Enlighten Congress


What’s this CFL stuff anyhow? I get a chuckle when I see these TV newscasters lamenting over the dangers of mercury in compact fluorescent lamps as they sit under hundreds of mercury-containing fluorescent tubes which light their newsrooms. All fluorescent lights contain mercury and have been with us since 1938. When I was in high school I’d snitch mercury from the chemistry lab and keep it in a corked test tube. It was fun to swirl around in my palm. I don’t think I’ve suffered brain damage, though some might disagree.

These CFL bulbs are about 75% more efficient than incandescent types so Congress has decreed that the nation switch to CFLs by 2014 and abandon Edison’s incandescent lamps in the name of energy efficiency. CFL’s are not made in the USA but only in China which will have a monopoly. If we ever cross the Red Chinese it could be lights out at the Pentagon from a Beijing satellite downlink command. Is Congress so na├»ve as to put the nation in this precarious position or is this a conspiracy?

The other problem that Congress apparently did not consider is that CFL’s are not recommended for use with timers, photocells and dimmers which means, at least around my place, that they would not be practical for outdoor lighting or my indoor lighting controlled by dimmers, over half my lights. They also create radio interference which, for example, will be a problem for aircraft control towers. I think Congress needs to re-think their decree.

Jack Singleton