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Incandescent Bulbs Get a Reprieve 767

An anonymous reader writes "A new budget deal reached today by the U.S. Congress walks back the energy efficiency standards that would have forced the phase out of incandescent bulbs. 'These ideas were first enacted during the Bush administration, via the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. Incandescent bulbs were unable to meet the standards, so they would eventually be forced off the market in favor of LEDs and compact fluorescent bulbs. But Republicans have since soured on the bill, viewing it as an intrusion on the market and attempting to identify it with President Obama. Recent Congresses have tried many times to repeal the standards, but these have all been blocked. However, U.S. budgets are often used as a vehicle to get policies enacted that couldn't pass otherwise, since having an actual budget is considered too valuable to hold up over relatively minor disputes. The repeal of these standards got attached to the budget and will be passed into law with it.'"
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Incandescent Bulbs Get a Reprieve

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  • Freakin' Riders. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by jerpyro ( 926071 ) on Tuesday January 14, 2014 @06:13PM (#45957819)

    I'm not sure whether to be happy about this or not. We need energy efficiency, but I still hate CFLs :)

    • Re:Freakin' Riders. (Score:4, Interesting)

      by roc97007 ( 608802 ) on Tuesday January 14, 2014 @06:20PM (#45957931) Journal

      I really suspect that generations from now, the human race will look back at CFLs and say WHAT were we THINKING?

      • by gurps_npc ( 621217 ) on Tuesday January 14, 2014 @06:40PM (#45958239) Homepage

        Most children already do it the other way around - they say "incandescent bulbs - WHAT were we THINKING?

        They make no sense and CFL's make a ton of sense.

        Simple way to tell who's right and who's wrong - look at which side is lying. CFL side repeatedly tells the truth, while the incandescent people repeatedly lie about things like price and pollution.

        • Enh. If you say so. Save this article, it'll be interesting to see if you feel the same in a few years. Former CFL proponents are already starting to admit that CFLs have problems now that LEDs are becoming more common.

          • by Moryath ( 553296 ) on Tuesday January 14, 2014 @06:55PM (#45958477)

            Incandescent bulbs suck. They break easily, don't last long, and are a fucking fire hazard when used incorrectly (as simple as putting materials too close or putting too bright a bulb in a fixture with inadequate insulation and thin wiring).

            CFLs suck less than incandescent bulbs. They don't get nearly as hot, they draw roughly an order of magnitude less current. Are they perfect? No, there are still issues like what to do if one is broken (shattered) and with deteriorating light amount over time on some of the earlier CFL models.

            LEDs suck less than CFLs. They draw a bit less power and don't have some of the other CFL trade-offs.

            The douchiness is in reactionary fucking morons who scream "waah CFLs suck because of LEDs, therefore we should all go back to incandescents" which is a really fucking stupid comment as you watch them make it.

            • by anagama ( 611277 ) <> on Tuesday January 14, 2014 @07:40PM (#45959079) Homepage

              I've just moved into a new place. I've replaced all the frequently used built in lights with soft-white LEDs which honestly, have a perfectly nice light. For less frequently used spaces, I have some spare CFLs I'll use up.

              I did spend about $70 on seven "60 watt" and two "40 watt" LED bulbs, but it's a good investment. There is one light that will be on about 10 hours/day. A 60 watt bulb there would use 0.6 kWhrs/day, or about 219 kWhrs/yr. At 12c a kWhr, that's $26.28/year for that light if incandescent. The LED is a 9.5 watt bulb, 0.095 kWhrs/day, 34.7 kWhr's per year, $4.16/yr in electricity.

              So that one one bulb will save me $22/yr -- almost 1/3 of what it cost me to buy all of the bulbs combined. Between all of them, I'll probably have them all paid off in energy savings by next year, and by then, all those incandescents would have popped anyway and needed to be rebought, saving me some more money.

              I know $22 isn't much, but by the same token, I wouldn't pull a twenty out of my wallet and then just drop it on the street for no reason.

            • Incandescent bulbs suck because of the vacuum required to keep the filament from roasting.

              Otherwise, they're a mature, well optimized technology with a huge infrastructure built around them - cheap as hell to make and extremely versatile.

              Personally, I think we should be hammering heat pumps instead of worrying about light bulbs.

