Cut Off Your Incandescent Light Bulb Nose To Spite Your CFL Curly Fry Flourescent Face


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.

The deadly curly fry fluorescent bulb in action.  Feeling "green" yet?

The deadly curly fry fluorescent bulb in action. Feeling “green” yet?

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.

The overhead light in my office, incandescent all the way.  The incandescent technology may be "inefficient", but it's DEFINITELY trustworthy.

The overhead light in my office, incandescent all the way. The incandescent technology may be “inefficient”, but it’s DEFINITELY trustworthy.

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 clich├ęs.

2 thoughts on “Cut Off Your Incandescent Light Bulb Nose To Spite Your CFL Curly Fry Flourescent Face

  1. Looking at that CFL picture does make me feel a little green around the gills, actually. I, too, feel the effect when in a store for more than a few minutes, and get pretty dizzy within an hour. It was sad to see all the incandescent bulbs in the church my mom attends removed and cold, harsh light coming out of the ornate old fixtures. Even looking up at the recessed lights in the back, what appear to be regular bulbous bulbs have the curly fries hidden inside (I couldn’t see them until I stared at the light for a few seconds).

    I don’t know that I’ve ever seen a CFL bulb last longer than the average standard bulb. One website makes the claim that they last about thirteen times longer! And they work – or at least start up – poorly in an outdoor socket during winter.

    LED bulbs are the thing now, and I believe I feel the disorienting effect from them too, though not strongly enough to make an objective correlation. I’ve read they flicker at either 60 or 120 Hz per second.

    As far as mercury, I still have a mouth full of it, though a couple of fillings have fallen out over the years. Getting them removed is definitely on my bucket list (if I don’t kick the bucket first because of them!)

  2. Thanks for commenting, Leonid. I seem to be fairly resistant to the more obvious effects (or maybe I’m just denser between the ears). On the other hand, this post was first written in 2008 when we lived in Parachute, Colorado. Since April of 2009, we’ve been off grid in southern Arizona, living in a “hybrid house” I built in 2010. We’ve gone to LED, but only because of the wattage draw of the incandescent bulbs–our primary power source is a solar generator with limited output, and using the low wattage LED’s is one way to extend the life of the solar battery bank.

    I got the mercury (along with all of my teeth) out of my mouth in 1992. Best single thing I ever did for my health, even though I gave up on dentures within a year after the extractions and have to stick to peanut butter instead of roasted peanuts these days.:)

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