February 29, 2008, - 12:10 pm

USA Today: CFL Bulbs Are Like Gay Sex Toys

By Debbie Schlussel
Well, it didn’t say that exactly. But in the wake of the law Bush signed mandating the end of production of conventional, incandescent bulbs, a USA Today cover story shows that most Americans are resistent to CFLs. It is the lifestyle of a distinct, tiny minority shoved on the majority which doesn’t believe in it.
Only 11% of Americans own CFL bulbs, and that reminds me of the claimed figure by gay activists than 10% of Americans are gay. The number is phony and highly exaggerated. But for the sake of argument, let’s say it’s true. That’s the essentially the same percentage as those in America who believe in the expensive, hazardous CFL ownership, since only 11% own them. How would you feel about a law that made you start buying gay sex toys, chains, and leather whips or some other product that is, right now, the domain of a small minority in American society? The government is forcing you to adopt an extremist lifestyle of 11% of the people? CFL bulbs today, something else tomorrow.

cflbulb.jpgbanlightbulbs.jpg

The marketplace is supposed to decide which products–BetaMax and HD DVD players–die, and which–VCRs and ultimately Blu-Ray–succeed, NOT the government. Such industrial policy is the hallmark of Socialist and Communist societies, not a capitalist democracy, like ours is supposed to be.
And, according to USA Today, here are some of the many problems Americans have with CFLs:

* They don’t start out at full brightness. The bulbs can take up to a minute to reach full glow. That took a while for Kay Drey of St. Louis to get used to. “It was a little alarming at first,” she says, “but then they brightened up.”
* They’re temperature-sensitive. If it gets much below 30 degrees, “they won’t start up very quickly,” Samla says. Because the phosphor in CFL bulbs that emits light takes awhile to warm up, the bulbs “like to be a little warmer. But if you get them too hot, they don’t like that. They love 77 degrees: office temperature.”
CFL bulbs also burn out quicker if they’re in a hot environment such as inside a light fixture, says Noah Horowitz, a scientist with the Natural Resources Defense Council: “If you put it in an enclosed fixture, maybe it will last 3,000 or 5,000 hours, not 10,000.” . . .
* One size does not fit all. The more light a CFL puts out, the bigger it must be. The CFL equivalent of a 60-watt bulb is tiny. The 120-watt equivalent is bigger and won’t fit in many lamps and fixtures.
That’s a problem for Drey, 74, whose house is about as old as she is. “I have old lamps, so (CFL bulbs) don’t fit everywhere. . . .”
* Many CFL bulbs don’t work well with dimmer switches and three-way light fixtures. A few will work, but they’re hard to find. “If you put a regular CFL on a dimmer, in some cases it will hum and snap; it won’t live as long, and it won’t dim,” Horowitz says.
When used with a dimmer switch, CFL bulbs typically will dim to about 20% of their full intensity and then cut out. They also must be turned on at a high setting and then dimmed, says Philip Scarbro, consumer division director at Energy Federation Incorporated, a group that promotes conservation.
When used in a three-way light fixture, many CFL bulbs will pop, hiss and buzz. There are a few three-way CFL bulbs, but they’re tough to find and so big they do not fit in many lamps. Such bulbs often come with adaptors to lengthen the lamp’s harp so the bulb will fit.
* They’re still not widely available. Most supermarkets carry a limited supply of CFL bulbs. For more variety, buyers must go to a hardware store or a larger retailer such as Home Depot or Wal-Mart. . . .
For many consumers, the reluctance to use CFLs comes down to the dingy light they can emit and questions about their safety. . . .
Amateur photographer Eric Chan of Belmont, Mass.:
“I don’t like the quality” of CFL bulbs, Chan says. “As a photographer who produces my own color prints, I am unusually picky about how these prints ought to look. They look fine under daylight, incandescent and halogen bulbs but appear mediocre in comparison when lit by CFL bulbs.”