          • by tlhIngan ( 30335 ) <> on Tuesday January 14, 2014 @07:08PM (#45958681)

            Enh. If you say so. Save this article, it'll be interesting to see if you feel the same in a few years. Former CFL proponents are already starting to admit that CFLs have problems now that LEDs are becoming more common.

            LEDs have about the same efficiency of CFLs, though they're SLOWLY getting better (LEDs had horrible efficiency before - thanks to the ban, the R&D effort at making LED lights mainstream has really kicked in).

            And compared to CFLs, LEDs are superior - instant on (80% brightness instantly, 100% within a few seconds), no mercury, practically solid state (the only hard part is a switching power supply).

            Government regulations have a nasty habit of kicking industry at times - and the bans on inefficient lighting has forced industry to look at alternatives and research them. High efficiency LEDs are becoming common, and only a few years ago they finally surpassed CFLs, and now, they're becoming super-cheap.

            And it's revolutionized other industries - aircraft lighting is rapidly going LEDs - even though a LED bulb is $150 or so (for a landing or taxiing light), being able to change a power hog of a light from 20A down to 3A for the same or better brightness? Airplane batteries are tiny in light aircraft - barely enough to start the engine. Being able to have courtesy lights on and not drain the battery badly is a huge benefit.

            More like: they thought it was a good thing to ban a simple glass tube with a filament in it and replace it with a circuit board with electrolytic capacitors and a glass tube with mercury vapor in it?

            Ironically, when analyzed fully, an incandescent light typically emits MORE mercury into the atmosphere than the metallic mercury in a CFL. And when recycled, the mercury is recovered, while the emitted mercury isn't. The mercury comes from the fact that a good chunk of the US power grid still uses coal, and the added energy use of the lightbulb can translate into additional coal consumption and mercury emissions. (And metallic mercury is "safe" - it's not bio-available. But there are many bio-available mercury compounds that are and contribute to mercury poisoning).

        • by RenderSeven ( 938535 ) on Tuesday January 14, 2014 @06:54PM (#45958465)

          They make no sense and CFL's make a ton of sense ... CFL side repeatedly tells the truth, while the incandescent people repeatedly lie about things like price and pollution.

          They both make sense in different applications. I have vanity lights that take 6 bulbs. They are on only briefly, when shaving or my wife putting on makeup. Color balance is important, as is the instant-on, and they arent on long enough to matter a whit about energy use. Incandescent beats CFL and LED there. I use CFL's anywhere lights are left on for any period of time. And LED's where they are hard to change and color matters. For outdoor floods I use one CFL and one halogen, because they literally take 10 minutes to get anywhere near full bright when its 5 below outside. LED floodlights are crazy-stupid expensive.

          If people are too stupid to select the proper bulb technology, I dont think sweeping laws that ignore intended use are the answer to that stupidity. At least I stocked up; four cases of every incandescent I use. Hopefully that sees me through until LED's get better color rendition and come down in price a bit more.

        • Re:Freakin' Riders. (Score:5, Informative)

          by ObsessiveMathsFreak ( 773371 ) <> on Tuesday January 14, 2014 @07:00PM (#45958571) Homepage Journal

          They make no sense and CFL's make a ton of sense.

          CFL's take about 30 seconds to come to full brightness. At full brightness, they are still dimmer than incandesants. These are in fact, actual issues with the tecnology.

          • There are all types of CFLs, and watt for watt, CFLs are brighter than incandescents - always. What they sell as 60W "equivalent" is just sales puffery. If you really want to replace a 75W bulb, get a 100W "equivalent" and you won't be too disappointed.

            But, I can't make a lightbulb post without hammering the points: CFLs are evil, expensive, toxic, and they don't last anywhere near as long as the packaging claims. I only see them as an effort by the lightbulb industry to get consumers to inflate the valu

          • Re:Freakin' Riders. (Score:4, Informative)

            by QuasiSteve ( 2042606 ) on Tuesday January 14, 2014 @07:58PM (#45959353)

            . At full brightness, they are still dimmer than incandesants

            Can't really make that statement without some figures.

            I.e. are you talking about a run-of-the-mill incandescent 60W bulb and comparing it to a run-of-the-mill CFL at 9W* (*60W equivalent)?

            If so, hey, maybe the manufacturer was lying. Maybe your 60W bulb is throwing out 800lm while the CFL is throwing out 700lm.
            So perhaps you need to get th 11W* model (*70W equivalent) that throws out 850lm.

