's no lose for politicians

    Politicians can look, they can see incandescents are already on the way out, and then take credit for the trend by passing a law compelling it. And folks like the Anonymous Coward above in #6, people that have no faith in anyone to make decisions for themselves, will applaud like trained seals.

    I've changed my bulbs for fun, I mix a lot of different CFLs and I do think I'm getting better light overall now just by paying attention to it. My reading lights are LED spots, taking a nice 1 watt of power consumption, and creating a very focused light that doesn't disrupt other people's sleep.

    Anyway, the legislation, and it's fans, are stupid, but I'm betting it'll happen.

     

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  16.  
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    Joel Coehoorn, Sep 13th, 2007 @ 1:15pm

    Good post about the relative mercury content, but it misses one important thing: CFL's are much more fragile than other items listed, and are much more likely to be broken. Additionally, most CFL's are not well suited for outdoor use (they don't like to turn on if it gets too cold out).

    These are not, however, unsolvable problems. I've seen a simple airtight plastic shield made to fit around some bulbs to prevent breakage, plus warmer unit in case it's too cold. But that's one more piece of complexity in what someone noted is an already complex device. A traditional lightbulb can be had here for as little as a quarter.

    The future is in LED bulbs. You can see these on the market now. They use about the same amount of electricity as the CFL's. Unfortunately, current multi-directional (most LEDs are still used in directional lights) designs are ugly, and they cost more because they don't yet benefit from the same economy of scale as traditional bulbs or CFLs. But give it a couple more years and you'll see some nice looking, relatively cheap LED bulbs. Then they'll have all the advantages of a CFL without many of the drawbacks.

    But that's beside the point. Lightbulbs are just a chance to point to the government meddling where it shouldn't. The idea is that the market will fix this on itself, and the right technology will win out in the end. Unfortunately, this doesn't always happen. Even when it does, it can take a while for the dust to settle. In that case, perhaps there is something to be gained by having a legal mandate to move a clear winner, as long as the right winner is chosen and the law is written to not then stifle further progress.

     

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  17.  
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    Plogo, Sep 13th, 2007 @ 1:18pm

    Re: Government hurts the market not helps

    Government sucks at everything. they should just stay out of the way.

    Ya, and yet I bet you're the type that wants a government ban on gay marraige, government ban on abortion, government wiretapping (and anything and everything else in the name of counterterrorism). But hey! They should stay the fuck away from your guns and your private healthcare. You smell like yet another Republican hypocrite. At least the libertarians are consistent.

     

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  18.  
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    Sanguine Dream, Sep 13th, 2007 @ 1:35pm

    That's the government for you...

    Pogress
    Technological advancement
    Innovation
    The Ebb and Flow of any market

    Despite the fact that when left alone these things will often resovle themselves politicians and other grandstanders just cannot resist the chance to score some brownie points.

     

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  19.  
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    Xiera, Sep 13th, 2007 @ 1:38pm

    Re: Re: Government hurts the market not helps

    Oh, the fun of bipartisan politics. I could point out at this point how Republicans are indeed hypocrits in the sense that you mentioned. I could also point out that Democrats are also hypocrits in the same sense (just with opposite ideals).

    In fact, most people are hypocrits to some degree or another. This is indeed an unwanted but undeniable truth about human nature, and government by extension.

    Come to think of it, the fact that I am about to reply to an off-topic post with an off-topic post telling the off-topic poster to stay on-topic and not to condescend based on his (generic "he") opinions, is indeed hypocritical.

    I hope you got my point, nonetheless.

     

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  20.  
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    Chronno S. Trigger, Sep 13th, 2007 @ 1:41pm

    Re: CFLs and Mercury

    Just had to respond to this one.

    OK so I go out and pay way to much for a light bulb. How many KW/h is that going to remove from my bill?

    The bulb burns out. I can't throw it away it has to be recycled. Just checked, the closest one to my house is an hour drive away. That's that much more gas that I throw into the atmosphere. I also looked up Altoona. Two hour drive. (same place as mine.) Look it up. Altoona's zip code 16602. one near my house, 15276. It may be closer, just remember traffic.

    So Thanks, but no thanks.

