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n2doc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 06:21 AM
Original message
Mercury in new light bulbs not being recycled, escaping to environment
By Suzanne Bohan
Contra Costa Times
Posted: 04/03/2011 12:00:00 AM PDT

The nation's accelerating shift from incandescent bulbs to a new generation of energy-efficient lighting is raising an environmental concern -- the release of tons of mercury every year.

The most popular new light -- the curly cue, compact fluorescent light bulbs, or CFLs -- account for a quarter of new bulb sales and each contains up to 5 milligrams of mercury, a potent neurotoxin that's on the worst-offending list of environmental contaminants.

Demand for the bulbs is growing as federal and state mandates for energy-efficient lighting take effect, yet only about 2 percent of residential consumers and one-third of businesses recycle them, according to the Association of Lighting and Mercury Recyclers.

"If the recycling rate remains as abysmally low as it is, then there will certainly be more mercury released into the environment," said Paul Abernathy, executive director of the Napa-based recycling association. "Until the public really has some kind of convenient way to take them back, it's going to be an issue."

more
http://www.insidebayarea.com/top-stories/ci_17760136
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Tesha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 06:31 AM
Response to Original message
1. How hard is it to take them and dump them in the bin at Home Depot, Lowes, etc?
Edited on Mon Apr-04-11 06:34 AM by Tesha
While I'm sure this commercial recycling business wants
to promote recycling, maybe the real problem is that not
enough of the recycled goods are flowing to their member
companies?

Tesha

P.S.: Even if the entire mercury load in a CFL is released into
the environment, if the electricity to power that CFL during its
lifetime came from coal, that CFL prevented the emission of
several times as much mercury as the CFL contained.
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Nihil Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 07:04 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. If it requires thought and/or effort then it's "too hard" for them.
As the OP article commented:
>> "Until the public really has some kind of convenient way to take them back,
>> it's going to be an issue."

Taking the dead bulb back to the place where you buy its replacement is
just "too hard" for some people ...

F*cking morons.

Your point about the "mercury in a CFL" vs "mercury avoided by a CFL" is
simply too factual for the whinging bastards who just want any excuse to
avoid doing the right thing.
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dkf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 07:33 AM
Response to Reply #2
3. I don't remember seeing anything asking us to recycle these.
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MineralMan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 08:22 AM
Response to Reply #3
7. Read the label on the package. It's on there.
Seriously.
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dkf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 08:53 AM
Response to Reply #7
8. In small print perhaps?
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MineralMan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 09:16 AM
Response to Reply #8
9. Actually, no. I'm looking right now at a package of four
CFL bulbs - a bargain store brand from my local grocery store. On three sides of the packaging are notices about the mercury content and a warning that they must be disposed of in accordance with applicable laws. All are in type of a size larger than other text on the package. One is quite large, and in a contrasting color with the rest of the packaging. Of course, a guy would have to actually look at the package to see the notices.

In addition, there have been several mailings by my city, my garbage collection company, and by the state of Minnesota to my home, informing me that these lamps must be disposed of in approved ways, due to the mercury content.

So, no, they aren't hiding the information. Not at all.
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RC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 09:29 AM
Response to Reply #9
10. And they never, ever say what is an approved method.
I don't remember seeing any CFL recycle bins at any place that sell CFLs.
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MineralMan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 09:39 AM
Response to Reply #10
11. The laws for disposal vary widely from jurisdiction to jurisdiction.
Product labeling has to take that into consideration. There's a bin at my local Ace Hardware store, another at the Home Depot, and one at the Menard's store near me. Those are the ones I know of in places I go. I imagine that varies, too.
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Tesha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 09:44 AM
Response to Reply #10
13. As I mentioned, the bins are right at the entrance to Home Depot.
I think they're in the same place at Lowes.

I expect IKEA takes them back as well; I'll pay
attention the next time I'm there.

Tesha
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dkf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 09:58 AM
Response to Reply #13
16. I buy mine from Costco and I've certainly never seen one there.
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truedelphi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 11:48 PM
Response to Reply #13
42. Gee, that's great.
For some of us, we visit IKEA, Lowes, Home Depot, etc like NEVER.

