Curly Light Bulbs vs. Normal--Who Else Hates the Curly Ones?

@dragon54u (31607)
United States
May 17, 2011 8:20am CST
What a waste of money!! I bought some on sale and tried them in my kitchen lighting and went through 6 of them in one month, they burned out so quickly. This was before I read all the stuff you have to go through to dispose of them if they break--about 3 hours of hazardous waste practices and you are even advised to leave the house for a period of time. That is nothing I want in my home!! I feel kind of bad that I threw those stupid bulbs away in the regular trash. Strange that environmentalists want us to use something that is so toxic. A normal incandescent bulb last me for months while a curly one only lasts a couple of weeks at 10x the cost. And these weren't cheap off-brand curlies, either. Besides that, a normal florescent light goes one and off about 60 times per second or more, I would think that would wear your brain out. Most people can't see it with the normal eyesight but the brain can. Have you had a bad experience with curly lights? Are you stocking up on the incandescent light bulbs in preparation for a total ban on them?
7 people like this
28 responses
@LadyMarissa (12162)
• United States
17 May 11
I have been using CFL's for about 5 years now & I've learned to love them!!! Living alone for most of that time, I don't turn my lights off when leaving home or going to bed so my routine is NOT so obvious & subject to thievery. I have the CFL's in ALL my lighting & I seldom, have to change a bulb. I buy the generic bulbs from Walgreens & Wal*mart. They aren't very expensive & I can get a box of 6 in place of a 1 or 2 pack. Not turning them off & on frequently, I have discovered they last a LOT longer!!! When the times comes to replace a bulb, I just put the old bulb into the box I just took the new one out of & toss it in the trash WITHOUT worrying about it breaking. The 6 pack comes in individual boxes with a cardboard insert to stabilize the bulb. You might want to read... http://www.energystar.gov/ia/partners/promotions/change_light/downloads/Fact_Sheet_Mercury.pdf They claim you save 75% over the incandescent bulbs. If you think about it, our light bulbs don't cost us that much!!! Turn off ALL your lights for an entire month & your electric bill will NOT go down enough to notice. Our computers use a LOT more electricity than our light bulbs do!!! The "save money" angle is another government ploy to get us to do what they want!!! Speaking of which...aren't you concerned that the local police will enter your home just to see what type of light bulb you're using??? When they see an incandescent bulb & find your stash, they might haul you off to jail!!! The above link also explains about the mercury. The mercury that was used in the thermometers we used on our children when they were young was a LOT more than used in these bulbs. They claim the manufacturers are using less & less mercury every day. They have reduced from 4 mg to 1 mg & working to still get it lower. In the 5 years I've been using the CFLs, I have NEVER had one to break nor catch on fire!!! I think I read on Snopes that the email that started that rumor was based on incorrect information. http://www.snopes.com/inboxer/household/cflbulb.asp Now that I've been using them for a while & gotten used to them, I really like them & find the light much easier on my eyes!!!! I've not noticed any flickering until it's almost time to replace one!!!
@dragon54u (31607)
• United States
17 May 11
I'm glad you're happy with CFLs but I just can't get used to them. I didn't get the fire story from an email, it happened to a woman I know personally from another board. You should not be throwing them away, you're putting mercury into the landfill that way. The carton won't protect them when the garbage truck crushes the trash! That means you're exposing the trash people to mercury, too. You're supposed to dispose of them in a special place--which my little city doesn't have.
1 person likes this
@LadyMarissa (12162)
• United States
17 May 11
It took me a while to get used to them, but I knew we were going to be FORCED to; so I started early!!! I guess I've just been lucky I've not had a fire. I worried at first about leaving them on all the time, but have been happy with the results!!! My sleepy little town does good to keep its post office, we sure don't have a disposal station...hence the landfill!!! Of course, now that they're trying to convince us they aren't too dangerous to be used in our homes, they can't play up the don't put them in the trash theory!!!! Personally, I don't think them dangerous or I would NOT be doing it. The stories have changed numerous times since I've started using them & I'll worry when they come up with ONE story & stick to it. I figure that by then, we'll be using the newest technology that will have absolutely NOTHING to do with the CFLs!!!
2 people like this
@suspenseful (40316)
• Canada
19 May 11
I do not know where the disposal place is in my area. I live in a large city that was made from several smaller cities, so it could be all across in the opposite end of the city. If it were close by, and even then with my leg in a cast, I would have to get my friend to take the burnt out lamps there, it might not be close to the store we regularly shop at. If there were a separate trash container at the grocers where you could drop them. But I do wish they would invent a safer substitute and one that everyone could afford.
