The people who are stuck in their caves that still won’t convert to compact flourescent bulbs (CFL’s) because of some silly, antiquated excuse have one less argument they can make against the energy savings. Hybrid CFL’s designed by GE now come to full light instantly after being turned on.
I’ve got CFL’s all over my house, including outside. When I flip a switch to look outside, it’s as if the lights weren’t even on. Not anymore. That’s one point for CFL’s, climate skeptics: 0.
The bulb is in the shape of a “regular” incandescent bulb, which may also convert some of the weirdo holdouts. Inside that outer shell is the familiar CFL coil, and inside that is a small halogen unit, capable of emitting instant, bright light. As the CFL portion of the bulb warms up and shows it’s full light, the halogen turns off to save power.
Unnecessary innovation? Perhaps. But if it converts a few lazy, apathetic people, it’s worth it. The bulbs are supposed to last around 8,000 hours. That’s 1,000 times more than an old incandescent bulb and about the same as a standard incandescent.
There’s one more benefit to these bulbs, the contain less mercury than a standard CFL. About half as much. This is another hangup for some slow-to-convert folks, that they don’t want to bother disposing of CFL’s properly because they contain mercury. As I see it, there is no “disposal”. As a popular bumper sticker reads: “Throw it away? There is no ‘away’.” This means you are producing waste regardless of the type of bulb you’re using. Even so, for every CFL you throw away, you could be throwing away 1,000 incandescent bulbs. You do the math and figure out which is worse.
Hybrid bulbs will come in 60 and 75 watt capacities and sell for around $6. Not a bad deal considering that equates to around $500 in incandescent bulbs.