As I finished my yoga practice at night fall, I rose and began turning lights on in my living room. I use incandescent bulbs in my lamps and had a moment of guilt at using this energy to provide myself comfortable lighting.
Then I remembered that unlike my neighbors, I have not turned my AC on yet this spring. So I could probably consider this a tradeoff. They can use AC and CFL’s, I’ll keep my windows open and AC off, and enjoy more pleasant lighting.
When I moved into my current home I had to go through the house and switch out every lightbulb from CFL to incandescent. The rooms with the CFL’s made me feel anxious, irritable, ill at ease. As soon as I switched the bulb in each room, I felt relief.
CFL’s contain mercury so there’s a strong risk of poisoning yourself if you break one in your home. The light they emit flickers, and while not everyone can perceive this flicker, those of us who do will be highly irritated by it. The light tone of CFL’s can also be cold and unpleasant. And to top it off, they can be the source of AC magnetic fields which is a problem for the electrically hypersensitive.
These are the reasons why I recommend my clients to (carefully!) switch out their CFL’s for incandescents. And as a tradeoff, I recommend finding other ways to save energy, such as using daylighting during the day.