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Consumer Technology

Published on May 23rd, 2008 | by Timothy B. Hurst

82

Honey, I Shrunk the CFLs: Crazy-Small New Bulb from SYLVANIA



micromini_single_209_274.JPGThe micro mini Twist CFL: Big light, small package.

When it comes to the advent of the compact fluorescent light bulb (CFL), I am proud to say that I was an early adopter. And while I instantly noticed a reduction in my monthly electric bill, I also noticed that the compact fluorescent was not without its flaws. I found that the early compact fluorescents were often too bulky, preventing their use in certain fixtures; that they took a while to ‘warm up’ to full their full brightness; and that the light they put off could be a little harsh, especially as compared to the warm glow of the Edison-era incandescent light bulb. But times have changed, and the new micro-mini Twist from SYLVANIA is evidence that CFLs don’t need to be big, slow, and bright to be effective.

>>See also: European Union Bans Incandescent Light Bulbs

The micro-mini’s size is one of its biggest appeals and is what jumped out at me right away. Featuring an ultra-small ¼ inch tube diameter and a compact integral electronic ballast, the 13W micro-mini is the smallest CFL on today’s market.

The bulb measures 3.7 inches long or over half an inch shorter than a standard incandescent lamp, a mere 4.4 inches. As you can see by the picture, the Twist is significantly smaller than the other 13W CFL I had in my home-lighting arsenal. The bulbs compact size makes it usable in virtually any lamp fixture, large or small – not a claim that can me bade about all CFLs.micromini_contrast_209_274.JPG

The Soft White micro-mini compact fluorescent light bulb features a warm color temperature of 3000 Kelvin (K) and it boasts instant-on capabilities. The micro-mini Twist compact fluorescent lamps are available in 13-watt (W), 20W and 23W models. The mini CFL is designed to replace 60, 75 or 100W incandescent lamps and boasts an average rated lamp life of 12,000 hours.

Finally, I really enjoyed the ‘instant-on’ capabilities of the Twist. I often find that when I go to the bathroom and flip on the light, a CFL won’t reach its full luminescence by the time I am done with my business (thus cutting into valuable crossword puzzle and magazine time). This bulb, however, had no delay and was instantly bright as soon as I flipped the switch.

The only downside I found to the bulbs were how they were packaged. For a bulb that is claiming to be an energy saver, it seems that printing a picture of a tree on a useless cardboard tab is not exactly the best way to show consumers real concern for saving energy. I hope SYLVANIA will recognize this inconsistency and adjust the packaging accordingly.

micromini_pack_250_177.JPG

Considering that changing just one 60W incandescent bulb to a 13W CFL will save the average American about $56 dollars over the life of the bulb. And that changing out all thirty-six bulbs (the number in the average American home), will amount to a savings of more than $2,000** over the life of the bulbs, it seems that an investment of $4.99 is a small price to pay for substantial energy savings.

**Based on 11 years at 10 cents/KwH.

Related posts:

Compact Fluorescent Backlash Strikes

60,000 CFLs and Counting

Images: Tim Hurst

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About the Author

is the founder of ecopolitology and the executive editor at LiveOAK Media, a media network about the politics of energy and the environment, green business, cleantech, and green living. When not reading, writing, thinking or talking about environmental politics with anyone who will listen, Tim spends his time skiing in Colorado's high country, hiking with his dog, and getting dirty in his vegetable garden.



  • daguest

    I like mercury AND CO2. If you greenies want less CO2, just stop breathing.

  • Tom Currie

    Even at “full brightness” they rarely have the light output to match the claimed “equivalent” incandescent — and forget about getting one for a candelabra base socket in a ceiling fan!

    • Me

      Actually… I just put two 23W (larger micro mini) bulbs in a ceiling fan with a single large globe! I guess it depends on the design of the globe(s). Not hard to believe that they won’t work on every fan.

  • Bernice

    The Sylvania micro mini CFL is a great idea as standard-sized compact flurescents are too tall for my wall sconces. But they are VERY VERY dim. The 100-watt- equivalent produces less light than the regular 60-watt- equivalent CFL it replaced! I’m going to return the Sylvanias because I’m better off with the much cheaper, lower-watt larger CFL.

  • Bernice

    The Sylvania micro mini CFL is a great idea as standard-sized compact flurescents are too tall for my wall sconces. But they are VERY VERY dim. The 100-watt- equivalent produces less light than the regular 60-watt- equivalent CFL it replaced! I’m going to return the Sylvanias because I’m better off with the much cheaper, lower-watt larger CFL.

