What did they expect?

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News from the lighting sector bemoans the fact that sales of light bulbs are dropping off, particularly CFLs, compact fluorescent lights. Well, duh! Or in the new vernacular of the Internet, "Derp!" What did they expect would happen when you replace a 1,000-hr bulb with a bulb that runs 10,000 hours or longer? At those rates, one CFL replaces 10 standard incandescent bulbs (IBs). So instead of selling ten standard bulbs during the life of the CFL, the bulb manufacturer only sold one.

I'm sure many people do NOT replace perfectly good IBs with CFLs. They wait until the IB burns out, and then replace the burned-out bulb with a CFL. That's how I did it in my house. In fact, I can state there are still a number of IBs in place that are seldom used and still function fine, though I've already had to replace several of the CFLs in "well traveled" locations. The "replace-as-needed" philosophy I'm sure played a big role in creating the ramp leading to the max number of CFL sales.

According to information supplied by the National Electrical Manufacturing Association (NEMA), the sale of IBs peaked about the end of 2003, early 2004. CFLs show a steady rise from their introduction in 2002, reaching peak sales in 2007 -- but have been on the decline since then. Meanwhile IBs showed a slight uptick in sales during the last quarter, but still quite lower than their 2005 figures. Why? It's all those CFLs sold in earlier years still on the job! So now we have manufacturers complaining about a situation they helped create.

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