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Old 02-07-2007, 06:27 AM   #21
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from what I've read ever Florescent tube contains at least small amounts of mercury, you can get regular Florescent bulbs that are labled as "green" that contain less mercury, but there is still mercury in there, and at least in my state the only people who are required to recycle them are buisnesses, why not have a system simaler to how they sell car batteries, have a core charge, of course that would be insentive not to use them for some people, so at the same time a energy-missused surcharge should be added on to incondecent "light bulbs" (over 98% of there engergy is converted directly to heat)
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Old 01-08-2008, 09:39 PM   #22
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The mercury issue is almost a non issue:
A June 2007 article calculated that the overall mercury emission by CFLs is less than the mercury released into the atmosphere by coal-fired power generation for series of equivalent incandescent lamps over the same period. See: Compact Fluorescent Bulbs and Mercury: Reality Check. Popular Mechanics, 11 June 2007.
This doesn't mean we can just throw out our compact fluorescents like we did incandescents, but it does mean that even if we did there would still be less mercury released into the environment than if we were using incandescents.

On the energy front:
People who use air conditioning will see an increased savings when their air conditioners don't have to work as hard (if a 75 watt incandescent is replaced by a 20 watt fluorescent bulb, that extra 55 watts was going out as heat, and since air conditioners aren't 100% efficient, it would take more than 55 watts to cool the air). In California, our major electricity demand tends to be in the summer when folks are using air conditioners (this is when we have our brown/black outs). So, for each 75 watt light bulb that is replaced, over 110 watts is saved during this high energy demand period.

On the "what about my rights" front:
We're a society; we make laws. No one has the right to drive 100 MPH. No one has the right to drive through red lights. In California, no one can buy non-low flow toilets (and the low flow models have become much better since the traditional toilets were outlawed). We can easily pass a law that bans incandescent bulbs if we believe it is better for us. And, as we saw with toilets, once everyone needs to buy them, the "market" will improve the quality of the product, and the prices will come down. We've already seen this in compact fluorescents--just because enough of us wanted them--both in quality of light and in size (being able to fit into small spaces that the original compact fluorescents couldn't).

Hopefully the law will be written in such a way as to not specify the type of bulb required (you must use fluorescent bulbs), but rather outlaw only incandescents. There should also be some fine print for special cases, but these should be limited to critical devices, and not just to allow folks to use dimmer switches. Again, I have confidence that if we outlaw incandescents, the "dimmable" fluorescents (or something similar), will improve to an acceptable quality.
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Old 01-09-2008, 11:03 PM   #23
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Boo. As it is with this dopey federal law that takes effect in 2012, I will now have a reason to go to Canada or Mexico at least once a year to buy light bulbs that actually work in dimmers and have a less stark, cold light. I will probably profit from this as I sell to friends and neighbors with the same needs/desires. As with prohibition and the war on drugs, all they're doing is creating a black market.

As to low-flow toilets...even the new models just don't work well.

And just like with seatbelts, low-flow toilets and motorcycle + bicycle helments, I would say that even if it makes sense, I resent having a law telling me I MUST do it a certain way.

Government is no substitute for common sense, and I object to somebody else's idea of what they think is best being legislated upon me. I'm not as dumb as most bureaucrats seem to think I am. I don't need warning labels to tell me cigarettes are unhealthy, I don't need anybody to tell me that alcohol impairs my ability to do just about anything, and I sure don't need some suit in an office chair who stamps papers all day telling me what light bulbs I can use.
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Old 01-10-2008, 04:53 AM   #24
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I resent having a law telling me I MUST do it a certain way.
Ah, my mantra.
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Old 01-10-2008, 05:00 AM   #25
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Boo. As it is with this dopey federal law that takes effect in 2012,...
What law? I've seen the proposed California legislation for over five years now - I don't think it will pass. I AM in favor of the bulbs - use them in my house and have cut electrical use by over half - and the electric company paid for the bulbs so it helped my family - but the dimmer issue is why it hasn't passed. That and the Wal-Mart mentality of one can buy 4 bulbs for 79? - why should one buy CFLs for a couple bucks each - are why it hasn't passed.
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Old 01-10-2008, 07:33 PM   #26
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What law? I've seen the proposed California legislation for over five years now - I don't think it will pass. I AM in favor of the bulbs - use them in my house and have cut electrical use by over half - and the electric company paid for the bulbs so it helped my family - but the dimmer issue is why it hasn't passed. That and the Wal-Mart mentality of one can buy 4 bulbs for 79? - why should one buy CFLs for a couple bucks each - are why it hasn't passed.
I don't know about the California law, but the way I heard it, I thought Bush had signed a federal law phasing out the sale of regular bulbs in the US by 2012.
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Old 01-11-2008, 05:15 AM   #27
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Government is no substitute for common sense, and I object to somebody else's idea of what they think is best being legislated upon me. I'm not as dumb as most bureaucrats seem to think I am. I don't need warning labels to tell me cigarettes are unhealthy, I don't need anybody to tell me that alcohol impairs my ability to do just about anything, and I sure don't need some suit in an office chair who stamps papers all day telling me what light bulbs I can use.
Thank you.

Do we need gas guzzler laws too? Seems pretty simple. Vehicles that use more gas pay more taxes. Similarly, those that use more electricity pay more taxes for those services too.

Comes down to economics. Do CFL's really save a lot of money? I've been using some for years. I don't like the light they produce, but I'll usually replace a bulb with one a little bigger than what is "recommended" as a cross over. I get fewer watts used and more light output. We're probably at 75% in the house, and about 100% on lights that are used most often.

As for bulbs costing so much less with more demand...maybe. But you need light in your house. You need gasoline. Those are commodities that are needed, not wanted or desired like a TV. The outright costs of manufacturing and production will play, and a CFL cost more to make. Eventually, supply and demand can drive prices higher. Simple economics.

Don't forget about the mercury since some don't want to forget about the CO2. Change should not be mandated by the legislation of government until more is known. This could be a giant issue.
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Old 01-11-2008, 02:48 PM   #28
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I bet LEDs will eventually replace flourescents. It may take a while to get them bright enough, but they should eventually be cheaper to manufacture.
I agree - LEDs are definitely the future of lighting, both for houses and for cars (including headlights).
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