  • willmore

    @Robert Harding

    So, they were 72% of peak brightness right when they were turned on? That’s less than 3db difference from full brightness. The human eye would have trouble telling the difference in that amount of brightness change over a 60 second period–unless you had some sort of reference. Say, you had one bulb on and warm and a second bulb turn on next to it. Then you would be able to tell the difference, but anything less than about a factor of 2 is hard to tell *by eye*.

    This is vastly better than the old folded type which could take several minutes to come up and often started with <5% of full brightness.

    And, regarding the mercury discussion. The mercury in these bulbs is metalic mercury which has very low bio-availability. If you want to be worried about the toxicity of mercury, worry about the use of organic mercury compounds used in the agrabusiness world.

    The best benefit of these bulbs is due to their size allowing them to be used in applications where other CFLs will not fit. I just bought a new set of light fixtures for my bathroom and regular CFLs would not fit without sticking out above the assembly. These mini-twist type fit in there.

    I’m looking forward to the end of low efficiency lighting so that fixtures can be cost reduced because they no longer have to withstand the high temps of incandescent bulbs.

  • willmore

    @Robert Harding

    So, they were 72% of peak brightness right when they were turned on? That’s less than 3db difference from full brightness. The human eye would have trouble telling the difference in that amount of brightness change over a 60 second period–unless you had some sort of reference. Say, you had one bulb on and warm and a second bulb turn on next to it. Then you would be able to tell the difference, but anything less than about a factor of 2 is hard to tell *by eye*.

    This is vastly better than the old folded type which could take several minutes to come up and often started with <5% of full brightness.

    And, regarding the mercury discussion. The mercury in these bulbs is metalic mercury which has very low bio-availability. If you want to be worried about the toxicity of mercury, worry about the use of organic mercury compounds used in the agrabusiness world.

    The best benefit of these bulbs is due to their size allowing them to be used in applications where other CFLs will not fit. I just bought a new set of light fixtures for my bathroom and regular CFLs would not fit without sticking out above the assembly. These mini-twist type fit in there.

    I’m looking forward to the end of low efficiency lighting so that fixtures can be cost reduced because they no longer have to withstand the high temps of incandescent bulbs.

  • Robert Harding

    Sylvania CFL “Instant-On” … Give Me A Break

    Just measured relative brightness versus time (every 10 seconds for 3 minutes from initial turn-on) of a New Sylvania CF23EL/MicroMini using a simple light brightness meter. Test performed at 70 degrees F, lamp mounted upright in table lamp fixture in dark room. Light sensor located 2 feet from lamp.

    Results: Maximum brightness is achieved at 60 seconds from initial start..

    Maximum brightness is 72% brighter than initial start brightness. (Very noticeable with naked-eye) “They don’t get bright until warmed up”

    Also: The (2) new bulbs I tested stabilized in brightness after 3 minutes but had dropped off 8% from the maximum brightness achieved at 60 seconds.

    “Instant-On” does not equal “Instant Bright”

    Does anyone have access to Sylvania/Osram’s Performance and Life-Test data on these blubs?

  • Robert Harding

    Sylvania CFL “Instant-On” … Give Me A Break

    Just measured relative brightness versus time (every 10 seconds for 3 minutes from initial turn-on) of a New Sylvania CF23EL/MicroMini using a simple light brightness meter. Test performed at 70 degrees F, lamp mounted upright in table lamp fixture in dark room. Light sensor located 2 feet from lamp.

    Results: Maximum brightness is achieved at 60 seconds from initial start..

    Maximum brightness is 72% brighter than initial start brightness. (Very noticeable with naked-eye) “They don’t get bright until warmed up”

    Also: The (2) new bulbs I tested stabilized in brightness after 3 minutes but had dropped off 8% from the maximum brightness achieved at 60 seconds.

    “Instant-On” does not equal “Instant Bright”

    Does anyone have access to Sylvania/Osram’s Performance and Life-Test data on these blubs?

  • jm

    Mercury: you get about 450mg when you get a filling at the dentists office. Typical CFL contains about 6mg. The problem with CFL mercury is that most people don’t recycle them and the mercury among other nasties pile up in landfills, water, etc. in large numbers that cases a problem.

  • jm

    Mercury: you get about 450mg when you get a filling at the dentists office. Typical CFL contains about 6mg. The problem with CFL mercury is that most people don’t recycle them and the mercury among other nasties pile up in landfills, water, etc. in large numbers that cases a problem.