            But then you'd be on the other side of the aisle, saying that the CFL is brighter.
            Unless, of course, you got a high efficiency incandescent that's actually throwing out 900lm.

            There's a reason that they want to add actual light output to bulbs. That's a good thing for exactly this reason. Now add distribution pattern and a little spectrograph (with a CRI number for those who feel CRI is good enough), and things can start to be compared fairly.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        In 1923, J.B.S. Haldane wrote "Almost all our present sources of light are hot bodies, 95% of whose radiation is invisible. To light a lamp as a source of light is about as wasteful of energy as to burn down one's house to roast one's pork." Future generations will look at almost everything we have done and wonder what we were thinking.
    • Re:Freakin' Riders. (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Shados ( 741919 ) on Tuesday January 14, 2014 @06:21PM (#45957959)

      I used to like CFL, but disposing of them in an environment friendly manner is a pain, and since they stop working way before they're supposed to, you have to deal with that a little too often for my taste.

      I recently bought a place (fairly large loft, so it uses track lighting...maybe 30-35 bulbs), and about 1/3rd of the bulbs needed to be replaced. They're a pain to change, so I went ahead and got LEDs... they weren't much more expensive than CFL.

      Unless I get surprises like I did with CFL originally (and from reading around, I shouldn't...), they're so much better. Light looks more natural, use less energy, equivalent bulbs are brighter, they're harder to break, and they're more reliable... Pretty cheap now too.

      • I don't like LEDs because they last 20+ years... I don't need to make that big an investment in my lighting future!

        • by Ralph Spoilsport ( 673134 ) on Tuesday January 14, 2014 @06:39PM (#45958235) Journal
          So, pass them on to your children. And would you hurry up and die already.
        • by lgw ( 121541 )

          They're getting cheap though, especially the Cree bulbs (at least, in my Home Depot).

          The light color isn't quite right - not enough red, so it looks a bit too yellow. I guess that's inherent in "high efficiency", the lack of red, but still: close, but not perfect. Still, they're naturally dimmable, seem quite robust unlike the CFLs I've had detonate on me, come on fast, and are "good enough" for most things.

          But I still want a couple of bulbs I can dim to firelight orange-red for watching the occasional mo

          • > The light color isn't quite right - not enough red, so it looks a bit too yellow.

            Hmm, I'm using this 3M LED 60-W and they are *bright* white, no off-colors at all.

            I'm usually for cranking LED brightness up (I love halogens) but even I want these LCDs toned down. Those dimmable Cree LED look not bad. The single bulb price of $8 is definitely affordable. Pity you said they have uneven spectral frequencies. :-(

            > still want a couple of bulbs I can dim to firelight

      • by Richy_T ( 111409 )

        I'm starting to slowly switch in LEDs now. I don't want to do it all at once as price is bound to drop and quality improve with time.

        I tried to get into CFL early. My first bulb went out after a week and I've had varying success in my more recent endeavors but it has been clear for a long time that CFLs simply do not cut it. LED or another technology was always going to be king and we didn't need stupid government ramming stuff down our throats.

        Likely we will even see a revolution in lighting. When you don'

      • I used to like CFL, but disposing of them in an environment friendly manner is a pain,

        That's not a pain that you should have to endure. In The Netherlands, you can either...

        A. drop them off at major grocery stores (where you can also drop off batteries, btw - I was semi-shocked when I realized that most people in the U.S. just throw their batteries out with the regular trash. Same with glass, for that matter. I suppose the glass gets sorted out somewhere - not sure how they're handling batteries).

        B. drop

    • by NewWorldDan ( 899800 ) <> on Tuesday January 14, 2014 @06:21PM (#45957961) Homepage Journal

      It's something that wouldn't have passed in the first place if it had been a stand alone bill. So while the problem may also be the cure, the damage may already be done. There may now be enough of a disruption to supply that incandescents are dead anyway.

      Either way, I've got my stockpile and most of my house is converted to LEDs which I'm very happy with. CFLs still suck and should be banned.

    • Use LEDs. I do. They're FINE.
    • Re:Freakin' Riders. (Score:4, Informative)

      by ahabswhale ( 1189519 ) on Tuesday January 14, 2014 @06:57PM (#45958501)

      The new standards are still in place it's just that the bill provides no funding to enforce the standards. It also doesn't preclude these standards from being enforced in the future.

