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I had heard so much about how CFL bulbs are better for the environment, so I decided to start in the living room and replace the bulbs there. Thing is we have a ceiling fan.

Within 24 hours of putting in the new bulbs the fan no longer worked on medium or low.

It can't be a coincidence that it happened since the fan is only about 5 years old and was a Hunter.
 

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We did our entire house in CFL bulbs this past winter. S/O developed Uveitis and a host of other eye conditions for which there was no cause at all found after months and months of testing, etc.

Doing some random reading on how to recycle the bulbs (they contain mercury, or some other thing you can't just toss away), we discovered that some people have very bad reactions to CFL bulbs and develop fairly serious eye conditions. If they aren't properly shielded, they throw off too much light?

We've removed all the eco-bulbs and gone back to the old fashioned kind, and the flare-ups have almost completely subsided.
 

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I read that you can't put the CFL bulbs in a landfill. I wondered how you dispose of them. Kinda scary to me.

I will just find other ways to be environmentally conscious like taking my canvas bags to the store instead of using plastic bags.
 

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I hope you guys know that your exceedingly intelligent and extraordinarily public-service minded U.S. Congress (read ****NOT****) has passed a law mandating the phase-out of incandescent bulbs. I don't know about you, but I do NOT like compact flourescents. Oh, sure, they use a whole lot less electricity, but that's ALL they've got going for them. :evil:
 

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Oy, I knew California was going trying to do that, but didn't know that they were going to do it nationally. Grrr.
 

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nd they turn everything weird coors - a greenish cast.
SO can't see it, but it drives me crazy.

I wish they would repeal that law - or let us keep getting them, but pay more. I would.
 

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It is strange that compact florescants would break two speed settings on your ceiling fan, Lea. 8O

I notice the greenish light, but it doesn't bother me very much. I believe it bugs Arianwen, though.
I have two lamps that I mainly use. One is a torchiere with a cfl in it, and the other is an antique bedside incandescent lamp that's on a dimmer.

You can't use today's cfl's with a dimmer for technical reasons, which, I think, are mainly due to laziness on the part of the engineers who developed the power supply circuitry they use.

The cfl's do give out a different spectrum of light. I think they put out more UV than standard fluorescent lighting. That may account for the eye irritation some folks experience.

I use the bright cfl lamp when I need more light, but Arianwen doesn't like it. She looked pointedly at it and said,"Bad!" one day. Out of the mouths of babes or kittehs...
:eek:rcat
ETA - Arianwen kissed me just now when I told her I would turn the bright light off for her.
 

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We have CFLs all over our house and the light isnt greenish..... 8O I wonder if its just certain ones. Our lights but off more of a whiter light than the usual yellowish color the regulare ones. When we first changed our bulbs we saved about $40 a month on the electric bill!!!!!! We also put them in our ceiling fans but they still work just like new..... Maybe the older fans just arent compatible with the new CFLS
 

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CF bulbs need to be recycled because they contain a very very small amount of mercury, and if broken, will release the mercury into the air.

As most of you know, mercury is a toxic substance, and is responsible for polluting our oceans and its food supply. If it builds up in our bodies, it can cause nerve damage. Scary stuff.

But the thing thats even scarier is that some people do not want to use CF bulbs because of this. What they don't know is that those incandescent bulbs, which themselves do not contain any mercury, are indirectly responsible for releasing about 4x more mercury into the environment than a CF that is tossed into a landfill and not recycled properly.

After all, the main source of the mercury we release into the air is produced from the coal power plans used to light those energy wasting incandescent bulbs and our other inefficient electrical appliances.

Swordfish anyone?

The majority of our light bulbs in our house are CF.
No greenish light here. You can buy them in different spectrums, and personally I prefer the ones that give off warmer colored light. Its not that I can't tell the difference, either- can't stand the flickering fluorescents and "cool white" bulb I have to put up with at work, or those tube fluorescents clothing stores use in the dressing rooms that make everything look awful. (Seriously, if they changed the darn bulbs I swear they'd sell more clothes). I remember the CF bulbs of 10 years ago, and the light from those was something awful. If you don't like the look of the spiral, they also make some now with the glass globe outside to look like a regular old bulb.

So, IMHO, less mercury due to less energy consumption= good. Less energy consumption alone= good. Lower electric bill, also good. Not having to get out the ladder to change bulbs that keep burning out- another good thing. And the up-front cost of the bulbs isn't all that bad either if you just look for promotions or sales and stock up when they have them. I've bought most for $1 per bulb.

What to do about the problem for people with eye sensitivity? Hopefully they'll come up with something soon. They can be quite a bit brighter, but thats why I usually use the ones with a smaller wattage equivalent. I'm sure we'll be seeing much more variety than just 60 & 100 watt equivalent in the near future.
 

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I like my CFLs, too and can't tell the difference between those and my incandescents (mostly in closed light fixtures that are a pain to get to.) As far as I can tell, neither can the cats. :)

No, it's best not to put them in landfills, but the same is true for batteries (yep, your AA's are considered hazardous waste) and no one says they're evil! I think what were increasingly finding out is that there are a lot of things that we need to be more careful about disposing of than we have been in the past.

I should note that if you decided you hated CFLs 5 years ago and haven't tried them since -- it might be worth checking them out again. The technology has improved a lot in the time I've been using them.

Also, yes, you can get dimmable ones, although they still don't have as big a dimmable range as incandescents.
 

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gunterkat said:
It is strange that compact florescants would break two speed settings on your ceiling fan, Lea. 8O
That's what I thought was odd as well. The lighting and the fan motor are on separate circuits on your ceiling fan so I find it extremely unlikely that the bulbs would affect the motor.

I suspect the issue here is with the fan switch itself. Being that it is an AC motor and that house current is always constant, the switch itself contains resistors to reduce the current going to the motor. When the fan is on high, current is not passing through any resistors. I suspect the resistors in the switch, be it a mechanical switch like fans using a pull chain to change speeds or an electronic switch where a remote control changes the speed, have failed. Therefore, the fan will only operate on high. Chances are if you replace the speed switch, you will be back to normal.

About the mercury issues, the real danger with mercury getting into our bodies is when it evaporates and becomes a vapor. There was a situation in NE Ohio several months ago where a large mercury spill in a house caused an evacuation. The inspector who initially went inside, not wearing a hazmat suit, ran from the house because his detection equipment showed a dangerous level of mercury vapor. If there were no vapors and it was just liquid mercury, the cleanup would be much easier. I, like a lot of others, used to play with mercury and rub a droplet of it around in my hands. Yet my health is very good save for weight issues. As long as mercury has not evaporated, it poses very little health risk. In fact, a person could ingest a small amount of liquid mercury and not even suffer any health consequences from doing so.
 

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We tried the cf bulbs here, and everytime we'd turn the light on in the kitchen there'd be a sizzling sound and burning smell behind the wall where the switch was. It's a dimmer light and i just don't think they're compatible.

After than I'm just no brave enough to use them in the whole house. I live in a 20 year old double wide mobile home if that would have anything to do with it?
 

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If you have a dimmer you need to get the new CF bulbs that can be used with dimmers. Look for the ones that specifically state on the package they are compatible with dimmers.

You could have problems otherwise. 8O
 

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That smell coming from the switch doesn't sound too good to me. I think that should be checked out. You might have some bad wiring back there.
 
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