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Light switch

To the editor,

David Rimmington's letter "Flicked off" (May 10) left me scratching my head, as doubtless others were too. Burbling on about fluorescent tubes as if they were the topic of Lezlie Lowe's original column, Mr. Rimmington then went on to claim that CFL bulbs can burn down your house. While it is true that a small number of badly manufactured CFL bulbs have failed and burned the plastic base of the bulb, judicious Googling has turned up no verified cases of property damage from burning CFL bulbs—although it seems that plenty of people's friends have heard from their friends that things like that can happen.

Recess-fitted halogen lamps are a recognized and death-toll-quantifiable fire risk due to the intense heat they generate. Then again, if an incandescent touches anything flammable for long enough, the heat from the incandescent bulb can set it on fire. Naked flames and gas lamps are a no-no, too. Perhaps, to avoid all potential fire risks however minimal they become with today's technology and safety testing, Mr. Rimmington should confine himself to his bed during the hours of darkness. Just so long as he doesn't smoke there....

Yours, a happy owner of a first-generation, 15-year-old (and still going strong) CFL light bulb, and many more besides,

By Ian Rowberry, project manager, Steer Clean

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