From where I live, any of those places would be a forty mile drive.
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Tesha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-05-11 08:33 AM
Response to Reply #42
46. Gosh your life must be tough!
Somehow I suspect you *COULD* find a recycling point
within 40 miles if it were worth it to you.

But I guess it isn't.

Tesha
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truedelphi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-05-11 01:21 PM
Response to Reply #46
47. I was told by the "experts" on this issue


Some ten years ago, that the bulbs were containing so lil mercury that no one using them needs to worry.

Many of us on this particular advisory board were so astounded by this information that we resolved NEVER to switch to them.

And I haven''t. Until just few weeks back. And none have burned out so far. So so far, it's been irrelevant that there is or isn't a recycling facility that may or may not take them.

But my guess (FWIW) is that since we can put a man on the moon, and we can fight three wars at once, is that if the Powers that Be really wanted to make a light bulb that did not contain any mercury and still offered tremendous savings in energy, then they would.

But as someone who has studied for twenty years the policies of the Lords of Industry, often the very reason products contain toxins like mercury is that it is a convenient way for the Industrial Powers that Be to offload the toxins.

Rather than put the mercury they should be sending to a Super Fund site, and pay charges for, they simply put it in some disposable item for us consumers to use.

Was it more than coincidence that these light bulbs with mercury came about at the SAME TIME that the local citizens' groups were mandating that hospitals and drs offices no longer use mercury containing thermometers.



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Tesha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-05-11 01:41 PM
Response to Reply #47
48. You should seek help. Seriously.
It *ISN'T* because "industry needs to offload its toxins"
that essentially all sealed electric arc lamps for the past
century or so have contained mercury. They contain mercury
because mercury works very well in helping to make an
electric arc easy to create and glow brightly once created.

Important hint: there were plenty of fluorescent lamps
manufactured before mercury was phased-out from
thermometers. And there are at least three other kinds
of lamps based on mercury vapor, all of which also pre-
date the phase out of mercury thermometers.

Tesha
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truedelphi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-05-11 01:46 PM
Response to Reply #48
49. I guess it is really and truly sad when those of us who ask important questions are told
To seek help.

How rude is that.

More over it is SAD.


Well although I could point to a resume containing thirty seven published articles (three of which went viral) on the web, due to my incessant need to ask questions, answer questions and publish the answers, I will say this

"I don't mourn. I organize."



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kristopher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-05-11 05:20 PM
Response to Reply #49
50. Is Michelle Bachmann your muse?
"Bachmann introduced the Light Bulb Freedom of Choice Act, to repeal the ban on conventional light bulbs in favor of compact fluorescent light bulbs arguing, "Fluorescent bulbs are more polluting because of their mercury content."<39> The National Electrical Manufacturers Association responded that the reduced energy consumption of fluorescent bulbs typically results in a significant overall reduction of overall mercury emissions due to the reduction in coal burning at power stations, as well as a reduction of greenhouse gas emission"
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michele_Bachmann#Incandesc...
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truedelphi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-05-11 08:49 PM
Response to Reply #50
51. That's not what I said. Not even close.
For the record, I have repeatedly said that there are probably ways to make a decent, energy saving light bulb that has no mercury -- but our nation has chosen to spend its research money on war weaponry and more war weaponry, rather than helpful everyday items that would use less energy and be non-toxic to boot.

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dkf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 10:00 AM
Response to Reply #9
17. I do remember seeing that on the package but I had no idea what I was supposed to do with it.
That is a pretty pathetic way to inform the public.
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MineralMan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 12:40 PM
Response to Reply #17
23. Yes, well...
Edited on Mon Apr-04-11 12:44 PM by MineralMan
I did a Google search for cfl disposal Saint Paul (substitute your own locality), and got some very nice results, including a list of places I could drop them off in the city of Saint Paul.

