Thursday, May 03, 2007

Toxic Waste & Compact Flourescents

Brother Jeffmon, from whom I shamelessy hijacked my nickname, pointed out that CFLs aren't without their environmental minuses. Mercury is apparently a necessary element in their manufacture, and you really don't want to be breaking a bunch of them in your home. You probably shouldn't throw them out with the trash.

Our town has a toxic waste facility that's opened every other weekend spring through fall, so I'll be taking mine there when they burn out.

Another thing I don't like about CFL's is that there seems to be so much waste with the ballasts. They used to make ballasts that you just plugged tubes into, so the disposable part was just the tube like the old ... well... tube lights (I suppose we've just changed the shape of the tube). I don't see those around anymore.

I mentioned that they don't dim -- it turns out they do make dimable ones at fairly low wattages (5-8 watts ... 8 watts gives you about a 25 watt equivalent using the normal ratio. They claim 40. Maybe they're more efficient or something).

They don't work real well with the clip-on lamp shades, either -- but they're getting better.

Then there's the fatness of the ballasts themselves -- which are also getting smaller, but they just don't look good in some decorative applications yet.

Other than all that, I like the money saving aspect of them. So I have a bunch.

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