Perhaps the only thing that will ever silence the various overblown objections to compact fluorescent lights is when they are replaced by solid state lighting systems, based on light emitting diodes (LEDs).
Unfortunately, as a post on BoingBoing points out, there is still a way to go before such lighting systems will be viable options for most people. For one thing, they are still expensive. For another, the light they produce may start out not being white, or drift away from being white over time. Worse, it is very difficult for people to distinguish between high and low quality products currently on offer.
Another problem is that LEDs arenâ€™t unambiguously more efficient than fluorescent lighting systems: â€œThe more lumens per watt, the better the energy efficiency. The kind of fluorescent lamps used in offices–the long, narrow ones that are called T-5 or T-8s in Technicalland–regularly get more than 100 lumens per watt. An LED T-8 lamp tested by CALiPER last year got 42.â€ It seems those of us pushing for more energy efficient lighting may have to continue rebutting claims about mercury and flickering for some time yet.