1 Sep 2008

Expert surprised by eco-bulb problems in NZ

9:59 pm on 1 September 2008

A world expert on energy-saving light bulbs is at a loss to explain why New Zealand is having issues with them.

Mr K Seshadri, a senior consultant with Philips, has met government officials amid growing concern over eco-bulbs, which in some cases have burned fixtures and proved unreliable.

Mr Seshadri says Philips has had no more than five problems from the 500 million compact fluorescent lamps, or CFLs, it has sold over 30 years.

He says it is surprising there are problems in New Zealand with CFLs when they reach their end of life, as this does not appear to happen elsewhere.

Mr Seshadri says it is normal for the plastic in the eco-bulbs to become slightly charred after two to three years of use.

He says concerns over the mercury content in CFLs are also unfounded, as they contain only slightly more than levels in toothpaste and cosmetics.