Look, I’m all for going green, using less energy, and helping decrease my carbon footprint. I work at home. I hardly drive. I try to be judicious with the house temperature. I recycle. And I even use those new swirly fluorescent light bulbs that you see advertised everywhere these days. There’s just one problem:

They suck.

They’re supposed to last longer. They have supposedly fixed the “fluorescent lighting sucks” problem. The fact that they cost so much is supposed to be compensated by a longer life.


I’ve installed these things in all the places in my house where the quality of light doesn’t matter to me. You know: the pantry, the back room where the cat litter is, the laundry room–places like that. And I can safely say that they do not last longer and they haven’t fixed the “fluorescent lighting sucks” problem. I’ve had to replace the bulb above the litter box twice now in three months; the bulb above the entryway once in two months. The other bulbs have given me the same longevity, which is to say, not much. Certainly not significantly longer than the incandescents they replaced, and absolutely not enough to justify the higher price.

Not to mention that the quality of the light makes my eyes itch.

I’ll keep buying them and putting them in the “I don’t go there often” areas of the house. But I have to say, I just wish the marketing for this was honest, rather than trying to convince everyone that the higher price doesn’t matter because of the longer life, and that the quality of the light is “comparable.” Sell it on a “saving the planet” thing. Sacrifice a little, save a lot. That kind of thing.

Because, and not to put too fine a point on it, they suck.