Good news: U.S. CFL bulb sales falling fast

Sales of compact fluorescent light bulbs in the United States are down 25% from their peak in 2007, according to a story in the New York Times.  Even better, shipments of these dangerous mercury-containing light bulbs are down 49% from 2007.

Compact flourescent light bulbs cannot succeed on their merits.  Government bans of incandescent light bulbs are the main source of damand for CFL bulbs.  In addition, CFL bulbs have relied heavily on give-aways and subsidies.  But even these measures aren’t working:

Despite more than a decade of costly C.F.L. promotions — including giveaways, discounted prices and rebates — the bulbs have failed to capture the hearts (and sockets) of American consumers….[I]n regions where C.F.L. campaigns have been heaviest, 75 percent of screw-based sockets still contain incandescents. Nationally, about 90 percent of residential sockets are still occupied by incandescents, D.O.E. has reported.

Incandescent light bulbs continue to be the first choice of most consumers because they produce better light, they’re cheaper, they don’t contain mercury, and it’s not illegal to throw them in the trash after they stop working.

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3 Comments

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3 responses to “Good news: U.S. CFL bulb sales falling fast

  1. Keep up the good work!

    RE light bulb sales

    Yes heard about the fall in CFL popularity…

    A ban is of course still wrong,
    whether people buy less ordinary light bulbs or not!

    Think about it:
    1. People buy less ordinary bulbs =
    less savings from a ban, less point in a ban, people are buying CFLs or other lights anyway!
    Energy using radio tubes weren’t banned because energy saving transistors arrived: the tubes were already bought less.

    2. People still prefer ordinary bulbs =
    Then why ban what people want?
    Any “great savings” is just on what people want to buy.

    Politicians think that energy savings is everything
    people should want.
    But energy efficiency is only one quality a light bulb can have – other qualities may compensate.

    Besides, as mentioned before here – and on
    http://www.ceolas.net/#li1x onwards
    with references – energy savings aren’t that great and even if they were,
    it;s a matter of people choosing to pay for it.
    Light bulbs don’t give out CO2, power stations do.
    Even if a sales cut down on light bulbs was supposedly needed,
    a tax would be better (keeping choice, giving govmt income for renewable projects etc, and efficent alternatives could have a lower tax)

    So wherever one stands on environmental issues,
    a ban on any lighting people might want to use is wrong.

  2. gerald

    Fluorescent light bulbs contain a small circuit board with integrated circuits/devices. How clean
    and responsible are the manufacturers being with
    regards to the manufacturing process of these devices? Integrated circuit production facilities utilize some pretty nasty chemicals to process these devices.

  3. I just created a PhotoShop on this subject. It’s called The Last Light Bulb? From My Cold Dead Hands. Enjoy:

    http://theantlion.wordpress.com/

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