With today's easy search capabilities, finding the information is easy. The warning copy on the packaging caused me to find out, since I don't want to add mercury to the environment. It took me all of one minute to get all the information I needed. Did you suppose that the packaging would include a list of all the places you could take your bulb for proper disposal? Really?

Now, I think that any place that sells them should be required to offer proper disposal, but that isn't in effect, so I looked to find out, so I could do as the package said and dispose of them correctly. You can do as you wish.
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dkf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 01:08 PM
Response to Reply #23
29. All I remember thinking at the time was maybe I would have to figure something out when I needed to
Trash it. But by that time I am sure I would have forgotten the whole thing. Aren't those bulbs supposed to last a really long time too?
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truedelphi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 11:46 PM
Response to Reply #3
41. I hear you. In fact, when the bulbs first came out, those of us who asked
Edited on Mon Apr-04-11 11:46 PM by truedelphi
about this were told repeatedly, that the amount of mercury "was negligible, and was too small to worry about." No one talking up these bulbs has ever mentioned in any of the promotions pieces I have read about how they need to be re-cycled properly.

On account of that nonsensical stance, our household has held off on purchasing any of these so called "environmental" bulbs until about six weeks ago. Finally, they are all that was available at the couple of places where we tried to buy light bulbs. Spouse and I both agreed that there was no alternative, unless we went back to candles.

And of course, a lot of the reason that products contain huge environmental "no No's" like mercury is than it is cheaper for Big Industry to offload their toxins on us the consumers, rather than actually deal with the toxins by putting them in a container and paying the fee at the Super Fund sites.

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One_Life_To_Give Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 07:39 AM
Response to Reply #1
4. Where is the Bin??
Once I saw a bin for CFL's at a local Walmart. Havn't seen them elsewhere, nor a sustained presence of one at the former. On perhaps one day a year for 2 or 3 hr's the town will take them.
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Tesha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 09:52 AM
Response to Reply #4
14. At Home Depot, it's right by the Product Returns stand as you enter the store.
There's one bin for CFLs and another bin for NiCd batteries.
I've also seen 4-foot fluorescent tubes standing up next to the
bins so HD doesn't seem to be too "choosy".

My city's landfill also takes them back (along with any other
mercury product) during ordinary business hours.

Tesha
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lfairban Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 07:56 AM
Response to Original message
5. Do them like pop bottles.
Long ago, pop came in glass bottles rather than plastic, and you paid a deposit on each bottle that was refunded when you returned the bottle to the grocery. Later development of disposable containers lead to the convenience marketing phrase, "No deposit, No return". The shear volume of these disposables created the need for recycling, so the phrase should have been, "No Deposit, Recycle!", but that never would have caught on.
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lumpy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 08:09 AM
Response to Original message
6. I had no idea the bulbs contain mercury otherwise I'd be
recycling them. Somehow the word didn't get out about that.
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Nihil Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-05-11 07:48 AM
Response to Reply #6
45. Wow ... how did you manage that?
You managed to find out enough about CFLs to persuade you to use them
but somehow you also managed to filter out all of the dipshits who
scream about "teh merkury kontent" every chance they get?

You lucky bastard ... you lucky, lucky bastard ...

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txlibdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 09:43 AM
Response to Original message
12. LED light bulbs are superior to CFLs in every way...
except cost. By 2012, LED light bulbs will be in mass production by GE, Sylvania, Philips, Sanyo and NEC just to name a few. While their cost appears high today it will come down rapidly as mass production ramps up for these LED light bulbs. Philips' LED bulb is already on the market and is $40 and the light level is identical to a 60-watt incandescent bulb (800 Lumens) yet only uses around 12 watts.

I did a comparison of the cost between that bulb and a "standard" 60-watt bulb to see if it's even worth it to spend $40 on a light bulb.

