A nice bit of engineering problem solving! Anything that discourages people from switching from incandescents (5 percent useful light, 95 percent wasted energy) to compact fluorescent bulbs while we wait for the prices on good LED bulbs to come down is a bad thing.

One thing you hear from the nutjobs is how terrible the mercury in CFL bulbs is, and what an EPA nightmare you will have on your hands if you break one of these in your house.

A clever solution is pending: Providing a small bit of mercury absorbing treated cloth with the bulbs so that, in event of a break (rare — I have many of these bulbs, and have moved them several times without breakage), you simply put the cloth over the break and it sucks up the mercury, and you recycle the cloth so the mercury is recaptured. Neat!

Grist thanks its sponsors. Become one.