2 people like this
• United States
18 May 11
I never read the packaging. Oh wow and their almost everywhere here in my trailer. They were already here when I moved in and I also had bought some when they were on sale to keep on hand. I better read the packaging. I can't believe something so hazardous would be made. It's not like we all have hazard suits to put on to change alight bulb.
1 person likes this
@dragon54u (31607)
• United States
18 May 11
The toxins put out by the bulbs are bad if there is no ventilation so be sure you have good air movement until you can replace them, if you want to do so. No, we should not have to use hazardous products like this but it will be mandatory in 2013.
• United States
18 May 11
Do you know what kind of toxins they put out? What kind of illnesses, symptoms, or side effects from them?..I put a bulb in today but used a regular bulb. Maybe I will be stocking up on reg bulbs myself.
1 person likes this
@dragon54u (31607)
• United States
19 May 11
Here's a good article describing the chemicals and toxins in the CFL bulbs: http://www.newser.com/story/116792/compact-fluorescent-lightbulbs-emit-carcinogens-scientists-say.html
• United States
17 May 11
Gosh they looked so pretty and deceived me for some reason that they did not bright up the room although the watts were high. Not only that but none of the ceiling lamp covers fit over them. I have several saved in my pantry because I refuse to use them. Maybe I will donate them because they are of no use to me. Their pretty shapes are so deceiving.
1 person likes this
@dragon54u (31607)
• United States
17 May 11
Yes, they are deceiving. Won't fit the lamps we have and the light is just not right. I tried to get used to it but it's just awful. Better stock up on "normal" bulbs, as the curlies will be mandatory by the end of the year, or so I'm told.
• United States
17 May 11
OMG I did not know this, you right! I will start looking for a bunch of the old ones on sale. Gosh why?
1 person likes this
@dragon54u (31607)
• United States
17 May 11
It's all part of the global warming, "green" crap. Now lotterylover down below this post says it will be against the law to use the old ones! Like Thomas Jefferson said, a little revolution every once in awhile is a good thing. I can feel it coming..
@jdyrj777 (6558)
• United States
19 May 11
I kind of like them because the ones i have bought lasted much longer than regular bulbs. The only yhing i dont like about them is they dont work in touch lamps. But ive heard they are working on that. Another thing i have some lamp shades that clap onto the light bulb. They dont clap so well on the curly bulbs.
1 person likes this
@dragon54u (31607)
• United States
19 May 11
Are your sure about that? I had one in a lamp that I turning into a touch lamp and it worked just fine.
@jdyrj777 (6558)
• United States
19 May 11
I have 3 touch lamps and they dont work in any of them.
1 person likes this
@cerebellum (3871)
• United States
18 May 11
I have only used the curly bulbs in the outside light. I have others, but was waiting until the regular bulbs to burn out. They seem to last me a long time! Maybe I should stock up on incandescent bulbs just in case. I have heard about how toxic the curly bulbs are. I agree that it is strange they are supposed to be better for the environment. A friend of mine has them in her lights and they give off a wierd glow. It seems they are dimmer than the regular bulbs. I have a lot of light fixtures that need special size bulbs, and as far as I know the new bulbs don't come in different sizes or watts. One of the lamps I always use is a 3 way and I haven't seen them either. When there is a ban on incandescent bulbs will that include special bulbs?
1 person likes this
@dragon54u (31607)
• United States
18 May 11
They do have 3 way CFL bulbs, I have one in the lamp I have on right now. It's strange, the curly ones burn out quickly for me but I've had this CFL that is rectangular and comes with a special plug for a lamp's socket for about 2 years! It and the same kind that I have in another 3-way lamp are the only ones in the house that have lasted any length of time. When the light is directed up with a shade around it, I don't mind CFL light. But in lamps it is just harsh and hard to read by. I don't know if the ban will include 3 way bulbs or special socket bulbs like the ones in my chandelier but I'll bet it will.
@ra1787 (501)
• Italy
18 May 11
5 mg of mercury are not so toxic.. And only a fraction of that gets dispersed if you break the lamp. Anyway at least in the EU special purpose lamp will not be banned.
