CFLs in the kitchen

I'm not fully convinced about CFLs.
Are they really better for the planet?
Do they really save money?

But despite my sceptism, I'm putting CFLs into our kitchen GU10s


Yes, they use less energy to run, but I'm sceptical about the environmental benefits of switching a cheap simple 3 or 4 material device like a traditional bulb (glass, metel, wire) for a much more complicated CFL (circuit board, various components, glass, phosphorous and - if you believe what you read - mercury). The complicated-ness must also inherantly mean a more complicated/costly manufacturing process.

Also, the figures of how much a low energy bulb will "save" are debatable. Clearly if you leave your lights on 24/7, you'll save a lot. But you can "save energy" simply by being more frugal and without the need for buying new-fangled bulbs.

Still, despite all this, I realised that we were now using the kitchen most of the day & evening, much more than before the twins were born. And that means using the lights too. So as another halogen has gone, I decided to change the lot.

So far, I've done some research & ordered the new bulbs. What I found was a lot of adverts for "low energy bulbs" but not a lot of up-to-date reviews or objective advice on switching from GU10 halogens to CFLs (wattage, colour temperature etc). There is a lot of variation in the products available but the retails 'sheds' only stock a narrow range, so probably leading people to buy just what they find and maybe that's partly why CFL GU10s still don't seem to have taken off.

Once we get the new bulbs and fit them, I'll post my 'findings'. Meanwhile some info so far is here