The incandescent costs $1 and lasts 2,000 hours, Philips' LED bulb costs $40 and lasts 25,000 hours. Simple math tells you that you will need to replace the incandescent 12.5 times during the lifetime of this single LED bulb.
= Incandescent, $12.50
= LED, $40

Now you've got to figure the cost of electricity to power them. I pay 11.9 cents per kilowatt hour so I'll use that as my measure. Since we're comparing the two types of bulbs we use 25,000 hours to find the total.
= Incandescent, 60 watts X 25,000 hrs = 1,500,000 watt hours, divided by 1000 = 1,500 kilowatt hours, X $.119 = $178.50
= LED, 12 watts X 25,000 hrs = 300,000 watt hours, divided by 1000 = 300 kilowatt hours, X $.119 = $35.70

So the total cost:
Incandescent = $191
LED = $75.70

It's not expensive electricity, it's the wasteful incandescent bulb. Even if you pay 8 cents a kilowatt hour:
Incandescent, 1500 kWh X $.08 = $120 + $12.50 = $132.50
LED, 300 kWh X $.08 = $24 + $40 = $64

It is time to start switching your light bulbs, as they burn out, with LED bulbs. Bulb replacement one by one will not break the bank (hopefully) and will save you double in the long run.

http://www.amazon.com/Philips-AmbientLED-Dimmable-A19-B...

NOTE: not all LED light bulbs are created equal. Check the Lumens output of the LED bulb to make sure it is a true replacement:
40 watt bulb = 400 Lumens
60 watt bulb = 800 Lumens
100 watt bulb = 1600 Lumens

PS, make sure the LED bulb says it's "dimmable" or you cannot use it with a dimmer switch -voids the warranty and may burn it out.
Example: http://www.amazon.com/Dimmable-LED-Replacement-Recess-L...

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lfairban Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 09:53 AM
Response to Reply #12
15. What about CFLs?
CFLs were in your subject line, but you failed to mention them in the comparison that followed. There, you compared LEDs to incandescents. I have purchased several LED bulbs, and they are not as easily substituted as CFLs. While they work well in some places, the totally different dispersion pattern make them inappropriate for other applications.

It is not simple math.
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Tesha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 10:10 AM
Response to Reply #15
18. In round numbers, CFLs and LEDs are roughly equally efficient.
LEDs *SHOULD* last a lot longer than CFLs but it's
all a question of how well the heat is removed from the
LED chips.

Color/quality of light-wise, some LED lamps are better
some some CFLs and vice-versa.

Ecologically-speaking, I think the jury's still out; *MY
GOODNESS* there's a lot of aluminum in the heat sink
of every LED lamp; I hope *THAT* gets recycled when
the lamp dies!

Tesha
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OKIsItJustMe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 10:26 AM
Response to Reply #18
20. Yeah, current LED's have their own problems
Edited on Mon Apr-04-11 10:26 AM by OKIsItJustMe
http://www.universityofcalifornia.edu/news/article/2496...

LED products contain toxic metals, study finds

Date: 2011-02-10
Contact: Janet Wilson
Phone: (949) 824-3969
Email: janethw@uci.edu

IRVINE Those light-emitting diodes marketed as safe, environmentally preferable alternatives to traditional lightbulbs actually contain lead, arsenic and a dozen other potentially hazardous substances, according to newly published research.

"LEDs are touted as the next generation of lighting. But as we try to find better products that do not deplete energy resources or contribute to global warming, we have to be vigilant about the toxicity hazards of those marketed as replacements," said Oladele Ogunseitan, chair of UC Irvine's Department of Population Health & Disease Prevention.

He and fellow scientists at UC Irvine and UC Davis crunched, leached and measured the tiny, multicolored lightbulbs sold in Christmas strands; red, yellow and green traffic lights; and automobile headlights and brake lights. Their findings? Low-intensity red lights contained up to eight times the amount of lead allowed under California law, but in general, high-intensity, brighter bulbs had more contaminants than lower ones. White bulbs had the least lead, but contained high amounts of nickel.

"We find the low-intensity red LEDs exhibit significant cancer and noncancer potentials due to the high content of arsenic and lead," the team wrote in the January 2011 issue of Environmental Science & Technology, referring to the holiday lights. Results from the larger lighting products will be published later, but according to Ogunseitan, "it's more of the same."

