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Monday, April 2, 2007

How to get more consumers to buy Compact Fluorescent Bulbs

The cleverly titled blog post "How Many Green Marketers Does It Take to Change a Light Bulb" over at the Marketing Green blog lists a few ways that marketers of the energy efficient bulbs can overcome the consumer's resistance to changing to CFLs. While I do believe that the higher cost of CFLs is a potential hurdle for marketers, I think the folks at Marketing Green are way off in their recommendation for a solution where the consumer doesn't pay for the bulb up front but "pay later through installment payments that are tied to energy savings. " Read the rest on their blog because I think their plan is too ridiculous to even continue discussing here.

The problem with CFLs is the light quality or light brightness. The situation in our household exemplifies this point. We often leave two of the manual lights on in our basement. Noticing that these lights were on more than any other in our house it made sense to switch those two incandescent light bulbs to CFLs. The problem is that the light is not as bright as the old bulbs, and although my wife has switched out one of the CFLs for an older, brighter bulb, and I have tried to switch them back, this is not a battle that I am going to win. She prefers brighter light over cost savings and saving the polar bears, so I lose this round. We now leave only the one CFL light on and have to turn off the brighter incandescent bulb since leaving it on too long will burn it out within a month.

Yes, I know, hard knock life. But my point is that if CFLs could emit light quality at least on par with incandescents this wouldn't be an issue. CFLs would be the easy choice. I am sure a lot of people have tested a CFL or two over the past year or so and while the brightness is much better than the earlier fluorescent bulbs, their lack of penetration in most US households is proof that CFLs still have a way to go.

1 comment:

Fiona said...

Yes, my dad refuses to change some of the incandescent lights we have at home because they're not bright enough, and would be bad for the eyes if we tried to read under them.