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There goes that evil StuffMart again…

August 31st, 2006

swirlbulb From Instapundit comes this article on the emmergence of Compact Flourcent Lighbulbs (CFLs):


Diane Lindsley, the hardware buyer who decides what goes in the lightbulb aisles at Wal-Mart, thinks 100 million swirls is perfectly reasonable. “Yes,” she says, “it’s rational, I think.” Before she started buying bulbs for Wal-Mart just three years ago, Lindsley didn’t even know what CFLs were. Now she pauses in a way that suggests the kind of determination Wal-Mart can bring to bear when its buyers decide they are going to sell Americans something. “We have plans in place to where it may not take that long.”

Which presents a daunting challenge: Wal-Mart’s push into swirls won’t just help consumers and the environment; it will shatter a business–its own lightbulb business, and that of every lightbulb manufacturer. Because swirls last so long, every one that’s sold represents the loss of 6 or 8 or 10 incandescent bulb sales. Swirls will remake the lightbulb industry–dominated by familiar names GE, Philips, Sylvania–the way digital-music downloads have remade selling albums on CD, the way digital cameras revolutionized selling film and envelopes of snapshots. CFLs are a classic example of creative destruction.

I’ve installed a few CFL’s in the past few months in closets and bathrooms to replace bulbs that always burned out quickly. I may expand the list to a few more places around the house.

Bully for Wal-mart though, being environmentally conscious and all that…

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  1. August 31st, 2006 at 15:21 | #1

    We’re most of the way through the process of completely replacing all the incandescent bulbs in our house with swirls (I’d never heard that term before, but I like it). I like ’em, but there’s an adjustment period, for two things. First, the slight delay after the switch is thrown before they actually light up. Second, they don’t come on at full brightness; it takes several seconds — maybe more? — for them to really light up the room. We were depressed by our initial experience with them, as we threw the switch and thought, “oh man…this is dreary. We’ve got to live with this for six years?” It then took a while to register that the eventually illumination is just about the same as the bulbs they replaced. You just have to have a bit of patience.

  2. August 31st, 2006 at 15:43 | #2

    I have to see what MLB would think about swirly’s in the main ceiling fan and Random Manor.

    So far we’ve just placed them in out of the way corners, that get lit and unlit often, and so burn through the incandescents like they are chaff. (heat/cold cycles kill the filaments quicker is my off the cuff thought)

  3. Deboobily
    September 1st, 2006 at 13:28 | #3

    Yup, we tried ’em. About 6 years ago, Matt decided we needed to replace all our bulbs with swirlies, so we started the process. Result: we HATED ’em. Could NOT read by ’em. Didn’t last 6 years as promised. Never saw the reduction in electricity costs that was advertised.
    Who knew? And we didn’t even buy them at Stuff Mart….

  4. September 1st, 2006 at 13:30 | #4

    Maybe StuffMart has the market on all the good ones?

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