     

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  21.  
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    TheDock22, Sep 13th, 2007 @ 1:48pm

    Re: Re: CFLs and Mercury

    OK so I go out and pay way to much for a light bulb. How many KW/h is that going to remove from my bill?

    I actually don't think they are that much more money (especially at Costco, 8 of them for $14.00). When I switched over to purely fluorescents I save $30.00 of my next energy bill.

    The bulb burns out. I can't throw it away it has to be recycled. Just checked, the closest one to my house is an hour drive away.

    LoL, let the environmentalists have my head, but I just throw them away. We don't have a fluorescent light bulb recycling center in my state or the closest surrounding states to where I live. Maybe the government should mandate more recycling centers too. Or someone should offer mail-in recyclables, but maybe that would defeat the purpose.

     

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  22.  
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    Chronno S. Trigger, Sep 13th, 2007 @ 2:02pm

    Re: Re: Re: CFLs and Mercury

    Officially I was just arguing with the hippy. I actually want to switch to LED lights ever since I saw them on Mithbusters running for several weeks longer than any other. But I have no idea where to find them and have never remembered to look online.

    Now I'm not being sarcastic when I ask this, I am truly interested in knowing. How long do they last and how many do you have? That way I can truly compare the price savings.

     

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  23.  
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    TheDock22, Sep 13th, 2007 @ 2:35pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: CFLs and Mercury

    I actually want to switch to LED lights ever since I saw them on Mithbusters running for several weeks longer than any other

    Oh I meant the fluorescents. I saw that Mythbusters too, but the general consensus around LEDs is that they are better for lamps and not recommended general household lighting (most aren't bright enough).

    How long do they last and how many do you have? That way I can truly compare the price savings.

    Well I installed them 2 1/2 years ago and only one has died so far (one living room light, I used them the most) I have 25 in my house all together and replaced the two outdoors lights with the fluorescents approved for outdoors (now these were pricey). I haven't gone so far as to replace the oven and fridge lights, but I don't use them much anyway.

     

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  24.  
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    The Man, Sep 13th, 2007 @ 2:44pm

    Re: CFLs and Mercury

    "While it is true that CFLs contain mercury, and that mercury is toxic, there is no danger of the mercury escaping as long as the bulbs remain intact"

    Your right! A light bulb breaking in your house? What a crazy thing to happen. Who needs carpet cleaner, kids never spill anything on the carpet. Glasses never break and the sun always shines.

    By the way Plogo, saying the government sucks is not a partisan comment. I am pretty sure that is a fairly universal truth for both parties. I am not quite sure how you brought up the rest of your rant, but I do like guns and my private health care, thank you for asking. If you do not have private health care, I suggest you go buy some. It is not very expensive.

     

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  25.  
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    CoJeff, Sep 13th, 2007 @ 2:58pm

    I absolutely hate those florescent bulbs!! They have in my office building and I never turn them on. Those bulbs give my migraines. I'd rather work in the dark than turn one of those death tubes on. I'll stick with the incandescent bulbs. Whats next is the Government going to tell me what TP to use on my butt?

     

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  26.  
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    The Other Man, Sep 13th, 2007 @ 3:16pm

    Save money

    I can buy 4 old school lightbulbs for $1.00. The last so long that I forget the last time I changed the specific one. So I maybe go through 8 a year for a cost of $2.00 even If I went through 24 that is $6.00. They cost next to nothing to run. I do not see how getting CFL would benifit me. Letting oil companies drill off shore of the US and in Alaska would save me money. It wont hurt the environment adn don't worry the big bad scary global warming monster won't get you. Oh, I'm sorry now it is the "Climate Change" monster. I guess they were tired of people asking why it was so damn cold if we were globally warming.

     

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  27.  
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    Chuck Norris' Enemy (deceased), Sep 13th, 2007 @ 3:47pm

    CFL/incandescent comparison

    Funny, I just got my utility (Alliant Energy) bill today and their little newsletter has an article about the life cost difference. They had a nice table. Went to their website but they didn't have the latest newsletter up yet so I couldn't place a link. I will just attempt to reproduce the table.