And, of course, there are the problems connected with CFL bulbs’ hazardous quality. They contain mercury, and there’s no easy recycling system.
The law mandating the end of conventional bulbs won’t stop a huge black market for them. I’ll be the first in line.
And, no surprise, the legislation was orchestrated by lobbyists for companies like General Electric, which want to increase lightbulb profits. Remember their old ad, “GE: We Bring Good Things To Life.” Boy, is that a lie, considering the end to incandescent bulbs.
I don’t want to live the lifestyle of the minority gay community in America. Why does the government get to tell me to live the lifestyle of the minority Laurie David-Sheryl Crow-Ed Begley, Jr. community in America?
Whips and chains and CFL bulbs.
Read more about the buzzkill called CFL.

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13 Responses

Growing up in downriver area of Detroit, I remember going with my Mom to the electric company to get replacement lightbulbs. All you had to do was turn in the dead ones for free replacements. This was back in the 1950s – the good ol’ days!
Aren’t these new ‘mandated’ bulbs made in China (along with everything else). Could that have something to do with the fascism attached to the new law?

Sioux on February 29, 2008 at 12:59 pm

I guess the question of the day is…
Does the CFL have Richard Gere’s seal of approval? : )

RC Flyer on February 29, 2008 at 1:25 pm

This is..without a doubt…the WORST connection I have ever seen made between anything.
ZOMG THEY SAID ONLY 10% OF AMERICANS OWN LIGHT BULBS THAT IS TOTALLY LIKE SAYING 10% OF AMERICANS ARE GAY
yeah, not.
get a clue.

lolwut on February 29, 2008 at 1:47 pm

“… there’s no easy recycling system.”
And never will be. Nor easy disposal (no, you cannot throw it in any of the usual 3 bins now mandated for trash pickup) At least, not for long. OK, anecdote time –
Mass. passed law that carbonated-beverage cans be sold with a redeemable deposit, thinking this would encourage returns. Supermarkets hurriedly bought machines to read UPC and issue chits (why UPC? so you could not redeem Shaw`s cans at Stop&Shop…). Law still in effect – but where are the redeeming sites? Gone. But surely there are official sites? Uh, no, though an internet search turned up an address within 30 miles of Boston it turned out to be a liquor store that somehow got listed.

John Anderson on February 29, 2008 at 8:02 pm

I am a licensed electrician and I can tell that a three way switch will operate a CFL exactly the same as a regular bulb. They will not operate the same on a dimmer switch. Debbie please look into the way things work, a three way switch does not effect the voltage of a circuit but a dimmer switch does.
I also have several cfls hooked up to 3 way switches in my house and haven’t noticed any difference in performance. The problems you are talking about hint more to wiring problems more then the bulb itself.
One last thing, who uses a 120 watt bulb? holy cow a 100 watt bulb is way to bright. I put the 60 watt replacement size cfls in and my wife thought I was starting a hydroponics lab. 40 watt replacement size is usually more then enough.

bigcrapola on February 29, 2008 at 9:38 pm

In the year 2040 there will be:
1) A mercury “crisis” in America’s landfills caused by the disposal of the government mandated cfl bulb. Congress will spend billions of taxpayer dollars to clean up the mess that was, in fact, created by their very own environmental policies 30 years earlier.
2) A scientific study showing that over exposure to cfl light increases the risk of sterility in minorities (white people). President John Winfrey Obama will veto a bill to futher study the problem.
3) A “Gore Squad” that raids homes in dark of night in search of the evil incandescent bulb. Their symbol, of course, will be the squiggly cfl beneath the profile of Al himself.
Ok, cfl light probably won’t make caucasions go sterile (to the disappointment of many); and we probably won’t have environmental goons breaking down the condo door (despite their fascist like adherence to crisis mongering), but # 1 could very well happen. Our government is (or should be) known for its knee-jerk wastefulness. “The road to hell is paved with good intentions” is a foreign concept to the U.S. Congress (welfare, immigration, etc).
Does anyone know the shelf-life of the incandescent bulb? I’m storing up.

Southernops on March 1, 2008 at 9:52 am

    If the whith man can’t reproduce then we will need to grow more trees for the majority of you monkeys to swing from. Funny how 50% of us minority support the other 50% majority bottom feeders,,,, and you still get to vote!!

