When I moved into a new house a few months ago I decided to start life in the new place with completely new energy saving policy and replaced 90% of bulbs in the house with those spiral energy saving light bulbs you see advertised on every corner in every supermarket. The energy saving commercials were extremely clear and promising – you pay just a little more for the bulbs but then you enjoy 5 years of reduced electricity bills and help conserving natural resources!! What could be better? One month later I replaced most of those energy saving bulbs with the traditional ones and here is why…
1. Don’t those light bulbs look familiar to you? Oh, yeah they look exactly like those long tubes you can see in the supermarkets if you look up, just smaller and bended in several places. In fact they are based on similar technology meaning there contain mercury vapors inside. Mercury is a strange stuff, you can drink it and it will do no harm to you, just don’t inhale its vapors because those are extremely toxic. So in old good times when a light bulb got gone the worst thing you have left is the glass debris. With the new energy-saving technology the room quickly turns into a highly toxic gas chamber. Here is an article for reference: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-506347/An-energy-saving-bulb-gone–evacuate-room-now.html. Now if you think about what are the places the bulbs have the greatest chance to broke and where you want it happen least you will go right now and get rid of energy saving light bulbs in children’s rooms.
2. A few months ago I’ve bought a “ghost finder”. You can get one on amazon.com for instance. It’s not about believing or not believing in ghosts, I just knew what that device does. It measures electromagnetic field (EMF). The results of measuring different spots at my house are very interesting and some are really surprising, but I’ll describe them in a different post. What’s important for this post is that energy-saving bulbs produce EMF of much higher intensity then regular bulbs. Of course they do not radiate as much as a microwave, but I have only one microwave at home and about 60 bulbs. Replacing all those bulbs with the energy saving bulbs would turn my house into a total electromagnetic mess. A mess just like yours if you’re using this technology.
3. They buzz! Some people don’t hear that because with age hearing gets impared, but I’m young enough to hear that buzz 10 feet away from the bulb. When I just start installing them only about 50% of new bulbs from different vendors were buzzing. Then the silent ones start buzzing and I believe with time all 100% of them will buzz. Most people possibly can just ignore that sound, but I can’t and the idea of having 60 low-intensity buzzers at home makes me feel very uncomfortable.
4. The technology of fluorescent bulbs improved alot before it came to our homes in the form of those twisted “environment friendly” tubes. So did the spectrum of originally annoying and depressing light. However those lamps still emit significantly more ultraviolet then regular incandescent bulbs. No surprise a bunch of articles appeared claiming they can cause cancer: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-506082/Environmentally-friendly-light-bulbs-skin-cancer.html. Don’t be afraid much of that – they don’t cause instant skin cancer. But be careful – they really increase the chance to get it.
5. Some of you might still decide to keep those lamps at home and stay in danger just to pay our debt to Mother Nature. Yeah, those lamps are positioned as “environment friendly”. However think about how friendly could be mass-production of devices containing highly toxic mercury vapors? For instance how much toxic stuff the factories producing those bulbs emit? And what about those people who do not care about proper recycling and dump these lamps into regular trash? Even if you don’t see such people among your neighbors (lucky you) know there there are such people. And accounting worldwide they are majority. Imagine how much toxins will pollute air and water because of this “energy saving” and “environmentally friendly” technology?
Don’t misunderstand me, I’m for environment friendliness and for energy saving. I’m recycling and reusing when. I’m just against selling dangerous products. I’m against introducing more danger to our homes. I’m against lying to people.
So, I’m back with old inefficient but safe bulbs almost everywhere. I still have a few new bulbs outdoors and in a few places indoors where they are no harm to people. And I’m thinking about future because …
…on Dec 19th, 2007 the US president George W. Bush signed a document known as “Energy Bill”. According to that document by 2012 the traditional incandescent bulbs will be completely banned. If we stay with the fluorescent bulbs technology, there will be no alternative to those toxic, cancer-causing, buzzing EMF polluters…
Good news is there is a technology that saves even more energy and is not as dangerous and harmful as fluorescent bulbs. It is called Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) and you already can find it in some flashlights, modern LCD monitors, lights of luxury cars and a few other places. But for some reasons manufacturers prefer not to invest into this technology and make it cheaper, but rather keep polluting the planet with toxins.