    How much does a light bulb really cost?
    Bulb type-----------75W Incandescent-----------25W CFL
    Purchase Price--------------$0.75-------------------$5.00
    Bulb life------------------750 hours--------------10,000 hours
    Hours burned per day----------4------------------------4
    # bulbs needed over
    6.85 years----------------------14------------------------1
    Total cost of bulbs----------$10.50------------------$5.00
    Lumens-------------------------1,200------------------ 1,400
    Total cost of electricity
    over 6.85 years ($.093/kWh)-$69.95--------------$21.45
    Your total cost over
    6.85 years-------------------$80.45-------------------$26.45

    Total savings with Compact Fluorescent $54.00

    There, sorry about that. So if all you care about is money and not the environment (like me, it's all a lie to control your energy use and raise prices --> Enron, GE, & BP are/were all lobbying for signing mandatory "green" legislation, fishy) you can throw those CFLs in the trash and let the RDF people sort it out.

     

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  28.  
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    Soakie, Sep 13th, 2007 @ 3:49pm

    Re: Save money

    Yep. It's all a conspiracy by the scienticians. Damn their ungodly ilk.

     

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  29.  
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    Whirler, Sep 13th, 2007 @ 4:18pm

    We're here to help!

    The nine most terrifying words in the English language are, 'I'm from the government and I'm here to help.'
    - Ronald Reagan

     

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  30.  
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    wnyght, Sep 13th, 2007 @ 4:29pm

    Re: Re: Re: Government hurts the market not helps

    *applaud* well spoken!

     

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  31.  
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    The Man, Sep 13th, 2007 @ 5:02pm

    Faith

    I often think that sometimes it would be nice to have a strong unyeilding belief in something so strong that all evidence and logical thought would cease to matter. Some find God, some find The Environment / Global Warming (praise be to thee). I have never been so lucky to have faith like that. I also think that these extremist Muslims have nothing on some of our left wing kooks. How long until they start strapping bomb on their chest and walking into an incandesent bulb store.

     

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  32.  
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    Mischa, Sep 13th, 2007 @ 5:34pm

    Re:

    In my experience, CFLs are much higher quality than the long florescent bulbs in office buildings.

     

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  33.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 13th, 2007 @ 6:58pm

    Re: Sadness

    "a clear violation of consumer rights"

    I am pro-consumer - big time; but the phrase "consumer rights" bothers me. Where the heck did that come from?

    Let's not degrade the word "rights" by misuse and using it too much.

    Language is too important.

     

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  34.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 13th, 2007 @ 7:02pm

    Re: We're here to help!

    Yeah Reagan said that BS, and all the fools bought in.

    Nobody likes the government until they need something.

    And Nobody likes lawyers until they need one.

    Grow up and look around at what our government provides, and see what it would be like without it.

     

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  35.  
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    enlightened by Edison, Sep 13th, 2007 @ 8:05pm

    Re: CFLs and Mercury

    Most are made in CHINA.
    CAN you say LEAD PAINT.
    Ps hope they paid you for the book plug

     

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  36.  
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    enlightened by Edison, Sep 13th, 2007 @ 8:13pm

    Re: CFL/incandescent comparison

    OPPS dropped one

    EPA HAZ-MAT clean up cost $2000.00 (See Maine)

    Total savings -$1946.00 Ouch

     

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  37.  
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    Enlightened by Edison, Sep 13th, 2007 @ 8:31pm

    Re: Re: We're here to help!

    and see what it would be like without it.

    My paycheck would double.

    Yeah Reagan said that BS, and all the fools bought in.

    Only us fools in 49 of the 50 states

    and us fools who saw the following items cut in half

    taxes
    unemployment
    inflation
    intrest rates

    Makes me want to be your kind of fool.


    Grow up and look around at what our government provides

    A bunch of yellow belled, treasonist cut and runner, LOOSERS leading the captial washington dc

    So Anonymous Coward I guess I do not want to grow up either.

    Toys'r'us fool

     

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  38.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 13th, 2007 @ 8:54pm

    Re: Government hurts the market not helps

    Government sucks at everything. they should just stay out of the way.
    Next time you see one of those govt. employees they call a Marine, walk up to them and tell them how bad they suck at their job. Then maybe we won't have to listen to your crap anymore.

