(This was the letter the Wall Street Journal didn’t print, but should have.)
Nice try by Jeff Ball to try and sell Compact Florescent Light Bulbs to an unwilling public, but price is not the reason they are languishing on the shelves. Unlike the 1930’s & 40’s when large but ugly florescent tubes were introduced, the modern citizenry is now well aware of the poisonous nature of the mercury they contain, and the dire health hazards they present lest one CFL bulb breaks in your house. Until recently, the EPA even recommended hiring a haz-mat team if one broke. In February of just this year, in an effort similar to yours to get people to buy CFLs, it updated its web site to simply spell out a long arduous process that can easily take an entire afternoon to complete: http://www.epa.gov/hg/spills/#fluorescent
Well, I sure won’t be putting any of those things in my children’s bedrooms. These things have already gone the way of the mercury thermometers we used to, gasp, put in our children’s mouthes.
As for LED’s, they have been around for decades, and have simply taken too long to be brought to the home market. They would have been nice, but I won’t be buying them either. I’m waiting for the cell-phone sized laser projectors announced in Forbes.com this week, which are coming out in the next year or two. I will be simply projecting old fashioned lamps on the wall behind my reading chair, and cheerful blue skies with puffy clouds floating by on my ceilings.