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Tesha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 11:49 AM
Response to Reply #20
22. Lead? Not so much, mostly thanks to the Europeans.
The European RoHS ("Rohas" -- Restriction of Hazardous Substances)
directive has caused the electronics industry to work quite hard to
phase-out most lead. In theory, the directive is only local in scope
but the electronics market is really a worldwide market and it's
becoming less and less practical to use a restricted substance
anywhere in the world.

Arsenic, though, is a fundamental constuent element for some
colors of LEDs.

Tesha
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OKIsItJustMe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 12:44 PM
Response to Reply #22
24. I only know what the press release tells me
Edited on Mon Apr-04-11 12:49 PM by OKIsItJustMe


He cites LEDs as a perfect example of the need to mandate product replacement testing. The diodes are widely hailed as safer than compact fluorescent bulbs, which contain dangerous mercury. But, he said, they weren't properly tested before being marketed as the preferred alternative to inefficient incandescent bulbs, now being phased out under California law. A long-planned state regulation originally set to take effect Jan. 1 would have required advance testing of such replacement products. But it was opposed by industry groups, a less stringent version was substituted, and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger placed the law on hold days before he left office.

"I'm frustrated, but the work continues," said Ogunseitan, a member of the state Department of Toxic Substances Control's Green Ribbon Science Panel. He said makers of LEDs and other items could easily reduce chemical concentrations or redesign them with truly safer materials. "Every day we don't have a law that says you cannot replace an unsafe product with another unsafe product, we're putting people's lives at risk," he said. "And it's a preventable risk."



The original article is here: http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/es101052q

I suggest you contact Ogunseitan.
http://socialecology.uci.edu/faculty/oaogunse/
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One_Life_To_Give Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 01:22 PM
Response to Reply #24
30. Cal RoHS bans Lead and many other substances from
Cal RoHS bans Lead and many other substances from consumer electronics and many other classes of products.
http://www.dtsc.ca.gov/HazardousWaste/RoHS.cfm

Health and Safety Code sections 25214.9-25214.10.2

Technically compliance is only required in California. But for most consumer electronics it doesn't make sense to build and distribute separate versions, one for CA and one for the rest of North America.

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txlibdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 01:06 PM
Response to Reply #15
27. As with all bulbs, some are spot and some are flood
I think that's what you mean when you say "dispersion pattern." It sounds like you might have purchased the wrong kind of light bulb for that application.

If you check out the links in the post you replied to you will find that one of the LED bulbs is for a lamp and the other is for a ceiling can light. Two totally different things, and for which they make two totally different bulb types no matter the technology (incandescent, CFL or LED). And ceiling lights can be flood or spot as well so you have to check the angle of the bulb.

Remember that Capitalism forces you to become an expert before you make a purchase decision --the "gubmint" isn't going to protect you so you have to learn it all yourself or the corporations will be free to fleece you at will. Yay, Capitalism! But that's another topic entirely...

Compare these two for instance:
http://www.amazon.com/Dimmable-LED-Replacement-Recess-L...
http://www.amazon.com/Philips-AmbientLED-11-Watt-Medium...
...note the typo in the first item, says 8000 Lumens but has to be 800 as I'm pretty sure 8000 Lumens would blind you instantly. :-)

PS, so with LED bulbs you have to compare:
+Watts
+Lumens
+Color Temperature
+I guess I should also say color since LEDs can come in all colors, even UV (unlike CFL or incandescent bulbs)
+Beam Angle
+Lifetime
+and finally, Price
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OKIsItJustMe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 10:21 AM
Response to Original message
19. EPARecycling and Disposal After a CFL Burns Out
Edited on Mon Apr-04-11 10:38 AM by OKIsItJustMe
http://www.epa.gov/cfl/cflrecycling.html

Recycling and Disposal After a CFL Burns Out

EPA recommends that consumers take advantage of available local options for recycling CFLs, other fluorescent bulbs and all household hazardous wastes rather than disposing of them in regular household trash.

