I'm sure many of you are already aware of the looming price spikes for CFLs, but I'm curious.... what are your thoughts on how long this will last and what impact will it have on consumer behavior?  Reference: http://prioritylighting.com/2011/06/phosphors-price-increase/

Tags: CFLs

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Hi Ti Mougne

I read the link and I guess I take a different view.  Even if prices double on CFL's, they will still be a great energy saving option.  Plus, any increase can only work to motivate the advancement of the new LED luminaries which in some form will probably replace all CFLs, eventually.  IMO, CFLs were doomed from the start with their use of mercury.  That stuff just never goes away.  The fact that they require rare earth minerals is just more reason to phase them out.  Don't get me wrong, I have over 50 of them in my house and enjoy the savings, but I'm searching anxiously for my first penetration into the LED market.


Drifting a bit, the rare earth issue is a prime example of the US needing to get its act together and avoid such dependence on countries that can't be depended upon.  I think every citizen in the United States can understand that statement, but our politicians seem powerless to do anything about it.  But the people have the final say, even beyond their voting power, see, we can choose what we buy and where it comes from.  Made in America is not just a catchy phrase, it is how we can solve America's financial, employment, and numerous other problems. 



Note that LEDs also use rare-earth phosphors to produce good quality white light. I don't know if the fraction of their cost due to phosphors is as high as with CFLs (currently 50%), but expect LED prices to rise too. Some detailed articles on the price increase are below.

A good overview article from Renewable Energy World: http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/rea/blog/post/2011/07/huge-pric...

A graph of the price increase: http://www.tcpi.com/FileUploads/RichTextboxImages/PhosphorChart8.11...

A summary of lighting industry price increase: http://www.connexiones.com/price-increases

Info on the trend in rare earth metal mining (with a great trend graph): http://www.connexiones.com/rare-earth-metals-shortages

Good point about LEDs also using rare earth materials.  And thanks for the additional articles!


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