in Futurist, Green

Another CFL bulb bites the dust

I was not happy Thursday when I learned another CFL bulb in our home had met an untimely demise. We’ve gone through a spate of them dying far too early. It had gotten to the point where I began to write the date of purchase on each bulb so that I could track how long they were lasting.

The one that died Thursday made it 12 months. Pathetic! That’s the worst-performing bulb in the house. It would be a short life for even an incandescent bulb!

I’m finding that few CFL bulbs are able to last as long as some of the first bulbs I bought. Those bulbs lasted the full, advertised 7 years. While I’d like to think that technology has progressed in that time, they’ve simply gotten cheaper through economies of scale. That, and perhaps manufacturers are using much lower-quality electronics that quickly wear out. All that leaves you is the mercury-filled tube, often still usable if the electronic ballast hasn’t died first.

I got a flashlight for a Christmas gift, which is not uncommon for me as I’ve been getting flashlights for Christmas since I was a toddler. This flashlight has an LED bulb, however: one that is one of the brightest bulbs I’ve ever seen. My new three-cell flashlight puts my hand-held spotlight to shame when it comes to brightness. It’s unreal.

And that’s the kind of light I wish I had in our home: super-bright, super-efficient LED bulbs. The technology isn’t quite there yet but it’s on its way. Until then, the CFL bulb will have to do as the bulb of choice. Warts and all.