Here's A Bright Idea!

A blog about lights, and how they can save energy, money and the environment

Cheap CFL’s Are Hurting Our Industry, And The Green Movement

Posted by adventurelightingblog on April 19, 2010

 At least once a week someone comes in to our store, complaining about a CFL they purchased.

Not one they bought from Adventure Lighting. No, these troublemakers are purchased elsewhere.

“What’s wrong with it,” I ask.

The most common responses:

“It burnt out already.”

“It overheated and melted.”

“It flickers.”

“It’s not as bright as it should be.”  

“Where’d you buy it?” I innocently inquire, knowing the answer before they give it.

“(Insert name of big box store here)”

I always feel bad for the person who got snookered into buying a “discount CFL.” They’ve probably read about the great benefits of compact flourescent bulbs, and are trying to save money on their electric bill while also doing their part for the environment.

Then they get burnt, literally – and that hurts all of us: consumers, reputable CFL distributors and the entire “green” movement.

No one knows who originally said, “You get what you pay for.” But the person should have their face enshrined on currency.

Some of these cheaply-made CFL’s claim to last 5, 6, even 10 years in some cases. But you’ll be lucky to get 6 months out of most of them.

But don’t be fooled.  There’s a reason that many of these big box stores only charge a buck or two for an 13w CFL, that we know costs double that to make properly – and it’s not out of the goodness of their hearts.

The truth is that these knock-offs are poorly designed, cheaply made and in many cases, dangerous. They can melt, catch fire, short out circuits and cause damage.

I’m not trying to specifically promote what we sell at Adventure Lighting – I think our products speak for themselves, plus there are a lot of reputable light companies in Des Moines who sell quality CFL’s, just like us.

What I am trying to do is save you money, time and headaches, while helping keep you and your family safe.  And the whole point of the CFL is to save energy and money, but when a consumer has a bad experience with one CFL, they’ll never go back.  And that doesn’t help anyone save energy.

Some things, you can buy at a big box store, or grocery chain. CFL’s should not be one of them. Period.

Those of us in the lighting industry, live, eat, breathe and talk about lights, every day – that’s our job. We read the trade journals, talk to the manufacturers, stay up to date on the latest news and, most important, stock the best brands – for us, that’s Philips, Technical Consumer Produts and Greenlite.  

So when it comes to your CFL’s, leave them to the lighting professionals.

And in the meantime,  I promise never to sell lumber, plants or milk. Although I would love to sell cookies and pastries – my wife would probably veto it. 🙂

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One Response to “Cheap CFL’s Are Hurting Our Industry, And The Green Movement”

  1. Bill said

    I agree that shopping at the Big Box stores for light bulbs is a problem. I have told my customers that the only things to buy there are wood on one end and plants on the other. If they need bulbs they should look at a distributor of quality products. That is why I started my own business to ensure they get quality service and products. Check out the selection of CFL’s at the following link. http://advantagelightingsupply.com/pd-23-watt—r40-cfl—90-w-equal—5000k-full-spectrum.cfm

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