Why do compact florescent bulbs cost so much? Are they that much more expensive to build over incandescent bulbs or is it a matter of not enough demand to lower the cost?
A fluorescent bulb must have a starter (or ballast) to start, unlike an incandescent bulb. Since a standard lamp doesn’t have a starter, it must be packaged with each compact fluorescent bulb.
Well, I’m sure they’re more expensive to build. A standard light bulb isn’t much – just some fancy packaging for a fancy wire. A compact flourescent needs some somewhat complicated electronics.
But really, there’s a standard answer for why anything costs what it does. Because that’s what people are willing to pay for it. People (and especially businesses) are willing to pay more for the CF bulbs because they last longer, and cost less over time.