Energy-efficient light bulbs need a quality boost

Michael Siminovitch, director of the California Lighting Technology Center at UC Davis, takes part in a Q&A on the New York Times’ Green Inc. blog. Compact fluorescent light bulbs save energy — but consumers don’t like them, because they don’t seem to perform as well as incandescent bulbs.

“A consumer buys a light source to look good and to provide quality lighting inside a space. They don’t normally go to a store to buy a light source to save energy,” Siminovitch — a big advocate for lighting energy efficiency — says. These bulbs can be built to give better colors, longer life and smooth dimming, but those quality issues have been neglected while manufacturers have tried to push down prices.