    • Me

      I didn’t know they still did mercury fillings.. which is odd… because the ADA of course will say that there has never been cause for alarm with mercury fillings… yet everywhere else mercury is poison. Hmmm….

      • Bob_Wallace

        When you see stuff like this I would advise you visit the web sites of one or more highly regarded regarded health institutions. Check what they have to say.

        For example, the Mayo Clinic says…

        “Most metal dental fillings are dental amalgam — a stable alloy made with mercury, silver, tin, copper and possibly other metals. Although concerns have been raised over the years about the safety of mercury in dental amalgam, researchers have proved the concerns to be unfounded. The American Dental Association supports the use of dental amalgam as a safe, reliable and effective treatment for dental decay.”

        http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/dental-fillings/AN01508

  • jm

    People. Please stop believing LED will be the wave of the future. The efficiency of LED isn’t there yet. The real issue is the fact that the LED chip melts at a faily low temperature. When you start getting LED chips that are over 7-8 watts, they need to be used with a heat sink. This is very difficult to achieve in even a 15w screw in bulb. Normally, you would make a dedicated fixture for each LED chip with power supply and heat sink. But we’re talking 40 lpw at best. cfl’s do at least 60, most good ones are doing 70 now. Now GE and maybe Sylania are talking about using nanotechnology on incandescent bulbs that GE plans to have about 30 lpw bulbs on the market by 2010, and later 60 lpw bulbs. This will surely render LED to a small neich market.

  • jm

    People. Please stop believing LED will be the wave of the future. The efficiency of LED isn’t there yet. The real issue is the fact that the LED chip melts at a faily low temperature. When you start getting LED chips that are over 7-8 watts, they need to be used with a heat sink. This is very difficult to achieve in even a 15w screw in bulb. Normally, you would make a dedicated fixture for each LED chip with power supply and heat sink. But we’re talking 40 lpw at best. cfl’s do at least 60, most good ones are doing 70 now. Now GE and maybe Sylania are talking about using nanotechnology on incandescent bulbs that GE plans to have about 30 lpw bulbs on the market by 2010, and later 60 lpw bulbs. This will surely render LED to a small neich market.

  • mark

    Home Depot just announced that they would be accepting old CFLs for recycling, no purchase necessary. Starting Tuesday.

    Soon other chain stores will be accepting them.

    As for the mercury, as others pointed out above, incandescents put many times more mercury into our air that CFLs ever could, even if every CFL is thrown out. And with proper recycling, the mercury pollution from CFLS will plummet.

    Ian said it best.

  • mark

    Home Depot just announced that they would be accepting old CFLs for recycling, no purchase necessary. Starting Tuesday.

    Soon other chain stores will be accepting them.

    As for the mercury, as others pointed out above, incandescents put many times more mercury into our air that CFLs ever could, even if every CFL is thrown out. And with proper recycling, the mercury pollution from CFLS will plummet.

    Ian said it best.

  • Uncle B

    The micro mini Twist CFL is a delight! The price is right for the new extended life too. For folks that are concerned about Hg contamination, some of the new LED lights are very realistically priced considering their life-expectancy, and won’t shatter easily. Battery cars are next and then we are on our way to a benzine molecule free world and you can put a pink ribbon on that! America the future is yours if only you would embrace it enthusiastically!

  • Uncle B

    The micro mini Twist CFL is a delight! The price is right for the new extended life too. For folks that are concerned about Hg contamination, some of the new LED lights are very realistically priced considering their life-expectancy, and won’t shatter easily. Battery cars are next and then we are on our way to a benzine molecule free world and you can put a pink ribbon on that! America the future is yours if only you would embrace it enthusiastically!

  • carter

    I just replaced 6-100w & 8-60w incandescents with CFLs I bought at SAMS CLUB. The reason I decided to buy them was the cost, approximately $12 for ea. set respectively ($25 total for 14 bulbs). They were Sylvania bulbs but I did not notice where they were made. I replaced them at the first of the month so I plan to see how much I actually save using them. I’m not an enviro freak… I could care less whether somebody thinks we’re saving the earth with these bulbs. The only thing I and most people care about is saving money because if it is not cost efficient people will not spend their hard earned money for the “feel good save the earth green mantra” that is constantly being chanted. Plus, wake up people the time frame for money savings is limited… Oil, Gas, Electric companies may be in essence “public utilities” but they will not lose out due to the green movement… and you’ll see them adjust consumer prices to make sure they continue to earn money. We can see this with hybrid cars and gas prices. It will happen with our electric bills too. Prices will inflate… people will be taxed… all to “save the world”. You’ll see the millions and millions of CFL bulbs ending up in landfills will make the news one day and in part this CFL thing will backfire, I think. The important thing is to be moderately conservative and balanced in your approach to energy consumption and be a good steward of your money and our resources because there is no such thing as pure energy without harmful byproducts and most likely will never be. Just realism and good perspective… not pessimism.

