Some very interesting discussion of the very same topics we covered here at:"Norway, which generates over 99% of its electrical power by hydroelectric would actually see an increase in mercury emissions if they move to CFLs."
It seems that the cost equations are still being worked on!
There are lots of competing claims, the most interesting among them being CFL equivalency ratings are overblown. A poster to the discussion at wikipedia says that his tests show that CFL's claimed to be equivalent to a100W lightbulb are actually noticeably dimmer. This is something I mean to test since I "scored" a number of the N-Vision CFL's at Home Depot tonight:
762148549236.....9R4023 floodlight.....$7.47762148582328.....23W 2Pk..................$7.97 762148581925.....19W 2Pk..................$7.97 762148581444.....14W Mini 4Pk...........$7.97 762148588429.....42W Bulb.................$9.97
Even though it's bigger than the bulb it's going to replace (and that's an issue) the 42W does indeed "snap on" to near full brightness much faster than the older bulb, a Lights of America triaxial bulb. The 42W bulb comes with two plastic clips that are not mentioned anywhere on the package. The look like they could be used the way some lampshades have a wire clamp for the bulb that supports the shade, but it's hard to tell.
The Nvoice in-store display had a staggering variety. Some of the warnings on the bulbs are new to me (do not use near marine radios or in emergency exit signs). I'll have to dig out my Gossen Luna Pro lightmeter so I can make some meaningful measurement if the CHA research committee stipulates it to be accurate enough for the purpose! (-:
(Some more preliminary results - I guess I am not going to bed tonight, but playing with lightbulbs instead!)
The N:Vision bulbs work in my porch light, a fixture controlled by a generic X-10 wall switch. No other CFL has been able to do that without flashing at about 4 on/off cycles per second. I detect a slight pulsing but it's my wife, who's TDY, who will decide if that's objectionable.
The Monterey detects no "signal sucker" effects from the bulbs when used in a table lamp, but I've had to change the way I test due to the strong signals emitted by the XTB. I locate an outlet that's far enough away from the lamp and the test transmitter (both plugged into the same outlet strip) to register under 4 volts. Then I swap out bulbs, looking for any change in readings. There were none. Noise was reported to be about 10-12 millivolts in both bands that are tested. That's quite acceptable.
The light from the bulb appears much dimmer than the 60W incandescent it replaced, but that's understandable because it's 14W and that's equivalent to a 40W incandescent, IIRC. Hard to describe the difference in lighting quality but the front door cam view has changed. I'll probably test the 19W in that fixture next because I want good lighting for the front door cams.
I've found that the bulbs are dimmable - sort of - even though that use is disclaimed. I'm amazed at how low they will dim - just a ghostly glow - but there's a dual pronged problem of both flicker and noise. I'm going to run one for a few hundred hours in a dimmed mode to see if it causes early failure. I have found that there are dim levels that minimize the buzz and flicker. I suspect I'm seeing and hearing the beat frequency oscillation that Jeff discussed earlier at the levels that flicker or hum badly.
I hear a slight buzz on the front door audio that is not present with an incandescent but I think that will end up being a cable re-routing issue.
The spotlight is an interesting beast as well, and it's very odd shape actually fits into one of the table lamps that so far has rejected all but the tiniest of CFL bulbs. That meant that CFL's were unusable because of the heavy lampshade. The light's not even enough to use as is in that lamp, but I can see other interesting possibilities since the reflector diffuses the harsh shadows some other lamps have produced.
On the whole, my impression is that these will be a great asset to X-10 users as they appear to be the most X-10 friendly CFL's I've run across to date. The price is entirely comparable to Target and War-Mart. Thanks for the heads up, Marc. CHA at its best!
OK - last report. I started this message at 11PM and now it's 5AM. The police just stopped by because the neighbors called and said they thought someone was stealing my porch lightbulb or trying to break in! Now it's time to get an hour or two of sleep.
Now for the bad news! The new N:Vision bulb will NOT turn off remotely and I noticed the wall switch was humming loudly, even undimmed. The 14W runs cheaply enough that I could afford to run it 24/7 and it would still cost less than an incandescent, but that's not what I wanted. I don't want to go after that switch, either, because it's on an outside wall and it won't stand any more tugging on the sixty year old wires without serious risk of breaking. That means digging out the wires, replastering, repainting, yada, yada, yada and that's not going to be happening, especially around tax time! I'll bet there's no neutral at that switch. Back to incandescents or forward to forever-burning CFLs. Or even WORSE,*manual* control of the light!!!!!!
Tomorrow I will trace the circuit to see if putting an XTB as close to the porchlight as possible on that circuit leg will "blast" through whatever's blocking the signal, mostly for curiosity's sake. The porchlights are a really bizarre run that goes up to the attic, across and down at the front and IIRC, there may be no other outlets or lights on that circuit to easily tap into.
On the plus side, near-instant on, good cold weather performance, limited dimming, no X-10 EMI and no X-10 signal sucking are nothing to sneeze at!
-- Bobby G.