Friends Don?t Let Friends Buy CFLs

Friends Don’t Let Friends Buy CFLs

Francis Gough, SuperGreen Solutions

This is a pretty bold statement! Don’t feel bad if you have a house or business full of CFLs (Compact Fluorescents Lights typically the bulbs that look like curly fries). If you bought them a few years ago, you were a pioneer in saving energy. Taking a standard 60 watt bulb and reducing it to 13W is a major reduction in energy consumption. The problem is CFLs have a lot of mercury in them and many other strong disadvantages. They just don’t make sense with the LED technology available today. Yes they are cheaper but this is the ONLY advantage and prices are getting very close now in 2016!

Would you by a new car that costs 60% less than other cars on the market ($20,0000 vs. $12,000)? Of course I would. Would you buy that same car if it used it used 38% more gas than any other car? We’ll now we better start working out the operating costs for an educated consumer. Now what if it had really bad emissions and some of these emissions could contaminate the environment? NOBODY ON EARTH is going to buy this car regardless of how nice it looks or I would certainly hope not. Would the government let you sell it here? Let’s stay out of politics for now but that is exactly what CFLs are offering. A past article in the Edmonton Sun stated that 66% (2/3) of CFLs are going into the garbage/landfill. When I explain this to people they often cringe and rarely do they have any clue how dangerous these CFL bulbs can be! Now, the manufacturers are adding globes around the outside so people don’t cringe at the sight of these curly mercury filled bulbs. Now they look more like the old Thomas Edison bulbs, which we have been throwing out for generations.

Need I say any more? Let’s get into some other disadvantages of CFLs. Some take up to a minute to warm up, they change Kelvin (colour) as they get older, light output diminishes greatly in the first half of it’s life, they are a safety concern if they break because of the mercury they contain and they rarely last as long as they are supposed to. And everyone is throwing them into the garbage, as most people don’t know they are full of mercury.

Most decent LEDs are guaranteed to produce 70% of their light at full warranty of 3 to 5+ years. The Kelvin or Colour will stay the same if you buy decent LEDs. Colour Rendering Index (CRI) technology has improved immensely so you don’t get that blue hue or odd light colour, which was noticeable in older technology. LEDs can also be recycled. And lastly the prices have come down substantially. Are you still unsure about LEDs?   If you run a LED 24 hours / 7 days a week compared to a CFL, the return on your initial investment can easily be within 1.5 years. 13W CFL vs. 8W LED at a delivered power cost of $0.12/ kWh in Edmonton and it pays you back and keeps paying you back $5.26/ light/ year. Take a 60W incandescent light in your condo hallway and it is less than 3 months when you factor in initial cost of both.

There are other green energy lighting options and solutions out there so do some research on each of them. In my opinion, in the current North American market, LED lighting is your most cost effective, quality lighting option for any consumer wanting to save money on their energy bills and/or if you want to do the right thing for the planet, profit and people.

Remember, “Friends Don’t Let Friends Buy CFLs” so spread the word and help educate people.