I replaced another compact fluorescent bulb in my kitchen yesterday. In fact I have to replace them seemingly all the time. That’s not what we signed up for. The supposed wonderful energy cost savings (75% by many accounts) are attenuated by the higher costs of the bulbs (as much as four or five times as expensive. Yet in the interest in contributing to a greener planet my wife and I felt this was a no-brainer. We’ve found that we might be the ones losing our minds.
So exactly how long do compact fluorescent light bulbs last? I tried to find out a definitive answer but I answers to that question are very elusive. The additional cost is supposed to be eclipsed by the longer lifespan. In our experience that’s not the case at all.
A couple of links shed a little light (sorry) on the subject – both describe some level of experience and the Youtube video depicts the issue of cracked CFL’s as they are referred to at times.
Personally and professionally I am very interested in green energy solutions. When I first heard about CFL’s several years ago my wife and I bought the hype and a ton of bulbs at places like Home Depot. Now it’s possible that the level of quality of the CFL bulbs we bought at Home Depot is not all that good, (which from what many people have found out is true about many goods at Home Depot), but we also have purchased CFL’s at local hardware stores and other outlets.
The problem is we are buying too many of them in the first place and if they were supposed to last 7 years on average why are we continually replacing them? Do we turn them on and off too much? If that is the case how exactly does leaving a light bulb in the on position fit in with being energy saving?
And then there’s the issue of what to do with CFL’s that no longer function. Since most people are aware that there is a small amount of mercury in the CFL’s those people know that you cannot simply just toss those non-functioning bulbs in your trash can to end up in a landfill and possibly poison someone that handles it. Consequently we have a box full of dead CFL’s that we have to dispose of on something our town calls ‘Hazardous waste disposal day’. Not one of the most celebrated events of the year in our town. But it is well attended and that’s another story entirely.
What about you? Have you bought the hype and the bulbs? Do yours last 7 years? 2 years? Are you replacing them all the time? I cannot believe this is limited to our experience.