  • carter

    I just replaced 6-100w & 8-60w incandescents with CFLs I bought at SAMS CLUB. The reason I decided to buy them was the cost, approximately $12 for ea. set respectively ($25 total for 14 bulbs). They were Sylvania bulbs but I did not notice where they were made. I replaced them at the first of the month so I plan to see how much I actually save using them. I’m not an enviro freak… I could care less whether somebody thinks we’re saving the earth with these bulbs. The only thing I and most people care about is saving money because if it is not cost efficient people will not spend their hard earned money for the “feel good save the earth green mantra” that is constantly being chanted. Plus, wake up people the time frame for money savings is limited… Oil, Gas, Electric companies may be in essence “public utilities” but they will not lose out due to the green movement… and you’ll see them adjust consumer prices to make sure they continue to earn money. We can see this with hybrid cars and gas prices. It will happen with our electric bills too. Prices will inflate… people will be taxed… all to “save the world”. You’ll see the millions and millions of CFL bulbs ending up in landfills will make the news one day and in part this CFL thing will backfire, I think. The important thing is to be moderately conservative and balanced in your approach to energy consumption and be a good steward of your money and our resources because there is no such thing as pure energy without harmful byproducts and most likely will never be. Just realism and good perspective… not pessimism.

  • Carol Frilegh

    I am allergic to these bulbs. They are toxic:

    http://www.emfsolutions.ca/compact_flourescent_bulbs_are_dangerous.htm

  • Carol Frilegh

    I am allergic to these bulbs. They are toxic:

    http://www.emfsolutions.ca/compact_flourescent_bulbs_are_dangerous.htm

  • http://www.asianass.com Joe Schmoe

    These CFLs don’t last as long as advertised. I switched a bunch of bulbs in my house and half of them have died after 2 months. 10 year life? Yeah right. These are less reliable than conventional bulbs.

  • http://www.asianass.com Joe Schmoe

    These CFLs don’t last as long as advertised. I switched a bunch of bulbs in my house and half of them have died after 2 months. 10 year life? Yeah right. These are less reliable than conventional bulbs.

  • http://www.estateandtaxadvisorygroup.com Michael

    I surprised that we have not seem more LED bulbs, LED bulbs could be designed to be compact and instant on.

  • http://www.estateandtaxadvisorygroup.com Michael

    I surprised that we have not seem more LED bulbs, LED bulbs could be designed to be compact and instant on.

  • maurice

    Now if only somebody would make mini-cfl’s with chandelier bases!

  • maurice

    Now if only somebody would make mini-cfl’s with chandelier bases!

  • Jay

    The life of the bulb will be significantly reduced by cycling it on and off. My off the cuff research based on the few facts the manufacturers would release indicates if you turn cfl’s off and on more than every 20 minutes or so you’ll pay more in bulb replacement cost than you save in energy cost. That doesn’t include any costs for disposal or energy cost to manufacture the bulbs.

  • Jay

    The life of the bulb will be significantly reduced by cycling it on and off. My off the cuff research based on the few facts the manufacturers would release indicates if you turn cfl’s off and on more than every 20 minutes or so you’ll pay more in bulb replacement cost than you save in energy cost. That doesn’t include any costs for disposal or energy cost to manufacture the bulbs.

  • http://redgreenandblue.org Rod Adams

    About a dozen years ago, I had the opportunity to visit the Edison home in Fort Myers, Florida. At that time, and perhaps still today, there were a number of incandescent light bulbs burning that had been installed in the home by Edison himself. I cannot remember the exact lifetime that they had already achieved, but I do know that Thomas Edison died in 1931.

    Those bulbs were low wattage DC bulbs, but they still worked after many decades of use.

    My only point is that the relatively short lifetime of commercially available incandescent bulbs is not a limitation of the basic technology – it is a result of many decision made during the manufacturing process development that include such items as just how perfect to make the bulbs, and how frequently the company hopes that people will have to replace them.

    As Evado said so eloquently, “cheap is cheap.”