     

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  39.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 13th, 2007 @ 9:12pm

    Other Govt. Improvements

    This reminds me of the govt. mandated low-flow toilets. They don't really save any water because a lot of people have now learned to flush several times as they're using them instead of just once at the end. And they still get stopped up sometimes. Gee, what an improvement. Or the low-flow shower heads that can lead to scalding. Better for little Johnny to get scalded than use too much water. Yeah, that'll teach him.

    I like the sign I saw above one of the new toilets once. It read: "Please flush several times during use. It's a long way to Congress."

     

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  40.  
    identicon
    Any Feds Here?, Sep 13th, 2007 @ 9:21pm

    Re: Re: Re: CFLs and Mercury

    I actually don't think they are that much more money (especially at Costco, 8 of them for $14.00).
    Do they work wherever a standard incandescent bulb does? I bet not.

    LoL, let the environmentalists have my head, but I just throw them away.
    Oops. You just confessed to a federal crime in a public forum. You do know that Techdirt keeps logs that the Feds can request, don't you?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  41.  
    identicon
    Brad's Alter Ego, Sep 13th, 2007 @ 9:32pm

    Re:

    I can tell you that if you get the standard type, aside from a brief "warmup" period where the light is a bit dim at first until the bulb warms up, the light is exactly the same, if not better.
    I can tell you that if you get the standard type, aside from a brief "warm" period where the liquid is a bit warm at first until it cools off, the taste of urine is exactly the same as apple juice, if not better.

     

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  42.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 13th, 2007 @ 9:49pm

    Re: CFL/incandescent comparison

    Those numbers look a little rigged to me. I can get fully-dimmable, instant-on incandescents for about $0.25. And I've never seen an equivalent CFL for anywhere near $5.00. If anyone knows where I can get 25W fully-dimmable, instant-on, full-spectrum CFL's for that price, then please tell me.

     

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  43.  
    identicon
    Boris Jacobsen, Sep 14th, 2007 @ 4:00am

    Re: socialist health care

    Re: "Holy, Crap!! Imagine if they force Socialist health care. We can all pick a number and wait in line to die. No thanks."


    Apologies for off-topic but I couldn't let the above comment go unaddressed.

    Figures show that the life-expectency in Cuba is significantly higher than the USA, thanks in no small part to their 'socialist health care'. Furthermore, the British National Health Service offering free health care to all has been a resounding success since the 1940's, though right wing elements have been wanting to abolish it, especially since the greed of the 80's.

    I suppose you think only those with money deserve the right to health care.

     

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  44.  
    identicon
    TheDock22, Sep 14th, 2007 @ 6:37am

    Re: Re: socialist health care

    Figures show that the life-expectency in Cuba is significantly higher than the USA, thanks in no small part to their 'socialist health care'.

    As I recall, Cuba is significantly smaller the US. A system like that would NEVER work on a large scale.

    British National Health Service offering free health care to all has been a resounding success since the 1940's

    I like these studies because they never talk about the quality of health care or how many people die waiting for important things like MRI's and cat scans (in Canada, the waiting list for an MRI is 6-months even if you are considered terminal). I like the system the way it is, but I do think we should have more free clinics or doctors willing to offer some services for free to the less fortunate.

    And this argument about healthcare is dumb. Most people in the US who don't have healthcare could easily afford it, but choose not to buy it. Don't think everyone without healthcare is too poor to afford it.

     

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  45.  
    identicon
    TheDock22, Sep 14th, 2007 @ 6:43am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: CFLs and Mercury

    Do they work wherever a standard incandescent bulb does? I bet not.

    They sure do. I've never had a problem replacing an incandescent with a halogen.

    Oops. You just confessed to a federal crime in a public forum. You do know that Techdirt keeps logs that the Feds can request, don't you?

    No I didn't. Our landfill is equipped to handle lead and mercury products. You just need to dispose to an authorized receiving center which is the landfill for us.

     

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  46.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 14th, 2007 @ 11:30am

    Re: Re: Re: socialist health care

    As I recall, Cuba is significantly smaller the US. A system like that would NEVER work on a large scale.
    There are many countries where it does work everyday. Like most of the world's industrialized countries.

    And this argument about healthcare is dumb. Most people in the US who don't have healthcare could easily afford it, but choose not to buy it. Don't think everyone without healthcare is too poor to afford it.
    And even if they are, screw 'em. Right?

