Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Compact Fluorescent Lights

Many people have jumped on the band wagon to get rid of their incandescent light bulbs and replace them with Compact Fluorescent Lightbulbs - CFLs. As time goes by I am realizing there are more and more problems with CFLs and they many not be a great improvement.

I was an early adopter of compact fluorescent lights, the costs at the time I started buying them was high that there was no cost savings on the electrical usage. When I started buying them they were about $8 to $12 a bulb. I bought them to use less power, but I also bought them to reduce the heat in my home. I lived in Lillooet at the time and the reduction of heat from the bulbs made a significant difference in keeping my house cool for five to six months of the year. Having the CFLs meant about 600 watts less of heat going into the house each hour.

I have not been impressed with the length of time CFLs last - in certain parts of this house they last less than a year and in the bathroom fixtures less than six months. I am concerned about the best to dispose of the bulbs, especially when they break. The cost savings are still not really worth it. Electricity is so cheap in BC that you have to save a lot of power to pay for the higher costs. Power is so cheap in BC that is cheaper for me to use oil filled electric space heaters than an oil furnace.

If my concerns were not enough, local Victoria electrician Walter McGinnis has strong issues with the electromagnetic fields of CFLs. Here is a video of an interview with him on Jack Etkin's show face to face

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