  • by XanC ( 644172 ) on Tuesday January 14, 2014 @06:13PM (#45957825)

    Does this go all the way back to the 100W bulbs that were banned a while back? Or only the recent banning of >40W?

    • Re:Wattage? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by roc97007 ( 608802 ) on Tuesday January 14, 2014 @06:28PM (#45958077) Journal

      Does this go all the way back to the 100W bulbs that were banned a while back? Or only the recent banning of >40W?

      I'll let you in on a little secret: 100W incandescent bulbs are still available. The ban had a loophole for "hard usage incandescents" used in (for instance) outside industrial applications. They're available on Amazon, cost about $2.50 each, and last significantly longer than commercial incandescents. Now that the longevity of CFLs have been value-engineered to worthlessness, I'm switching back to "hard usage" incandescents as my CFLs burn out. I'm interested in LEDs, but I suspect that by the time the price drops significantly, they will also have lost much of their longevity advantage.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        I assume "hard usage" won't burn out as a porch light every 6 weeks?

        I'm old enough to remember the electric company giving out free bulb replacements for burnt out ones (early 1970s). They lasted a lot longer, like indestructible bakelite landline phones you rented.

        They stopped because of another government intervention -- a lawsuit by Phillips claiming Edison and others were, by giving them out for free, restraining trade.

        So government fucks you and interferes one way or another. God damn, is their no li

  • Good riddance (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sideslash ( 1865434 ) on Tuesday January 14, 2014 @06:19PM (#45957913)
    Just like the ethanol mandate there are always unintended consequences to government interference. In the case of CFL's, it's the spread of noxious poisons through our households, communities, and landfills. Not to mention that the claimed efficiencies and lifespans are grossly misleading due to very specific assumed patterns of use -- if you leave the lights on all the time, CFL's are great; but if you turn them on and off frequently, like as you walk into and out of rooms, then the advantage breaks down rapidly.
    • by ericloewe ( 2129490 ) on Tuesday January 14, 2014 @06:25PM (#45957989)

      Ethanol? What unintended consequences? It did exactly what it was supposed to do:

      Drive up corn prices artificially.

    • Re:Good riddance (Score:4, Interesting)

      by viperidaenz ( 2515578 ) on Tuesday January 14, 2014 @06:28PM (#45958055)

      CFL's last much longer if you use them in fitted designed for CFL's.

      The base of them must be kept as cool as possible, so the capacitor inside doesn't dry out. If the light fitting has restricted air flow, this can lead to higher temperatures and shorter lifespan.

    • Visit any kintergarten or grade school. I can assure you that a peanut butter and jelly sandwich is FAR more toxic than a thousand CFLs.
    • And as usual it appears congress has blocked this efficiency mandate for all the right reasons. Its just like you said, this is a bad idea because Obama...wait, what?
    • by AC-x ( 735297 )

      Coal power plants releases more mercury to power an incandescent bulb than a CFL would over its lifetime even in all the mercury inside was released straight into the atmosphere [].

      Plus there's no mandate saying you have to use CFLs, LED bulbs have now become a good alternative.

  • by raymorris ( 2726007 ) on Tuesday January 14, 2014 @06:20PM (#45957937) Journal

    That's good to hear. Each attic or rarely used closet doesn't need a $30 light bulb when a 30 cent light bulb will do just fine.
    Using CFLs in such roles wastes 95% of the resources used to make them. There's a reason CFLs are so much more expensive -
    that cost represents resources used in their manufacture, wasted resources for rarely used locations.

    Also my ceiling fans have built in dimmers. Other than the one fan/light we use often, it would be stupid and wasteful to throw out all our ceiling
    fans and buy entire new ones just to have a CFL capable dimmer.

    • Wow, what a giant set of lies you believe.

      1) Among other things, small things add up, so YES, you do need to replace all the little bulbs you rarely use. And over the course of their life, they would be cheaper. It is not a waste, it is a wise investment that saves you money over a period of 10 years - even if you rarely used the bulb. 2) as the law did not require replacement You could continue to use existing bulbs. 3) Dimmer bulbs were NEVER on the 'replace' list, just normal ones. You could hav

      • I replaced several CFLs, of two different brands, after they were in place for about a year and had been turned on for a total of maybe 20 minutes.

        20 minutes of light for about $10-$15 is really, really wasteful.

        "A wise investment that saves you money over a period of 10 years - even if you rarely used the bulb."