     

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  47.  
    identicon
    TheDock22, Sep 14th, 2007 @ 12:33pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: socialist health care

    There are many countries where it does work everyday. Like most of the world's industrialized countries.
    Name one country where the system works that is the same size as the US and that the quality of care is as good or better than the US.

    And even if they are, screw 'em. Right?

    That's what Medicade is for.

     

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  48.  
    identicon
    TheDock22, Sep 14th, 2007 @ 12:35pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: CFLs and Mercury

    Oops. You just confessed to a federal crime in a public forum. You do know that Techdirt keeps logs that the Feds can request, don't you?

    Oh and by the way, the disposable laws do not apply to the household consumer except in three states. Check the laws before you post dumb arguments.

     

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  49.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 14th, 2007 @ 6:48pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: socialist health care

    That's what Medicade is for.
    I don't know what Medicade is, but Medicaid doesn't provide adequate health care. So yeah, that's what Medicaid is for all right. To screw 'em.

     

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  50.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 14th, 2007 @ 6:54pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: socialist health care

    Name one country where the system works that is the same size as the US and that the quality of care is as good or better than the US.

    Why don't you name one the same size as the US where it isn't. Hell, I bet you can't even name another country the same size as the US.

     

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  51.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 14th, 2007 @ 7:08pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: CFLs and Mercury

    They sure do.
    Nope. I checked. Can't use them with dimmers, photocells, timers, etc. If you're gonna lie, you're gonna hafta do better than that.

    I've never had a problem replacing an incandescent with a halogen.
    Well, that's nice and all, but irrelevant. The conservation was about CFLs. Nice try on the worm out, but it didn't work.

    No I didn't. Our landfill is equipped to handle lead and mercury products. You just need to dispose to an authorized receiving center which is the landfill for us.
    Considering your past history of being somewhat less than truthful at times, excuse me while I laugh. When I get through, I might even call the Feds myself.

    Notice to Techdirt: Make sure this thread and it's logs get saved as possible evidence.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  52.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 14th, 2007 @ 7:12pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: CFLs and Mercury

    Oh and by the way, the disposable laws do not apply to the household consumer except in three states. Check the laws before you post dumb arguments.
    Federal laws only apply in three states? How dumb can you get?

     

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  53.  
    identicon
    TheDock22, Sep 17th, 2007 @ 9:30am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: socialist health care

    I don't know what Medicade is, but Medicaid doesn't provide adequate health care. So yeah, that's what Medicaid is for all right. To screw 'em.

    Then add some more money to Medicaid and let me keep my private health care.

     

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  54.  
    identicon
    TheDock22, Sep 17th, 2007 @ 9:32am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: socialist health care

    Why don't you name one the same size as the US where it isn't. Hell, I bet you can't even name another country the same size as the US.

    Well Canada isn't the same size as the US, but pretty close. And their healthcare system is horrible. France, same thing (not the same size, but significantly worse healthcare). What do they have in common? Nationalized health care.

     

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  55.  
    identicon
    TheDock22, Sep 17th, 2007 @ 9:35am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: CFLs and Mercury

    Federal laws only apply in three states? How dumb can you get?

    The environmental disposal laws for businesses are federal (and when I say business, I mean a business that is tossing thousands of these bulbs, small businesses are not bound to these laws). The disposal laws for household consumers are state laws. Hence, three states are enforcing these disposal laws for household consumers.

     

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  56.  
    identicon
    TheDock22, Sep 17th, 2007 @ 10:00am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: CFLs and Mercury

    Nope. I checked. Can't use them with dimmers, photocells, timers, etc. If you're gonna lie, you're gonna hafta do better than that.

    Then you didn't check very hard. GE makes a florescent light bulb compatible with dimmers (Energy Smart Dimming Spirals). Quit wasting my time if you aren't willing to do the research.

    Well, that's nice and all, but irrelevant. The conservation was about CFLs. Nice try on the worm out, but it didn't work.

    Halogen = fluorescent in my mind. Or at least where I live when one person says halogen they are referring to fluorescent lights. It might be a regional thing, but I do mean fluorescents. And I still have not had a problem replacing my normal lights with fluorescent lights.

