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An inconvenient truth about lightbulbs

March 28, 2009

bulbTrophy Wife asked Rocky to replace a dozen burned-out lightbulbs in their home.

A routine request, except that Rocky replaced all of their old incandescent bulbs with new, expensive, energy-efficient compact fluorescent bulbs 24 days ago! (Rocky’s massive bulb-change was in celebration of the wildly succesful Boost-The-Economy-Buy-A-Lightbulb-Day.)

Was this mass bulb burnout an innocent quality control failure? Or was it more sinister? (Perhaps a conspiracy to shorten Rocky’s life using tall ladders and electricity?)

Rocky naively believes that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone. And that Princess Diana’s death was just an accident. Not surprisingly, Rocky is skeptical that the Mob “put out a hit” on him (via faulty lightbulbs). Today’s New York Times bolstered Rocky’s non-conspirarcy-theory theory with a story about widespread lightbulb quality control problems. (Click on: “Do New Bulbs Save Energy If They Don’t Work”)

“Some experts … blame the government for the quality problems, saying an intensive federal push to lower the price essentially backfired by encouraging manufacturers to use cheap components,” reports the NY Times.

“Ah,” Rocky thought, “It’s ALWAYS the government’s fault.”

Since the new bulbs are more expensive than incandescents, consume energy to manufacture, and disperse toxic mercury during disposal, it begs the timeless question: “How many people does it take to change their opinion about the efficiency of a compact fluorescent lightbulb?”

Rocky’s readers are invited to share their lightbulb experiences in this poll:

  1. masteroftheuniverse
    March 30, 2009 at 10:19 pm

    I wrote a post about electronic consumption then came over here and read about light bulbs. Fluorescent bulbs just don’t use enough energy.


  2. A Fan
    April 1, 2009 at 10:15 pm

    Quality control for CFLs is definitely hit-or-miss. Especially true with the dimmable ones, which I do not recommend. I did a test of dimmable ones after meeting Arthur Rosenfeld , the commisioner of energy for CA, at a conference. I replaced all my dimmable bulbs with CFLs and then kept track of their lifetime. 30% of the bulbs suffered infant mortality. As a result he directed his staff to make changes in the regulations they were proposing, and establish some standards that companies will have to pass to be able to qualify for some rebates in CA.

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