Light Bulbs and Mercury


How much money does it take to screw in a compact fluorescent lightbulb? About $4.28 for the bulb and labor — unless you break the bulb. Then you, like Brandy Bridges of Ellsworth, Maine, could be looking at a cost of about $2,004.28, which doesn’t include the costs of frayed nerves and risks to health.

The details of this really expensive light bulb are here from Financial Post

I like CFL’s, I’ve replaced almost every one of the conventional bulbs in my house with CFL’s

This story raises three problems:

1) What about regular fluorescent tubes? They have mercury too, and sometimes in greater quantity.

2) How do you dispose of these bulbs in they have mercury in them. If you put them in regular trash are you guilty of a crime?

3) Has the hazmat materials response to mercury gotten out of hand?

I think high efficiency LED bulbs are the answer…because as much as I like CFL’s, I don’t want to be put in the position of dealing with the mercury (even though I don’t worry about its safety, I’ve handled mercury before) I don’t want to put my family in the position of having a hazmat response or fines for accidental disposal.

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May 1, 2007 7:19 am

We tried CFLs at our house and ran into several problems. They will not work with dimmers and they totally disrupted our X10 light control system. We have been living in our house for 25 years and when the children went off to college we modified how we use the newly available space, often putting light switches in inconvenient locations. We now use X10 controllers to switch on and control the light levels. But, with CFLs in the control circuit X10 controllers do not work.
I agree, high intensity LEDs have high potential. We now own several high intensity LED flashlights. Good light, with long battery life make them very handy. When traveling I used to take portable clip on incandescent light, because my old eyes needed more light then the hotel CFLs could provide. I now use a battery powered LED reading light.

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