@ra1787 (501)
• Italy
18 May 11
I have been using cfl lamps in some parts of the house for 5 years and only one stopped working after a year. I don't think that they can be universally used becuase they are not ok for some applications, particularly when they have to be powercycled freqently (ie corridors). I believe that you either have bought all lamps of the same damaged lot, or that you have some electrical problem, maybe you live in a rural place where the voltage spikes and fries the electronics of the lamps. Have you had other problems? have you tried to dimmer the lamps? I ususally buy philips lamps at 3-5€ each, and as i have said i have not found great problems. As for the precautions for the hazardous materials, they sure are necessary but do not overreact, a lamp usually contains from 1 to 3 milligrams of mercury, and the safety limit in the united states is something like 0.1 milligrams/m³, so even if you don't open the windows and all the mercury gets volatilized, it is likely that if the room is bigger than 10m² (with 3m ceiling) you will not reach the safety limits for workers. Good precautions are open the windows immediately and then throw what's left of the bulb away, mop the floor, and throw away any food that was present in the room when the lamp broke. Halogen lamps are definetely better aesthetically speaking but consume 4 times the energy of a cfl, and 20-30% less than a traditional incandescent bulb. So i advise to use them only when the lamps are not on for a long time like bathrooms and corridors.
1 person likes this
@dragon54u (31607)
• United States
18 May 11
Halogen scares me, the bulbs get so very hot and I think they are a fire hazard. I just hate the quality of light the CFL bulbs give out--harsh, stark lighting that is blinding in the evening and night and very difficult for me to read by.
@ra1787 (501)
• Italy
18 May 11
There are many different kinds of cfl lamps, you probably are using the wrong kind of lamp, as for the light temperature there are different choices to be made. You have to choose the right lamp, and i think that you'll be ok with cfl's. As for the halogen fire hazard if the lamp is properly installed there should be no risk involved. The casing of the lamp should be made of a non-flammable material.
@uath13 (8207)
• United States
17 May 11
I don't care for them myself. My wife got a few & they haven't really worked any better than the regular ones even though they cost a lot more. Some of them even took on a pinkish glare as they got older which I hated. I'm switching back to regular bulbs as the curley ones burn out.
1 person likes this
@dragon54u (31607)
• United States
17 May 11
Better stock up! Or maybe not...someone here said that they'll be illegal after the first of next year.
@uath13 (8207)
• United States
17 May 11
Preposterous conspiricism.
1 person likes this
@debrakcarey (19924)
• United States
17 May 11
Same experience, plus I found this about florestent light: http://www.ktradionetwork.com/health/concerns-over-compact-fluorescent-lights-and-health/ Seems they can trigger migraines in sensitive people, damage the eye even further for those with retinal damage, some photo sensitive epileptics may have seizures if exposed. The propaganda is out there telling us it is safe and no worries. But I trust Kevin Trudeau, he's fought with the government over alternative healthcare practices before. They forced him to give back money he made from selling coral calcium said he made false health claims for it and guess what, the money sent back to consumers...90% sent it back to HIM.
1 person likes this
@dragon54u (31607)
• United States
17 May 11
Darn, I can't read the site--it has one of those annoying overlays that want you to put your name, address, etc. and it won't go away. I'm not surprised they can damage eyes and cause migraines, though. And I hear it will be illegal to have normal bulbs after the end of this year. (sorry to see a couple of your interesting discussions are gone. I guess the subject matter wasn't to someone's taste...)
@debrakcarey (19924)
• United States
20 May 11
I guess you have to be a subscriber. If copy paste wasn't a no no, I'd share it with you. I have only had responses deleted due to discussion being deleted. And THAT was a shame too. My friend was upset his ratings went down and ventured to say why he thought they had. DELETED. So far, my discussions have stuck. Where's the icon for fingers crossed?
• United States
17 May 11
Oh yes. I hate those too. I never experieced their short longevity, but I have old lamp shades and they don't fit those type of bulbs! Such a pain!
1 person likes this
@dragon54u (31607)
• United States
17 May 11
I actually bent a lamp harp to fit the darn thing and it burned out in 2 weeks! The only place I really use them now is in two torchiere lamps I have where the light is directed upward. They are rectangular, nice and bright but tempered by the lampshade. That's the only place I use them and after reading how hazardous they are I'll stop when these burn out. I know a woman on another board who smelled something strange and noticed her lamp--which was turned off--was smoking. The curly bulb was on fire!
• United States
19 May 11
Yikes! It started smoking?1 How is that possible with no electricity going to it? That is kind of eerie. I'm staying away from these light bulbs. They're annoying and apparently quite dangerous!