        !?!? How much do you think several minutes of power costs? Apparently you think it costs thousands of dollars per hour to turn on a light?
        A 50 watt bulb costs less than one penny per hour to operat

    • Get LED. They dim.
    • That's good to hear. Each attic or rarely used closet doesn't need a $30 light bulb when a 30 cent light bulb will do just fine.
      Using CFLs in such roles wastes 95% of the resources used to make them.

      OR, it's an excellent use of them. Since they're used so rarely, it should be *years and years* before they need to be replaced... Also, a CFL or LED bulb for a closet or attic would cost less than half of your ridiculous statement of $30... Hell, the currently available Cree 60w 2700k bulbs for $10 at Home Depot would be fine for both cases, and CFL's are available for a few bucks (or less)...

      Also my ceiling fans have built in dimmers. Other than the one fan/light we use often, it would be stupid and wasteful to throw out all our ceiling
      fans and buy entire new ones just to have a CFL capable dimmer.

      Dimmable CFL and LED bulbs exist -- my house has multiple of both, and they're the same price (or within a few d

    • by Velex ( 120469 )

      I replaced nearly all incandescent bulbs in my house with bulbs similar to these from Lowe's [] the first few months after I bought it a few years ago. They cost a little under $3 per bulb, so you're off by an order of magnitude there.

      They turn on instantly, and it wasn't difficult to get used to the color difference. Anymore, the color quality of incandescent looks odd to me.

      My only real gripe is that when I started using CFLs, I learned that the equivalency rating to incandescents in power consumption just

  • Prison lighting (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    With all the charm of prison block lighting, CFLs are a joke. Don't tell me the new ones have the same warmth and quality. They don't.

    Light bulbs are technology. I'm shocked anyone would advocate for government (!) to have the power to outlaw technology they don't "like."

  • by Dzimas ( 547818 ) on Tuesday January 14, 2014 @06:21PM (#45957953)
    Most of the heavily used areas in my home have already been retrofitted with CFL bulbs, but there are a few places where traditional incandescents make sense - the closet under the stairs, the furnace room and the basement storage room are all excellent candidates for cheap incandescent bulbs. In each case, the light is only turned on for a couple of hours each year and the cost of replacing those bulbs with LED or CFL equivalents far outstrips the potential energy savings pver the next few decades.
    • You were never required to replace bulbs immediately. If they lasted forever, you could keep them.

      As such, there was NO possibility of saving money by continuing to used the expensive (on both a cost per watt, and a cost per year basis) tungsten bulbs that last a short time with the far cheaper CFL.

  • Bad Idea (Score:2, Informative)

    by smagruder ( 207953 )

    We needed to go ahead and bite the bullet on this one. All that wasted energy, continuing, is so stupid in these times of necessary conservation and dealing with climate change.

    I hope all the energy wasters enjoy their free/dumb! (and higher energy bills than those of us who smartly made the switch)

  • Tax, not ban (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Tablizer ( 95088 ) on Tuesday January 14, 2014 @06:27PM (#45958039) Journal

    Why not just gradually tax incandescent bulbs higher over time? Give the alternatives time to ramp up economies of scale.

    And, that tax money could go toward renewable energy R&D.

    • that tax money could go toward renewable energy R&D.

      Sure, it would. You don't know much about how Congress works, do you?

    • by khallow ( 566160 )
      Or they could have just done nothing at all. There's no reason to care. People spending more for electricity due to using certain types of bulbs? The disease is the cure.
  • The US House of Representatives will formally rename the chamber Waffle House

    a restaurant chain by the same name in southern states will challenge this under defamation grounds

  • Bad Summary (Score:5, Informative)

    by wolfinator ( 2570165 ) on Tuesday January 14, 2014 @06:29PM (#45958097)

    This legislation does not repeal the new light bulb efficiency standards. It just de-funds them.

    AFAIK, this means the law stands, but will not be enforced. Not the same as repeal. []

  • OTOH (Score:4, Informative)

    by Richy_T ( 111409 ) on Tuesday January 14, 2014 @06:35PM (#45958181) Homepage

    But the last US incandescent bulb production line already closed down so well done on fighting unemployment there, chaps.

  • Greetings from EU (Score:3, Interesting)

    by hsa ( 598343 ) on Tuesday January 14, 2014 @06:35PM (#45958183)

    ..where incandescent bulbs are banned.

