Save the Environment, They Said

Over the past two or three years, I’ve slowly transitioned completely away from incandescent light bulbs in favor of compact fluorescent lamps. Now, they don’t last anywhere near as long as advertised, but I reckon they do save money, however little, in the long run. A nice bonus is that they pretty much only come in one color balance, which eliminates the horrors my household sometimes used to get, when one roommate would buy “warm white” bulbs and one would buy “cool white” bulbs and put them in the same room. Urgh!

That said, something that happened over the weekend is making me start to reconsider the big adoption of CFLs. Why? Well, incandescent bulbs, when they fail, generally don’t set your house on fire

Meet one of the light bulbs that used to be in my den. It’s a 20W CFL made by General Electric, and I’ve had it about eighteen months, I think. Over the weekend, it died quite abruptly, which I otherwise wouldn’t really mind – eighteen months is a pretty good lifespan for a CFL, in my experience.

Thing is, though, when it died, it began glowing bright red, like the, um, Light Bulb of Sauron, or something. (“One bulb to rule them all, and in the darkness, blind them.”) It then released the magic smoke, apparently, and got hot enough to not only discolor the bulb base but actually melt part of the base and even the socket the bulb was in.

Searching the web, I see I’m not the first person to have this happen with a GE bulb, and probably won’t be the last.

Is this really progress, folks? Have we really “progressed” to such a state that our new energy-efficient lighting needs to be treated like a freaking candle – use only under adult supervision, do not leave unattended, keep away from flammable material, blah blah blah?

Where’s high-quality, low-cost LED lighting when you need it?

(This post was brought to you by the number one, the color blue, and the letters “G” and “E”. “GE: We Set Good Things Alight.”)

Published in: 'D' for 'Dumb', Geekiness, General | on July 20th, 2009| Comments Off on Save the Environment, They Said

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