• United States
10 Jul 11
well..they actually seem dimmer to me..but as far as longevity,i've had good luck with them.the bigger problem tho is if they ban the old type,i'll have to buy many new sconces..they don't fix in a lot of the older enclosed type.
1 person likes this
@dragon54u (31607)
• United States
10 Jul 11
That's one of the things that really makes me mad--they come out with a new product that doesn't integrate with things that we already have and they don't care if we have to go to the expense of replacing them in order to use the new product. They think we're made of money. I've only got about 50 incandescent bulbs so I'm going to stockpile some more before the end of the year. The light from the new bulbs lights up the room very harshly if they are in a lamp with no shade but if I use them in a lamp with a shade (who the heck wants a bare bulb?!) I can't read very well and my eyes start to ache very soon.
@aeiou78 (3457)
• Malaysia
8 Jun 11
First of all, you should purchase a good brand bulb. Normally, you can find the specifications on the relevant light bulbs you purchase. For Philip brand incandescent light bulb at my place can last for 1000 hours. For energy saving bulb, it can last for 6000 hours and save 80% of energy. From my understanding, the energy saving bulbs or the curly bulbs can create radiation when they are used. Because of these advantages, many end users prefer to purchase the the energy bulb. As what I can recall, the price of the incandescent bulb and the energy saving bulb are about the same at the beginning. Due to the popularity of the energy saving bulbs or the curly bulbs, their price has sharply gone up by comparing to the incandescent bulbs.
1 person likes this
@dragon54u (31607)
• United States
8 Jun 11
They are not affordable for many of us, including me. I only bought the ones I had when they were on sale and I still paid more than for regular bulbs. I'm stocking up on incandescent bulbs.
@ElicBxn (60763)
• United States
8 Jun 11
I agree that the ecoterroists seem strange to want something so hazardous in our homes, but there we are... However, I have used them and to me they last a good long time - I'm wondering if there isn't something in your electrical system that's frying them... I hate to suggest you get an electrician to check it, but it might be an idea to make sure your wiring is all safe to prevent a fire.
1 person likes this
@dragon54u (31607)
• United States
8 Jun 11
You may be right about the wiring, it's very old. My house was built in 1923 and very little has been done to modernize it. Ecoterrorists--very accurate description!
• India
26 May 11
We no more use the incandescent bulbs, the fluroscent tube lights are also gone, we use the CFL bulbs these days, they consume very low power compared to others, though the initial cost is high, they carry replacement warrany of one year.. Thanks for sharing God bless you, have a nice day ahead. Professor ‘Bhuwan’.
1 person likes this
@dragon54u (31607)
• United States
26 May 11
I didn't know until recently that these bulbs had a warranty so I'll feel better about using them now. I still don't like them, the light is too harsh, but I do prefer them in my kitchen if they would just last more than a couple of months! I'm all for saving energy but it has to be cost effective. Next time one burns out I'll take advantage of the warranty and be careful not to buy any without a warranty.
@KrauseHome (34983)
• United States
24 May 11
Well, when we moved into this home going on almost 2 yrs. now there were a lot of light bulbs that ended up needing replacing. We ended up thinking these type of bulbs that are supposed to save energy would be the best. Problem is even if they seem to last here, is they are not as bright. But we still are using mostly the same ones, so we have not had the same experience as you, but to say they are worth it? It has yet to be shown.
1 person likes this
@dragon54u (31607)
• United States
24 May 11
Have you heard about the new LED bulbs that will cost $50?! They'd better save a LOT of energy for that price! I really think the curlies are overblown. I hate their harsh light and their price!
• United States
18 May 11
We have a couple left that our then roommate had bought but we don't buy or like the silly things. The light hurts my eyes so we use them in the stairwell between the apartments, where they do burn out entirely too quickly. Insofar as the environmental krappe, I see that in the same light as 'health food'. In translates to 'freedom to gouge unmercifully' by manufacturers of the products involved..Enjoy!
1 person likes this
@dragon54u (31607)
• United States
19 May 11
That's another of my pet peeves, health food. They avoid the expense of using pesticides so they charge us more?! I've seen a lot of health foodies who are sick all the time, or think they are. I'm glad it's not just me who gets bulbs burning out too quickly. Stock up on the good bulbs, they'll be banned next year.