    Sorry no time to reproduce.. Got to get back to work so the majority collecting SSI can go to Walmart and buy China crap

    philadelphia cracker on October 29, 2010 at 10:10 am

Good morning
I am writing to ask if your associations or any you may be aware of are working to REVERSE this INSANE CFL Bulb Law. I thought for sure Congressman Poe might have been, but I was mistaken. I have begun a group to gain support to this end. This law must be reversed. It is not an option.
Simple math: 2008 over 4 million bulbs bought in America. Each Bulb contains 5mg of the deadly and extremely dangerous Mercury. With this small amount of purchases, compared to where that number will grow, I believe you will see the answer is simply outrageous. This massive amount of Mercury is posed for our landfills and then into our water. The government and the EPA stance that the energy saving is worth the danger is ludicrous. There are many ways to save energy as well as lower emissions rather than this bulb law. Indulge my little rant here. Last, I read this government was of the people, by the people and for the people. The government has grossly overshot their position on this matter. I know it is not the first time, but as for me, I am tired of letting them get away with what ever they want at the peoples expense. Most people have thrown their hands in the air and allow the government to do as they please, and to this end we find ourselves in the positions we are today.
I aim to see this law Reversed. I am looking to connect with anyone who feels the same. Congress passed this ridiculous law in darkness without informing the people. People had no knowledge of it, so therefore could not make an informed decision and or approve it. People are in the dark to the dangers these bulbs pose for us, our children (both born and unborn), our homes, landfills and our plant. Look in any Chemical Handbook and you will be enlightened about the Dangers of Mercury, there is a reason it is handled with Iron Flasks. This law is sheer lunacy. I know this was long and I am sorry to take your time, but as you may sense, I am passionate about the reversal of this law. How do you feel about it?
If you read this far, I thank you. It is more important than anyone might realize.
Best to you
Karen

liv2learn on February 23, 2009 at 6:07 am

    The law doesn’t specify CFLs, only a more efficient bulb than the incandescent. As opposed to getting rid of the law, ask for tax incentives on LED technology, they are more efficient than incandescents and do not have any dangerous metals. They have been used for lights in electrical circuits for about 30 years now. Their expense comes with them being a new technology, until they become mass produced no one will buy them due to expense unless tax incentives make the price low enough.

    Joe on March 10, 2011 at 12:08 pm

Is this site like the onion cuz this article is so full of idiotic unsupported statements.

joey on November 16, 2009 at 10:03 am

From the article…

That’s a problem for Drey, 74, whose house is about as old as she is. “I have old lamps, so (CFL bulbs) don’t fit everywhere. . . .”

… so based upon the rest of the article I’m left to assume that this woman trying to use CFL bulbs in her house is of a distinct tiny minority who is possibly gay? And you’d take her word for it?

This is one of the most ridiculous posts I’ve ever read on the internet… and I’ve read quite a bit from that Sarah Palin, so that’s saying something.

JimmyStewart on January 13, 2010 at 8:37 am

If you checked your facts you would know…
Thomas Edison was supported BY GENERAL ELECTRIC to make light bulbs when he first invented them.General Electric is updating with the times. The CFL is more efficient and though it has mercury, each bulb for a ten year life span will put less mercury into our landfills than FISH byproduct (of which is only an issue because of industrial runoff in the first place). A recycling system IS ALREADY in place with most large chain stores to handle the mercury waste. If you’re sincerely concerned about the waste as a harmful byproduct, consider the CO2 output of the extra energy consumed by the incandescent for the same amount of light.

Consider this, if we had followed all of Edison’s ideas to begin with, we would be running on an extremely inefficient electrical system in small cities.If you’re going to complain about how they look, you should feel lucky to have light or electricity at all.

Kate on March 10, 2011 at 12:39 am

Using myths, strawmen and outdated facts to complain about becoming energy efficient is lame. Saying that the free market always does the sustainable thing is not supported by historical evidence. To compare placing limits on energy consumption during lamp manufacturing to being forced to live a gay lifestyle is a complete logic FAIL. Non-sequitur much?

Jackson on March 30, 2011 at 12:52 pm

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