Yesterday morning I tried to help somebody by pointing out something about incandescent vs. CFL. And they replied with some superior, dismissive ignorance. I then decided to start a thread at permies to set the record straight on this sort of thing. After four hours of writing, I decided it would be easier to edit it in wordpad. Around 6pm I decided it would probably be better to make it into a new web page. I was shocked to see it was midnight and I was still going - so I forced myself to stop and go to bed. I resumed this morning about 60 seconds after getting out of bed.
I am 99% done. Or, at least, done enough where I could use feedback. I haven't linked to it or anything like that yet. I'll probably turn it loose tomorrow.
For now, I'm mostly worried about flow and grammar. Or any opinion other than mine - I've been mashing this around for too long now. And I'm starting to feel pretty dopey.
Wow. Great article. And not only because I agree with it. You did your homework on this, Paul.
One or two minor grammatical errors that might not even be errors. Overall, it flows well and gives a good argument and a very possible scenario for why we are having CFLs rammed down our throats by law.
I'm sure you will amend this over time, but for now I would say this is a very well done article which is good to go.
look over your decrease in lumens section again. the 60 watts to 30 watts doesn't fit with the 70-80% from the wikipedia article, unless there are logarithms involved or something I'm not catching.
performs poorly in the first two minutes: that was my favorite part about fluorescent lights. turning on bathroom lights in the middle of the night, or kitchen lights way too early in the morning, was much nicer with fluorescents that started dim and slowly got brighter. not really a problem with your article, though.
rants about mercury: the block quote formatting is a little weird. just a style issue.
incandescent and electric heat: your math there doesn't check out. incandescent light bulbs are designed to put out more energy as light than electric heater elements are and less energy into heat. electric motors (vacuum cleaner) turn more energy into motion (and noise) than heater elements and less energy into heat. you have a good point to be made there: that the amount of energy used as heat in a light bulb doesn't have to be wasted. but don't overstate it. as it stands now, I don't think your "laws of physics" are the same as the universe's laws of physics. yes, heat is kinetic energy just like motion and sound, but I still don't think it checks out. I'm open to being exactly wrong, though.
other suggestions: could take more time than you're interested in, but calling around to state and local governments to find out about subsidies would strengthen the article a lot. I'm also interested in the embodied energy of the two types of bulbs. I'm certain it takes more energy, and therefore more hypothetical mercury from coal, to build a fluorescent, but I have no idea how much more. also, since you seem to have a fondness for wikipedia, have a look at this incandescent bulb for an example of how long they can last.
good article. you're going to catch some flak, for sure, but probably only from the folks who are already hassling you. I will be interested to see if any of that flak has substance.
A few people must have dug it out of the trash and upvoted it.
It is still alive, but barely.
I should have expected this level of negative reaction. After all people have been told that CFL is eco for years. For a lot of folks, purchasing CFL's might be their whole eco ticket and this article takes that away.