Lightbulb police? (was RE: Anyone off to VCF-UK)

Zane H. Healy healyzh at
Fri Jun 4 09:29:16 CDT 2010

At 8:04 AM -0500 6/4/10, Jules Richardson wrote:
>Zane H. Healy wrote:
>>My question is which is really less environmentally friendly?  Incandescent
>>or Florescent?
>I've got no hard figures; I've tried asking over the years, and 
>nobody seems to know for sure. My gut feeling though is that 
>fluorescent are a lot worse when you think of the 'big picture' and 
>include sourcing of the materials, manufacture, shipping*, and 
>eventual safe disposal.

That is my feeling as well, the question reminds me of the Toyota 
Prius and other Hybrids.  Which is less environmentally friendly, a 
new one of those, or the '92 Toyota Camary we have.  People don't 
take into consideration what has to be done to manufacture these 
"environmentally friendly" products, and all the icky stuff that is 

>I've had plenty of fluorescents that barely outlast incandescents, 
>despite manufacturers' MTBF claims. Plenty more that exhibit 
>weakened output after a few months. All of them seem to have output 
>even when new that's vastly less than the "incandescent equivalent" 
>rating claimed on the packaging.

I believe the Compact Fluorescents are also more sensitive to how 
many times you turn them on and off.  We have 3 kids, ages 2-7, I try 
to put Incandescents where they'll be playing with the lights, and 
Compact Fluorescents in other places.

I've also read that the manufacturers' claims on energy savings are 
less than accurate.  Apparently they cause some sort of problem for 
traditional electric meters?  I don't know how accurate any of that 
is, it seems a bit odd, touching in the realms of urban legend.

>(Waters are even further muddied up here in northern MN where we 
>have electric heating that's on for over half the year, because 
>during those months any energy that bulbs lose as heat is still 
>doing useful work; there's no waste)

This is actually one of the main uses I see for keeping a good stash 
of Incandescents around.


| Zane H. Healy                    | UNIX Systems Administrator |
| healyzh at              | OpenVMS Enthusiast         |
|                                  | Classic Computer Collector |
|     Empire of the Petal Throne and Traveller Role Playing,    |
|          PDP-10 Emulation and Zane's Computer Museum.         |
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