    The prices of bulbs will soar, even for the transition period and quality remains the same. The cheap LEDs are far from natural color, and compact fluorescent bulbs will not illuminate as much after a year or so.

    Just look at us - and don't go down this route..

    • by AC-x ( 735297 )

      I'm pretty sure the UK is still in the EU (even if it doesn't like to admit it), and none of those things have happened here. I have 8 year old CFLs that work fine, and I have reasonably priced LED spotlights that are indistinguishable from the halogen spotlights they replaced.

      Take your FUD elsewhere.

  • While I've been using 90% CFL's for ten years, I have one fixture in the ceiling of a walk-in closet that needs an incandescent.

    The bulb is inverted and is completely covered/enclosed. Can't use a CFL there [overheats the transformer]. Nor a halogen [too hot](?). Don't know about LED's or "high efficiency" incandescents, but the heat dissipation problem seems to be a factor. Can't change the fixture since I'm renting [and the landlord would be loathe to retrofit hundreds of units]. So, I don't have a r

    • by T.E.D. ( 34228 )

      Particularly those families that have [small] children, since a broken CFL releases mercury, which is toxic

      As a parent of three rambunctious children myself, I can confidently assert that I'm far more worried about the kiddos hurting themselves on the broken shards of glass than on the small amount of released mercury.

      Time was we used to put very fragile tubes filled with mercury in our kids mouths whenever they got the sniffles. I think we can learn to deal with the hazard of having it in bulbs.

  • by viperidaenz ( 2515578 ) on Tuesday January 14, 2014 @06:45PM (#45958323)

    There have always been halogen replacement bulbs. CFL's and LED's are not the only alternative options.

    * most of you, not all.

  • by PPH ( 736903 ) on Tuesday January 14, 2014 @06:50PM (#45958401)

    ... my whale oil lamp business. In fact, the whaling fleet has already left port and I'm not sure we can recall them.

  • by Phil Urich ( 841393 ) on Tuesday January 14, 2014 @08:52PM (#45960045) Journal
    Am I crazy, or do even LED lights have a bit of a flicker? It's fine when I'm looking straight at them, but during saccades suddenly I experience the flicker. In a room lit by LEDs I quickly get a headache, which came as a surprise to me since I thought LEDs could finally deliver on what CFLs can't. So sadly for myself I still haven't been able to use anything other than incandescent, although I've put in CFL or LED lights in places like the entranceway where I won't be spending extended periods of time.
  • by littlewink ( 996298 ) on Wednesday January 15, 2014 @01:32AM (#45962021)

    I was president of a condo association for 5 years. I made the costly mistake of replacing all outside incandescent lights with CFLs:

    - all CFLs, regardless of brand, failed within two years. Outdoors CFLs don't last as long as the cheapest incandescents, despite all caterwauling to the contrary. Please don't tell me about your special brand: I've tried it and it failed prematurely.Please don't tell me to return them to the store under the 3-year guarantee: if I did that all my time/gas would be spent driving to/from Home Depot/Lowe's/Light Store and changing bulbs.

    - CFLs were frequently stolen. This was an unanticipated cost.

    LEDs are even worse: thieves can spot an LED from 100 yards away and will stop at nothing to steal them (since they're so damn expensive). Great to spend $300 replacing a weatherproof floodlight receptacle and the electrical tubing because a thief tore it off an outside wall to get a $50 LED floodlight.

    CFLs break frequently when used in an outdoor environment. This was especially true in the carport area, where taller delivery/postal/visitor SUVs and trucks would back into a spot and break the bulb, scattering fragments over the vehicle roof and an area larger than the parking space. Cleanup consists of sweeping a strip of driveway and searching for the SUV that has the broken bulb fragments atop it. This is not nearly so worrisome for an incandescent as for the mercury-laden CFL. When one considers that most SUVs belong to parents with children, who are the most likely to be adversely affected by mercury, this is even more troublesome.

    After 3 years I gave up and went back to incandescents, which we will use forever. Savings due to CFLs low electrical usage are not recovered when you include failure and theft in the equation. In fact, incandescents are cheaper even when you include the cost of the rugged models.

    There are good reasons why incandescents have been used for so long. And, as others note, you can heat the chicken coop, keep pipes warm, and do other useful tasks with incandescents. CFLs were a political solution to a non-problem.

"Paul Lynde to block..." -- a contestant on "Hollywood Squares"