Article

Who's Buying CFLs? Who's Not Buying Them? Findings from a Large-Scale, Nationwide Survey

Authors:
To read the full-text of this research, you can request a copy directly from the authors.

Abstract

A nationwide U.S. sample of residential consumers completed an Internet-based survey that included four questions pertaining to their use of compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs). The questions addressed: • The number of CFLs in use in the home • Reasons for using CFLs • Views on the quality of lighting from CFLs • Plans to purchase CFLs in the future Demographic data on respondents and their households was also obtained. Using this rich data set, we found that CFL usage differs significantly across the states and is distributed unevenly across households, with 21 percent of households accounting for 76 percent of all CFLs in use. Usage is positively correlated with age, income, education, and the length of time people have been in their current home. The opportunity to save on electricity costs is the dominant reason cited for using CFLs. Those who use CFLs are, on the whole, satisfied with the quality of light—over three-fourths say CFLs are the same or better than incandescents— but dissatisfaction rises with the age of the user. Evidence for a "gender gap" in men's and women's views of CFLs is equivocal, as men report higher usage, but women's views on quality and intention to purchase are very similar to men's. Focusing CFL marketing programs on customers who are not using CFLs should be fruitful, because customers who are using CFLs at any level—even just one per household—are significantly more likely to plan additional CFL purchases.

No full-text available

Request Full-text Paper PDF

To read the full-text of this research,
you can request a copy directly from the authors.

... Limited research has examined the gendered work of using CFLs, and research on recycling work underscores the importance of disaggregating CFL labor in such an analysis. A 2008 survey of people living alone showed U.S. men buy more CFLs, but that both genders have the same plans for future CFL purchases (Reid, 2008), while a 2012 survey of Massachusetts consumers showed men have more CFLs installed (NMR Group, Inc., 2013). While women generally do more recycling work than men (Organo et al., 2013;Schultz, 1993), when recycling practices are broken down into sub-phases, the gendering is more complex (Oates & McDonald, 2006;Wheeler & Glucksmann, 2015). ...
Article
Saving energy at home is often portrayed as the “low-hanging fruit” of climate change solutions, yet little is known about its labor or gendering. To understand these aspects of climate change mitigation more broadly, this research uses a case study of the U.S. transition to energy efficient lighting. The results show that even though using efficient bulbs is commonly portrayed as easy, it can involve six phases of additional labor. The case of CFLs indicates that home climate practices beyond light bulbs can add up to significant work, particularly when they require the navigation of toxic or complex shifts in materiality, specialized knowledge, and uncertainties. Because home climate practices like using CFLs are the kind of work traditionally performed by women, they can expand the gender “climate gap” and are often devalued in inequitable ways. This research illuminates the importance of making the labor and gendering of environmental practices visible.
Article
This paper studies the harmonic impact of modern residential loads on the secondary power distribution systems. Several issues of concern to utilities, such as the neutral-to-earth voltage rise, the overloading of service transformers, the impact of compact fluorescent lights (CFL), and the benefits of adopting IEC 61000-3-2 limits, have been investigated. A bottom-up probabilistic harmonic assessment method proposed in the companion paper was applied to conduct the study. Several interesting results have been obtained. For example, the adoption of CFLs based on market trend could result in an increase of voltage total harmonic distortion by about 10% per year over the next couple of years. Adopting the IEC limits on CFLs will drop the growth rate to 2% per year. In addition to the results of interest to utility companies, this paper demonstrates the usefulness and necessity of a bottom-up-based approach to conduct harmonic assessment for residential loads.
Article
The applications of LED lighting technology in combination with appropriate plastics, in automobile industry, are discussed. The use of LEDs in daytime running lights for all new EU cars including Audi, provides enhanced safety by improving the ability to be seen by other motorists under unfavorable traffic conditions. The fast response time of LEDs in high-mount brake lights provides a real gain in safety due to quicker recognition of the situation. Audi has introduced the world's first headlight that achieves all front lighting functions through use of LEDs, in addition to daytime running lights, the turn indicator, low beam and high beam. Other benefits of the LED technology include low energy consumption, daylight-like color for more contrast and pleasant perception, durability, low voltage requirement, compact size and greater design freedom.
Fluorescent Bulbs Are Known to Zap Domestic Tranquility: Energy Savers a Turnoff for Wives
  • Blaine Harden
Harden, Blaine. 2007. "Fluorescent Bulbs Are Known to Zap Domestic Tranquility: Energy Savers a Turnoff for Wives." Washington Post. April 30.
Age Wave' Demands Sea Change
  • Eunice Noell-Waggoner
Noell-Waggoner, Eunice. 2006. "'Age Wave' Demands Sea Change." Architectural Lighting. (November-December): 53-55.
Blinded by the Light: Why Are We in the Dark About How Many CFLs Are Out There
  • Oman Susan
  • Lynn Hoefgen
  • Angela Li
  • Ralph Prahl
Oman Susan, Lynn Hoefgen, Angela Li, and Ralph Prahl. 2007. "Blinded by the Light: Why Are We in the Dark About How Many CFLs Are Out There?" In Proceedings of the 2007 International Energy Program Evaluation Conference. Madison, Wis.: International Energy Program Evaluation Conference.
Free Light Bulb Program is a 'Bright' Idea
  • Harry F Themal
Themal, Harry F. 2006. "Free Light Bulb Program is a 'Bright' Idea." News-Journal (Wilmington, Del.). October 23.