    BTW – if the electricity supplying incandescent bulbs comes from a nuclear reactor, there is no risk of mercury being released to the environment.

  • http://redgreenandblue.org Rod Adams

    About a dozen years ago, I had the opportunity to visit the Edison home in Fort Myers, Florida. At that time, and perhaps still today, there were a number of incandescent light bulbs burning that had been installed in the home by Edison himself. I cannot remember the exact lifetime that they had already achieved, but I do know that Thomas Edison died in 1931.

    Those bulbs were low wattage DC bulbs, but they still worked after many decades of use.

    My only point is that the relatively short lifetime of commercially available incandescent bulbs is not a limitation of the basic technology – it is a result of many decision made during the manufacturing process development that include such items as just how perfect to make the bulbs, and how frequently the company hopes that people will have to replace them.

    As Evado said so eloquently, “cheap is cheap.”

    BTW – if the electricity supplying incandescent bulbs comes from a nuclear reactor, there is no risk of mercury being released to the environment.

  • Picard

    Wow — what a bunch of snotty green whiners. If you’re convinced the puny amount of mercury in a CFL is worse that the amount of atmospheric mercury which will be saved by their use, feel free to light your low-impact homes with organic flax oil lamps or just sit in the dark and complain.

    But kindly STFU with your hysterical fear-mongering. Nothing is good enough for you, is it? It’s your kind which regulated the holier-than-though environmental movement to a 30-year ghetto of hippy dippy cultural irrelevancy. GET OUT OF THE WAY and allow us to achieve energy independence before the oil runs out. ktnxbye

  • Picard

    Wow — what a bunch of snotty green whiners. If you’re convinced the puny amount of mercury in a CFL is worse that the amount of atmospheric mercury which will be saved by their use, feel free to light your low-impact homes with organic flax oil lamps or just sit in the dark and complain.

    But kindly STFU with your hysterical fear-mongering. Nothing is good enough for you, is it? It’s your kind which regulated the holier-than-though environmental movement to a 30-year ghetto of hippy dippy cultural irrelevancy. GET OUT OF THE WAY and allow us to achieve energy independence before the oil runs out. ktnxbye

  • neednewbed.com

    23w for 100watt equivalent, they seem a bit less efficient than the usual 20w for 100watts

    so smaller ones lose about 15percent of efficiency.

  • http://willfe.com/ Willfe

    Ye gods, one hotly-contested and poorly-researched rant two years ago, blowing an EPA *guideline* (discussing how to clean up a broken *tube* — the long ones you find in ceiling fixtures in stores) out of proportion, and suddenly we have a pile of idiots screaming in terror in the shadow of the looming mercury demon lurking in our light fixtures.

    Do you people grasp *how many* CFLs have to be broken to obtain enough mercury to actually go airborne and/or cause damage to the human body? Do you understand that a single watch battery contains five times as much mercury as a CFL? Do you monkeys realize most CFLs don’t actually end their lives in pieces?

    You do not have a contamination emergency in your home if a CFL breaks. You get a broom and dustpan, sweep it up, and dispose of it. There’s more friggin’ mercury in your *thermostat* than in *six hundred* CFLs.

    Just stop it. It’s an absolutely stupid and irrational argument.

  • http://willfe.com/ Willfe

    Ye gods, one hotly-contested and poorly-researched rant two years ago, blowing an EPA *guideline* (discussing how to clean up a broken *tube* — the long ones you find in ceiling fixtures in stores) out of proportion, and suddenly we have a pile of idiots screaming in terror in the shadow of the looming mercury demon lurking in our light fixtures.

    Do you people grasp *how many* CFLs have to be broken to obtain enough mercury to actually go airborne and/or cause damage to the human body? Do you understand that a single watch battery contains five times as much mercury as a CFL? Do you monkeys realize most CFLs don’t actually end their lives in pieces?

    You do not have a contamination emergency in your home if a CFL breaks. You get a broom and dustpan, sweep it up, and dispose of it. There’s more friggin’ mercury in your *thermostat* than in *six hundred* CFLs.

    Just stop it. It’s an absolutely stupid and irrational argument.

  • Kevin

    I have been using these bulbs for a while and they do not last 11 years, they last longer than incandescents but not 11 years.

    How many average people are going to throw these things in the trash when they quit working? I would say most people will and they will be crushed in the landfill and spill the mercury.

    What is the total energy burden of these light bulbs? Include the energy required to produce the materials and then recycle or dispose of the the waste when used. I doubt it is that much better, and please quit basing the calculations on the best case lifetime…I have had several quit after one year.