View information about CFL recycling and disposal requirements specifically for businesses.

Why is Recycling CFLs Important?

  • Recycling prevents the release of mercury into the environment. CFLs and other fluorescent bulbs often break when thrown into a dumpster, trash can or compactor, or when they end up in a landfill or incinerator. Learn more about CFLs and mercury.
  • Other materials in the bulbs get reused. Recycling CFLs and other fluorescent bulbs allows the reuse of the glass, metals and other materials that make up fluorescent lights. Virtually all components of a fluorescent bulb can be recycled.
  • Your area may require recycling. Some states and local jurisdictions have more stringent regulations than U.S. EPA does, and may require that you recycle CFLs and other mercury-containing light bulbs. California, Maine, New Hampshire, Minnesota, Vermont and Massachusetts, for example, all prohibit mercury-containing lamps from being discarded into landfills. Visit Earth911.com to contact your local waste collection agency, which can tell you if such requirement exists in your state or locality.

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OKIsItJustMe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 10:30 AM
Response to Original message
21. EPACleaning Up a Broken CFL
http://www.epa.gov/cfl/cflcleanup.html

Cleaning Up a Broken CFL

What to Do if a Compact Fluorescent Light (CFL) Bulb or Fluorescent Tube Light Bulb Breaks in Your Home: Overview

Fluorescent light bulbs contain a small amount of mercury sealed within the glass tubing. When a fluorescent bulb breaks in your home, some of this mercury is released as mercury vapor. The broken bulb can continue to release mercury vapor until it is cleaned up and removed from the residence. To minimize exposure to mercury vapor, EPA recommends that residents follow the cleanup and disposal steps described below.

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txlibdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 12:46 PM
Response to Reply #21
25. CFL cleanup sounds damn scary to me: mercury vapor could be in air for several hours
per the link you provided. "Step 1. Make sure all the people and pets leave the room." So who's going to clean up the poisonous mercury???

Other problems with CFL bulbs:
--they take up to a minute or more to reach full brightness
--they cannot be used in dimmer switches (they will burn out in months rather than years)
--they do not last as long as the manufacturers claim
--unless you buy the most expensive ones, they do not output the same amount of light as an incandescent or LED of same rating
--they give off a yellowish light that does not match the light quality we expect
--some CFLs will flicker, some people notice it but if it doesn't bother you then this is a minor one

I'll stick with the LED bulbs and make sure I properly dispose of them when they (eventually) burn out.

But feel free to pick your poison, folks. I just provide information so you can decide.
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OKIsItJustMe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 12:57 PM
Response to Reply #25
26. I have to say, your experience does not compare with mine
Edited on Mon Apr-04-11 01:03 PM by OKIsItJustMe
Some bulbs take a while to get to full brightness. Newer bulbs tend not to, and (frankly) I don't mind a light that warms up.
http://www.google.com/search?q=instant+on+cfl

Dimmable CFL's (http://www.google.com/search?q=dimmable+cfl ) can be used with dimmer switches. (Weve had one at the top of the stairs for years.) The others say right on the packaging that you cannot use them with dimmers.

In my experience, CFLs have a very long life. Ive had to replace a few over the years (in our most often used lights.)

Different CFLs give off different qualities of light.
http://www.popularmechanics.com/home/reviews/news/42151...
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txlibdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 01:54 PM
Response to Reply #26
31. Your 2nd link echoes the same thing I said in my last post
But like I said, pick your poison. If you like CFL bulbs then go ahead and buy them. I just won't be buying any more, myself, I'll be buying LED bulbs only.

LED bulbs have their own Energy Star certification http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=ssl.pr_residentia...
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OKIsItJustMe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 02:01 PM
Response to Reply #31
32. Sure, and CFLs have an energy star certification
http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?fuseaction=find_a_p...

I have little against LEDs. However, youve created a straw man argument against CFLs.

