The grenade in your lamp

Posted by: Phineas on April 20, 2011 at 3:04 pm

**Posted by Phineas

Hey, you know those twisty compact fluorescent bulbs we’re being “encouraged” to buy because incandescents are so evil? You know, the light bulbs that are going to save the planet, because they’re (begin pious look) sustainable (sigh wistfully, end pious look)?

They can explode and burn your house down:

A compact fluorescent light (CFL) on the ceiling burst and started a fire in a home in Hornell, N.Y. December 23, 2010. “Those are the lights everybody’s been telling us to use,” said Joe Gerych, Steuben County Fire Inspector. “It blew up like a bomb. It spattered all over.” Fire Chief Mike Robbins said the blaze destroyed the room where the fire started and everything in it, and the rest of the house suffered smoke and water damage. The Arkport Village Fire Department as well as the North Hornell Fire Department required about 15 minutes to put out the fire.

Bulb explodes without warning,” reported, May 21, 2010.
“Tom and Nancy Heim were watching TV recently, when Tom decided to turn on the floor lamp next to his recliner chair. ‘I heard this loud pop…I saw what I thought was smoke, coming out of the top of the floor lamp,’ says Tom. Nancy suddenly found glass in her lap. She says, ‘I did not see it. I just heard it, and I noticed I had glass on me.'”

On February 23, 2011, TV NewsChannel 5 in Tennessee covered “a newly-released investigators’ report that blames a February 12 fatal fire in Gallatin on one of those CFL bulbs.” Ben Rose, an attorney for the rehabilitative facility in which Douglas Johnson, 45, perished, said, “This result is consistent with our own private investigation. …We have heard reports of similar fires being initiated by CFLs across the country.”

Read the whole thing, and remember to ask your congressman and state legislator, who are probably so proud of how “green” they are, why they are trying kill you.

via Watt’s Up With That, which has more about why these things can go boom.

RELATED: Snopes on the mercury hazard of CFLs.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

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7 Responses to “The grenade in your lamp”


  1. steveegg says:

    Well, it matches the Chevy Volt (free carbecue with every 10th charge)

  2. proof says:

    Back when cfl’s first came out, I put one in a table lamp, on a timer and would use it to make the house look more lived in when I was out of town. Until the internal ballast failed one day while I was home, and I never left one on unattended after that.

  3. Carlos says:

    Is this related to the Law of Unintended Consequences in any way, like most other lib/moonbat/statist looney tunes ideas?

    Kinda like the “water saver” toilets people have to flush 3 or 4 times to get the “solids” to flush out?

    Or the electric cars that are so loaded with heavy metals it’ll be 3000 years before the ground the batteries are dumped in is safe for habitation?

  4. Lorica says:

    If it can’t be made in the USA, it shouldn’t be exclusively used in the USA. I flat out refuse to use these pieces of chinese made crap. I just ponder what is going to happen to our landfills when you have 100,000 households or more, throwing them alway every month. As far as I am concerned, I am being more enviromental than the people who use them. – Lorica

  5. Ok, the fears regarding this type of light bulb are being way overblown. Conservatives need to get a grip on this one.

    Look, I think it’s an outrage that the government has mandated the use of these bulbs. We live in a free society, or should be living in one, and the government has no right to tell you what type of light bulb you can or cannot buy.

    That said, I think they’re great technology and I have them all over my house. The work great, and I like the idea of saving energy. What’s the problem with that?

  6. Phineas says:


    I don’t think being concerned with CFL’s track record of poor construction leading to fires is being “overblown,” particularly when we’re being slowly forced to use the things. You’ll note that I also posted a link to Snopes partially debunking the mercury scare.

    As for liking them or working great, tastes differ. The light is awful unless you buy those that work in a color temp around 6400-degrees — roughly equal to daylight. They’re slow to power-up, they’re pricey, and turning them on and off shortens their life. For people on lower incomes, the government is imposing a genuine burden.

    As Anthony at WUWT points out, LEDs are a much better solution (to a problem that doesn’t really exist) to CFLs, but they’re currently pricey, too.

  7. captaingrumpy says:

    I agree with the previous post that LED’s are the way to go. Get them and you will save a bunch.