  • Kevin

    I have been using these bulbs for a while and they do not last 11 years, they last longer than incandescents but not 11 years.

    How many average people are going to throw these things in the trash when they quit working? I would say most people will and they will be crushed in the landfill and spill the mercury.

    What is the total energy burden of these light bulbs? Include the energy required to produce the materials and then recycle or dispose of the the waste when used. I doubt it is that much better, and please quit basing the calculations on the best case lifetime…I have had several quit after one year.

  • Bob

    I did a bunch of research on CFLs as I am an insurance underwriter and received a potential product-liabilty account of a CFL manufacturer.

    After reading tons and tons of data I came to the following conclusions:

    1) The average CFL now has between 2-4mg of mercury, less than what would be emitted by coal plants

    2) They are totally safe unless broken. You MUST recycle them at your local hazardous waste drop off. Never put them in the garbage

    3) If one is broken, it is advised to remove children and pets. Then put large pieces into a plastic bag. Next use tape to pick up the smaller and invisible pieces. Put all of this in the plastic bag, and take to the hazardous waste facility.

    4) Under NO circumstances should you vacuum over where one was broken, as this will blast the microscopic mercury all over your house.

    That said, are they the perfect solution? No, LED’s and nuclear/wind/solar probably are. But they are a step in the right direction. The biggest concern I have regarding CFL’s is not them breaking in homes but in warehouses where 20-30 of them could be damaged at once by mishandling. There could be a serious mercury exposure there (why I didn’t write the account) :)

    Also, as Evado said, the quality of your bulb makes a big difference. From reviews I read there is a big difference between varying bulbs so a little research is suggested before buying a bunch of them. (although his post seemed more like a commercial than an honest comment)

  • jim

    Incandescent + Nuclear power = No mercury.

    Incandescent + Wind power = No mercury.

    Incandescent + Solar power = No mercury.

    Incandescent + Geothermal power = No mercury.

    CCFL + anything = MERCURY.

  • Bob

    I did a bunch of research on CFLs as I am an insurance underwriter and received a potential product-liabilty account of a CFL manufacturer.

    After reading tons and tons of data I came to the following conclusions:

    1) The average CFL now has between 2-4mg of mercury, less than what would be emitted by coal plants

    2) They are totally safe unless broken. You MUST recycle them at your local hazardous waste drop off. Never put them in the garbage

    3) If one is broken, it is advised to remove children and pets. Then put large pieces into a plastic bag. Next use tape to pick up the smaller and invisible pieces. Put all of this in the plastic bag, and take to the hazardous waste facility.

    4) Under NO circumstances should you vacuum over where one was broken, as this will blast the microscopic mercury all over your house.

    That said, are they the perfect solution? No, LED’s and nuclear/wind/solar probably are. But they are a step in the right direction. The biggest concern I have regarding CFL’s is not them breaking in homes but in warehouses where 20-30 of them could be damaged at once by mishandling. There could be a serious mercury exposure there (why I didn’t write the account) :)

    Also, as Evado said, the quality of your bulb makes a big difference. From reviews I read there is a big difference between varying bulbs so a little research is suggested before buying a bunch of them. (although his post seemed more like a commercial than an honest comment)

  • jim

    Incandescent + Nuclear power = No mercury.

    Incandescent + Wind power = No mercury.

    Incandescent + Solar power = No mercury.

    Incandescent + Geothermal power = No mercury.

    CCFL + anything = MERCURY.

  • http://www.premierltg.com Evado

    This is a good way of reducing your co2 emmissions. But buyer beware. The old saying applies, ” You get what you pay for!!” those 8 packs of cfls you see at Sams club and Ikea. Total crap!!! They are made in china by the train load. No quality control. Cheap is cheap. Look into american made cfls like TCP. a great company.. check out the video. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t10D6Ud4RuU

  • http://www.premierltg.com Evado

    This is a good way of reducing your co2 emmissions. But buyer beware. The old saying applies, ” You get what you pay for!!” those 8 packs of cfls you see at Sams club and Ikea. Total crap!!! They are made in china by the train load. No quality control. Cheap is cheap. Look into american made cfls like TCP. a great company.. check out the video. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t10D6Ud4RuU

  • Chris

    quit w/ the crying about mercury… what do you want less energy usage & recycling of bulbs or inefficient incandescent? seriously if it is that big of a deal to you then use a candle… oh wait that probably emits too much carbon for you. but back to the mercury… its not like they are making it up out of thin air. it was here long before we were here & i’m sure it will last longer than we will.

