Why did I title this post Cut Your (Incandescent Light Bulb) Nose Off To Spite Your (CFL Curly Fry) Fluorescent Face?
Why, simply because my wife and I believe that is exactly what governmental bodies around the globe have done in mandating use of the fluorescent light bulb while relegating the incandescent bulb to the dustbin. The f-bulb does use less electricity. But it can be deadly.
We knew the Big Government Mandate of the fluorescent light bulb was coming, yet I could scarcely credit the reality of it: Last December, in 2007, our President signed into law the death warrant of the incandescent light bulb. The excuse is global warming. The downside is–actually, the downsides are many and terrifying.
Deadly? How so? Surely I exaggerate! After all, if Canada did it, it must be safe, right? After all, it’s only politics….
What? You think it’s not politics? Well…suit yourself…but it’s certainly neither science nor common sense.
Meanwhile, as we were saying, it must be safe, right?
No. Not really. My wife has a number of ailments (a high number), one of which is extreme sensitivity to fluorescent lighting. Under such, she immediately begins to become disoriented, and the disorientation becomes worse the longer she is exposed. For this precise reason, if she accompanies me on a trip to Wal-Mart, I must get her out of the store within one hour at most.
Why? Because if she is under those lights for longer than that, we know from experience she’ll be so “out of it” that her mind goes (temporarily) and she will resist leaving at all…getting worse by the minute. Whether the store is in Montana or Colorado or Arizona makes no difference. If she is under the lights for more than two hours, she is subject to epileptic seizure, most likely (we logically figure) from the “flicker effect”. And for any epileptic, the next seizure may just be the last.
There is more they left out.
Amazingly, the downsides of fluorescent bulbs are virtually ignored by their advocates despite the dangers. Do none of their loved ones suffer from epilepsy, migraines, or whatever, under such lights in stores or offices around the country? Don’t they realize toxic mercury is quietly sitting there in every fluorescent bulb, just waiting for a chance to do mischief?
Most of all, don’t they realize the cost savings fallacy? Um, probably not that last one. Pam and I tried out a few of those $7 bulbs that were supposed to last a whole bunch of years. We put them in places that needed a little light without pouring it all over us all of the time, such as the entryway to our home. We would be passing through every now and then, but not sitting under the stuff for hours on end.
Okay. We’ll grant they do save money on electricity, but in our experience, they did not save money on the bulbs themselves. More often than not, they burned out in weeks. Perhaps it was due to a stray electrical surge, but the fact was, trying to use them at all cost us a small fortune in glass.
Bottom line: We consider fluorescent light to be definitely better than no light…but worse than any other form of light: Sunlight, moonlight, firelight, or the time tested incandescent light.
Whatever happened to self discipline?
The big pitch, the only advantage proponents even try to claim for fluorescent lighting is its cost advantage. Can’t argue with–
Wait a minute. Doesn’t our light bill go down when we just turn off the lights we aren’t using?
What would you like to bet? When the day comes that the entire planet has been successfully forced to use only fluorescent light bulbs (and it very much looks like that day is not far off), would anyone care to bet that use of electricity will simply increase to offset the “ecological savings” until the net effect is even more electrical power consumption than before the incandescent bulb was banned?
That is not a bet I would take…even without considering the other negative effects like toxic mercury and a law-passing campaign that has put the cart before the horse, cut off its own incandescent light bulb nose to spite its CFL curly fry face, and three or four hundred other moldy clichés.