As for the 2nd link. That was a link to CFLs which are designed for use with dimmers. They work just fine!
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txlibdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 02:55 PM
Response to Reply #32
35. That link showed that they do not put out the same Lumens nor the same light color as claimed
Another down side to CFLs = you can't turn them on and off: http://news.consumerreports.org/home/2007/10/cfl-lifesp...
"Turning CFLs on and off frequently shortens their life, so our testers, curious as they are, are now running nonstop cycles during which each CFL is on for 5 minutes and then off for the same amount of time. The purpose of the test is to see if any differences in life span exist among CFL brands and to compare the longevity of the different CFLs to that of incandescent bulbs.

(One way to help your CFLs last as long as possible is to install them in fixtures that are typically on for more than 15 minutes at a time or several hours throughout the day, according to the people who run the federal governments Energy Star program.)"
-----------------------------
The comments at the bottom of this page seem to parallel our two different experiences with CFL, some people say they last 5 years or more and others say that their CFLs burn out in days or months: http://consumerist.com/2011/01/do-compact-flourescent-b...

PS, it also says that CFLs may not last as long as the manufacturers claim (10,000 hours) but may last only 6,000 hours.
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OKIsItJustMe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 04:22 PM
Response to Reply #35
37. Turning just about any light on and off tends to shorten its life
LEDs do better at this.

Heres an automated torture test:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gdu4wYu48uw
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qgM0N7GD5Ic

(We don't treat our CFLs with any special care. They do just fine.)
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txlibdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 02:08 PM
Response to Reply #26
33. My experience with CFL
I've had to replace CFLs after only 3 months of use. Others have lasted only 6 months. The ones in my kitchen ceiling lights are only a year old so I can't really say how long they'll last. The longest lived ones I have are 2 years old. CFLs never last more than a month or two in the 4" ceiling cans over the kitchen island (which has only the sink and counters), non-dimmed.
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OKIsItJustMe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 02:40 PM
Response to Reply #33
34. I'd check your power
Honestly, they last for several years in our house.

I plan to replace our stock of CFLs with LEDs some day, but with their failure rate, I may die first.
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MineralMan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 03:28 PM
Response to Reply #33
36. CFLs dont like to be tightly enclosed.
The circuitry overheats. Watch for special designs for those situations. The $1 ones won't last in ceiling cans, fan fixtures, and other tight places.

I've had better luck with the more expensive brands for those situations, but I haven't seen any yet that were specially designed for them. I expect to soon.
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OKIsItJustMe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 04:23 PM
Response to Reply #36
38. What you want is an "enclosed rated" CFL
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MineralMan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 06:38 PM
Response to Reply #38
39. Thanks!
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OKIsItJustMe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 01:08 PM
Response to Reply #25
28. EPACFLs contain very small amounts of mercury
http://www.epa.gov/mercury/consumerinfo.htm#cfl

CFLs contain very small amounts of mercury

  • Mercury is an essential part of CFLs; it allows the bulb to be an efficient light source.
  • On average, CFLs contain abut four milligrams of mercury sealed within the glass tubing. By comparison, older thermometers contain about 500 milligrams of mercury an amount equal to the mercury in over 100 CFLs.
  • Manufacturers of fluorescent lighting products are working to reduce the amount of mercury content in CFLs.
  • No mercury is released when the bulbs are intact (i.e., not broken) or in use, but CFLs release mercury vapor when broken.
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Dead_Parrot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 06:56 PM
Response to Reply #21
40. Mine keep f--ing exploding
I've gone back to incandescents until LEDs reach NZ.

Hey ho.
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truedelphi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-05-11 12:11 AM
Response to Reply #40
43. Dead Parrot - have you heard of the new innovation?
It is this waxy thing, some are short and stocky, some are tall and slender, and you light this lil wick at the top, and they burn for hours.

No mercury either! My feelings about the mercury bulbs they are pushing on us means I probably will be using these new-fangled things.

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Dead_Parrot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-05-11 01:36 AM
Response to Reply #43
44. Yeah, but most of them are made from fossil fuels
I think whale-oil lanterns are renewable. Sort of.
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