  • Chris

    quit w/ the crying about mercury… what do you want less energy usage & recycling of bulbs or inefficient incandescent? seriously if it is that big of a deal to you then use a candle… oh wait that probably emits too much carbon for you. but back to the mercury… its not like they are making it up out of thin air. it was here long before we were here & i’m sure it will last longer than we will.

  • Charlie Hayes

    It sure would be a waste for me to buy all these new cool instant on bulbs and throw away all the long-lasting existing CFL bulbs. Maybe in 8 years when my CFL bulbs die LED bulbs will be cheaper and easier to find.

  • Charlie Hayes

    It sure would be a waste for me to buy all these new cool instant on bulbs and throw away all the long-lasting existing CFL bulbs. Maybe in 8 years when my CFL bulbs die LED bulbs will be cheaper and easier to find.

  • Gulag2008

    Skip the CFL bulbs.

    If you want safe bulbs that uses even less electricity

    check out Earthled bulbs. Earthled makes led light

    bulbs that use as little as 3 watts yet produce the

    light output of a 40 watt bulb. They also have a bulb

    that replaces a 100 watt incandescent and uses only

    13 watts. Oh, and the best part they look like regular

    light bulbs!

  • Gulag2008

    Skip the CFL bulbs.

    If you want safe bulbs that uses even less electricity

    check out Earthled bulbs. Earthled makes led light

    bulbs that use as little as 3 watts yet produce the

    light output of a 40 watt bulb. They also have a bulb

    that replaces a 100 watt incandescent and uses only

    13 watts. Oh, and the best part they look like regular

    light bulbs!

  • Nathan

    @Eric

    I believe the author was referring to the physical size of the bulb (not the wattage) when he said the 13W micro-mini was the smallest on the market.

  • Nathan

    @Eric

    I believe the author was referring to the physical size of the bulb (not the wattage) when he said the 13W micro-mini was the smallest on the market.

  • Winston

    @Eric

    I believe those little 3Watt bulbs are Cold Cathode…

    is that the same as CFLs???

    I have something very similar to these in the entertainment center ( I think I got them at HomeDepot )

    http://www.goodmart.com/products/715572.htm

  • Winston

    @Eric

    I believe those little 3Watt bulbs are Cold Cathode…

    is that the same as CFLs???

    I have something very similar to these in the entertainment center ( I think I got them at HomeDepot )

    http://www.goodmart.com/products/715572.htm

  • Bob

    Yeah, but does it blend?

  • Bob

    Yeah, but does it blend?

  • Robert

    Popular Mechanics crunched the numbers on mercury as well:

    Approximately 0.0234 mg of mercury—plus carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide—releases into the air per 1 kwh of electricity that a coal-fired power plant generates. Over the 7500-hour average range of one CFL, then, a plant will emit 13.16 mg of mercury to sustain a 75-watt incandescent bulb but only 3.51 mg of mercury to sustain a 20-watt CFL (the lightning equivalent of a 75-watt traditional bulb). Even if the mercury contained in a CFL was directly released into the atmosphere, an incandescent would still contribute 4.65 more milligrams of mercury into the environment over its lifetime.

  • Robert

    Popular Mechanics crunched the numbers on mercury as well:

    Approximately 0.0234 mg of mercury—plus carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide—releases into the air per 1 kwh of electricity that a coal-fired power plant generates. Over the 7500-hour average range of one CFL, then, a plant will emit 13.16 mg of mercury to sustain a 75-watt incandescent bulb but only 3.51 mg of mercury to sustain a 20-watt CFL (the lightning equivalent of a 75-watt traditional bulb). Even if the mercury contained in a CFL was directly released into the atmosphere, an incandescent would still contribute 4.65 more milligrams of mercury into the environment over its lifetime.

  • Ian

    Mercury (plus a hundreds other nasty things) is emitted by every coal burning plant in the country.

    By reducing the amount of electricity a bulb uses, you are directly reducing the amount of mercury emitted into the atmosphere.

    So yes, CF bulbs have mercury in them, but overall they REDUCE the amount being put into the enviroment.

  • Ian

    Mercury (plus a hundreds other nasty things) is emitted by every coal burning plant in the country.

    By reducing the amount of electricity a bulb uses, you are directly reducing the amount of mercury emitted into the atmosphere.

    So yes, CF bulbs have mercury in them, but overall they REDUCE the amount being put into the enviroment.