@elmiko (6640)
• United States
18 May 11
i like the curly lights i bought as they are suppose to save 40% more power and they are guaranteed to last at least 7 years. mine have been working over 3 years now. the curly lights are suppose to last alot longer like mine from what i've heard. i don't know if you got a bad batch or they are just poor quality. i don't see the point of stocking up on incandescent lights bulbs since they use more power and and quit working faster. i think they should be banned totally.
1 person likes this
@dragon54u (31607)
• United States
18 May 11
I intensely dislike the harsh light provided by the curly bulbs and I also don't like the expense. Some say it's justified as they last long but for me, they only last a matter of weeks. And they emit harmful carcinogens while in use, say some German scientists in an article I read this morning. I don't think anything should be banned, I think the market should be allowed to decide what is used. If people like a product they will buy that more than another. If the government wants to encourage people to use a product it should give the public incentives to do so in the form of competitive (NOT subsidized) pricing and better quality. Once the government begins telling us what products to use it won't be long until they are dictating every action we take.
@derek_a (10902)
18 May 11
I have had some of the experiences with these "green" lightbulbs that are not really green at all in my opinion. I am now in the process of changing my light-fitting to lights that take the hallogen (small) light bulbs that are non-hazardous and just as green and will work far better. OK, they all burn out eventually, but I have not found the curly ones last much longer and take so long to light up a room.. _Derek
1 person likes this
@dragon54u (31607)
• United States
18 May 11
I read this morning that the curlies release some very harmful chemicals while they are being used. Halogen is very harsh light but great for reading. But they get so hot, they make me afraid of fire. If they would make a cool-burning halogen I might consider them. I hear they're coming out with an LED bulb but it will cost $50, well beyond the reach of most people.
• Pamplona, Spain
18 May 11
Hiya dragon, Same here too those awful light bulbs have blown within three weeks everytime and also we have been using them very little. I think it depends on who makes them I got fed up of paying through the nose for them and them lasting such a short time. I suppose in places like England and where you are there are reliable brands but you don´t know which one is reliable until you have spent more on them than you would on your Electric Bill anyway. At the moment they have got rid of most of the "curly ones" here and have replaced the old fashioned ones with another kind that look the same as the old ones but are supposed to be better than the others. Really I don´t know who to believe any more as I wish we could make do with ordinary Daylight would that put them out of business. Just hope that solar panels become such an everyday thing in our lives soon that the Electric Companies can say ta ta to their Highway Robberies plan. Suppose that they are making Hay while the Sun Shines but I don´t plan to make them rich if I can help it. I lived through the nearly 4 months of Power cuts in the U.K. and although it´s a bind to be without Power you learn to appreciate it when it is on. Although of course none of the Government went without power that I know of (grin). So at the moment I am using the old fashioned look alike but none alike light Bulbs most of the others just blow on you the first or second time you switch them on. Again I really don´t want to bother my head all Day long about things like that I really try hard enough already and most others don´t they still throw the Rubbish in the wrong places too. Feel like giving up? In England disposal of Rubbish has become like a nightmare situation from what they tell me too so I don´t know what they do with those light bulbs either. Take care now and have a great Week.xxx
1 person likes this
@dragon54u (31607)
• United States
18 May 11
I wish we could power everything with solar panels, too. It would be cheaper, quieter, cleaner and less expensive in the long run. But have you seen how much a panel costs?! I'm seriously considering candlelight or early bedtime when they ban ordinary bulbs in 2013 here in the U.S. and make it a crime to use them.
• United States
18 May 11
Not sure what is wrong with your curly light bulbs, mine tend to last extremely longer than the normal bulbs. Maybe it has something to do with the power output in your house lol? I have no idea..
1 person likes this
@dragon54u (31607)
• United States
18 May 11
Well, when I think about it you may be right. My house was built in 1923 and has had little updating done to it, although I seem to recall the previous owner citing some electrical work when he moved in a dozen years ago. I don't like the type of light, though, regardless of the reason they burn out. And they release harmful chemical while they are in use, as I citing in a response above.
@bellis716 (4806)
• United States
18 May 11
I've not had any problems with the new bulbs, but my husband hates them. That is mainly because it takes a little while for them to each maxium brightness. He has no patience.
1 person likes this
@dragon54u (31607)
• United States
18 May 11
I don't mind the brief warm-up period, it's just the horrible harsh light that I hate. And the price, I really can't afford to pay that for a light bulb that doesn't last as long as conventional bulbs.