    Considering your past history of being somewhat less than truthful at times, excuse me while I laugh. When I get through, I might even call the Feds myself.

    Go ahead and call the feds. In the end they can't do anything because the federal laws only apply to businesses and the laws for private consumers are controlled by the state. My state does not enforce rules against the private consumer for disposal of mercury-containing materials or lead containing materials (as far as low levels found in electronics). You can be fined for disposing of explosive materials like gas and oil though.

    Notice to Techdirt: Make sure this thread and it's logs get saved as possible evidence.

    I'm sure TechDirt has more important things to do than deal with an anonymous and cowardly troll.

     

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  57.  
    identicon
    BigGuy, Sep 18th, 2007 @ 4:17am

    CFLs, Halogens, LEDs, Tungsten

    I work at night, and I'm essentially forced to work under fluorescent bulbs, and they wreck my eyes. The 60Hz hum is annoying, my eyes get tired and strained too quickly, and not until the sun comes up and I get some real light in the windows do I get any relief.

    I have a halogen torch lamp in my computer room at home, and a halogen and incandescents in my bedroom, and I never have problems with them giving me headaches.

    Fluorescents may offer huge benefits as far as energy savings and longevity goes, but for the sake of my eyes, I won't be replacing my halogens and tungsten bulbs with them.

    I am curious about LED though. Someone posted that the unidirectional nature of them makes them unsuitable for general lighting, but that shouldn't be the case forever. Even if the economies of scale aren't suitable for buying one designed for general lighting cheaply, I'd still be interested in them. After all, they won't make more of them if there isn't interest, right?

    Anyone know where they can be had?

    And as far as the whole politicians/bipartisan politics/flame war going on in here, all I have to say is, it doesn't matter what side of any issue any politician might have you believe they're on, they vote for whatever lobby pays the most, or whatever piece of legislation they can place earmarks into, or piggyback other garbage on top of. It's not about what their constituents want, it's what continues or furthers their political careers.

    Political expediency, special interests, lobbying, moral bankruptcy, and turning their backs on the conservative values of the Constitution have lead this country down the tubes. It's not a Republican/Democrat thing, its a fundamental belief in the size/responsibilities of government at the federal/state/local levels.

    Anyway, that's worth about $0.02.

     

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  58.  
    identicon
    Chrogo, Oct 11th, 2007 @ 11:33pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: CFLs and Mercury

    I'm a bit of an environmentalist engineering sort - and I vouch for the CFLs entirely. You will still save more money on energy than the gas spent going to the recycling center....

    However, if you REALLY don't want to - just throw them away. 5mg is not a massive ammount of mercury and the EPA would be ecstatic to trade 5mg of harmless household mercury contamination for the massive energy savings that a househole can gain from CFLs.

     

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  59.  
    identicon
    Jimmy Mac, Jan 14th, 2008 @ 11:07pm

    Not Yet

    Figures show that the life-expectency in Cuba is significantly higher than the USA, thanks in no small part to their 'socialist health care'. Furthermore, the British National Health Service offering free health care to all has been a resounding success since the 1940's, though right wing elements have been wanting to abolish it, especially since the greed of the 80's.

    http://www.inteldaily.com/?c=145&a=1912

     

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  60.  
    identicon
    Charles Cameron, IESNA, Assoc. IALD, Jan 26th, 2009 @ 2:22pm

    Re: CFLs and Mercury

    CFL lamps can be a useful tool in reducing electrical use but you hurt the cause by inaccurately reporting the "equivalent" CFL to Incandescent comparison. Many manufacturers inflate their claims and so we must always be suspect. The same goes for new LED products.

    From the Philips Catalog:
    16w Marathon Soft White CFL lamp makes 800 lumens of light energy
    100w A19 Soft White Incandescent makes 1620 lumens
    Both of these lamps distribute that energy in an omnidirectional output so the incandescent will create twice as much illuminance in the same application. This will lead to the disappointment of well meaning consumers who try to use CFL lamps.

    While the mercury in each individual lamp is small, if we do not plan for the millions of lamps that are and will be purchased we will have to give up eating fish at a minimum.

    Your list gives a guideline for other products to improve and for which proper disposal methods need to be created.

    Charles Cameron, Principal
    Meeker Cameron Lighting Design Group

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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