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.