Thursday, January 04, 2007

BigCityLib Is Officially Holier Than Thou

Unless thou art Ti-Guy, Miss Vicky, or JimBobby, who already knew about these environmentally friendly "compact fluorescent" bulbs.

Approximately $8.00 at Home Hardware for two of these suckers, but they're supposed to last for years (four, according to the box). Read more at JimBobby's or here, but the short version is that these babies use way less power and cost fewer pounds of CO2 to make, yet produce the same amount of illumination. The light is alleged to be a bit harsh, but I've got the one pictured here up in our bathroom now and it seems fine behind its glass fixture. Takes an extra second to turn on, but otherwise you can't tell the difference.

And I don't agree with the opinion that the bulbs themselves are "ugly"; in fact, they seem rather elegantly shaped. The only downside I can see is if you were to drop your $4.00 light-bulb on the floor while installing it. At that point I could see people telling the environment to go fuck itself.

God I feel righteous this morning! If anyone else uses these, drop a line in comments and we can feel righteous together. In fact, I sense a group "smug" coming on.

PS. Funny how things go. The Star is running a story just this morning on the reception of compact fluorescents in the Canadian marketplace.


Anonymous said...

They do contain mercury, and if broken at home, take note...

"When they finally do expire, CFBs need to be recycled at a hazardous waste site because they contain a small amount of mercury."


I have used them for years since the first really expensive ones came out made by Phillips. These were in two parts, a unit to plug into the socket and then the bulb. They lasted far longer then the current generation of bulbs because the plug in base was a ballast like in flourescent bulbs.
Today they are cheaper, more conviniant but don't last anywhere near four years. Not in my house. Maybe I should turn the lights off.

Of course while they reduce energy costs in Alberta those costs keep going up with the price of gas.

That and if you really want to save money on electricy turn your damn computer off competely once in a while.

bigcitylib said...

Eugene, you are hard core.

JimBobby said...

Whooee! Well, I got inspired yesterday an' I replaced almost every bulb in the shack. I learnt a couplafew things.

There's a special one fer when yer usin' a dimmer. I din't know that until the dinin' room fixture started in buzzin'.

They take a second t' fire up. When you flip the switch, the light ain't instaneous. When that was happenin' with a table lamp where I had the first one, I thought there was a wirin' troublem but it's jest the way they work.

They get brighter after they're on fer a bit. When they first come on, yer thinkin' they ain't as bright as the old incandescant but after a few minutes, they reach full brightness.

At my local store they had replacements fer 40w, 60w and 100w. I'm mostly usin' 60's an' 40's.

Regardin' the mercury, I was readin' that when you factor in the energy saved from coal-generated power (also a source of mercury pollution), the bulbs introduce less mercury into the atmosphere.

The packagin' sucks -- big time. The amount of blister plastic surrounding these is anti-thetical t' the whole green idea.

I was also readin' that if every incandescent bulb in the USA was replaced with these things, they would no longer need to import middle east oil. That sorta sez they oughta make these the law or pay everybuddy t' switch. O' course, that might not sit well with the Saudi royal family.


bigcitylib said...


Dyou know if the place you bought from has a replacement/recycling program? I meant to ask at home hardware and forgot.

JimBobby said...

I didn't ask. I will, though, next time I'm in the hardware store.

My municipality has a twice yearly hazardous waste drive where we can take our old paint cans, aerosols, farm and yard chemicals, etc. I'm pretty sure they also take the standard fluorescent tubes.

Since these are supposed to last anywhere from 4-7 years and they're such a sensible idea, I think they'll catch on and the recycling issue will be dealt with better by the time I need to replace mine. I suppose they've been saying similar things about spent nuclear fuel rods for quite awhile, though. :(


bigcitylib said...


When you get excited you talk normal, did you realize that?

I won't tell anyone.