  • Skeptic

    @David – That’s great until the bulb shatters in your home and the shards (which contain mercury) pierce your skin.

    Keep your anti-coal bs for the rallies. CFLs SUCK.

  • Skeptic

    @David – That’s great until the bulb shatters in your home and the shards (which contain mercury) pierce your skin.

    Keep your anti-coal bs for the rallies. CFLs SUCK.

  • blimey

    If they break, mercury (neurooxin) contaminates your home. CFL’s are not supposed to go in the trash where they probably will break. They are supposed to go to a toxic waste dump.

  • blimey

    If they break, mercury (neurooxin) contaminates your home. CFL’s are not supposed to go in the trash where they probably will break. They are supposed to go to a toxic waste dump.

  • http://www.adspeed.com/ Son Nguyen

    Very nice, $5/bulb is still very high though. Also, there should be a simpler and safer way to dispose old bulbs.

  • http://www.adspeed.com/ Son Nguyen

    Very nice, $5/bulb is still very high though. Also, there should be a simpler and safer way to dispose old bulbs.

  • Mickey

    So, where can we purchase these magical micros? They don’t even come up in a search at Sylvania’s website…

  • Mickey

    So, where can we purchase these magical micros? They don’t even come up in a search at Sylvania’s website…

  • http://greenoptions.com David

    @Thad: We already are facing a mercury issue, with all that is emitted from coal-fired power plants. Mercury can be recovered from a spent bulb much easier than it can from the environment.

  • http://greenoptions.com David

    @Thad: We already are facing a mercury issue, with all that is emitted from coal-fired power plants. Mercury can be recovered from a spent bulb much easier than it can from the environment.

  • neednewbed.com

    23w for 100watt equivalent, they seem a bit less efficient than the usual 20w for 100watts

    so smaller ones lose about 15percent of efficiency.

  • Thad

    If the average is 36 bulbs in one American home, that amount of mercury adds up quickly. Where is all that mercury going? Are we going to be facing a mercury issue in the years to come?

  • Thad

    If the average is 36 bulbs in one American home, that amount of mercury adds up quickly. Where is all that mercury going? Are we going to be facing a mercury issue in the years to come?

  • Eric

    13W is not the smallest CFL.

    The smallest ones are 4 and 7W for the smaller candelabra socket. Often they come with adapters to mount them in a regular socket. IKEA also has had (still?) 11W ones with a bluish light – but with probably the best efficiency I’ve seen (lumens/watt) – that I’ve had in use for a good decade so far.

    It’s nice to see the lifetime now creeping up to 12,000 hours – most are only 8,000 – and that’s optomistic. I’ve lost none of the CFL’s I’ve had in service for a decade – but ones I’ve bought over the past 5 years have had a signif. failure rate. Friends have had the same issue – even ones on 24×7 – not lasting near their rated life.

    LED lights are currently $20->$30 each; about what I was paying for CFLs when I bought them – without the mercury and with a better life (I hope – it’ll come down the electronics).

  • Eric

    13W is not the smallest CFL.

    The smallest ones are 4 and 7W for the smaller candelabra socket. Often they come with adapters to mount them in a regular socket. IKEA also has had (still?) 11W ones with a bluish light – but with probably the best efficiency I’ve seen (lumens/watt) – that I’ve had in use for a good decade so far.

    It’s nice to see the lifetime now creeping up to 12,000 hours – most are only 8,000 – and that’s optomistic. I’ve lost none of the CFL’s I’ve had in service for a decade – but ones I’ve bought over the past 5 years have had a signif. failure rate. Friends have had the same issue – even ones on 24×7 – not lasting near their rated life.

    LED lights are currently $20->$30 each; about what I was paying for CFLs when I bought them – without the mercury and with a better life (I hope – it’ll come down the electronics).

  • http://www.greensahm.com/ Green SAHM

    Probably, but also probably too little to matter to you unless you break it, and even then the cleanup is simple. You can find instructions online. And by saving energy there’s less pollution emitted by power plants for it.

  • http://www.greensahm.com/ Green SAHM

    Probably, but also probably too little to matter to you unless you break it, and even then the cleanup is simple. You can find instructions online. And by saving energy there’s less pollution emitted by power plants for it.

  • Allison

    Yeah, but does it contain mercury?

  • Allison

    Yeah, but does it contain mercury?

    • markvturner

      Yes, but much less than the mercury released by coal power plants to light an incandescent light bulb.

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