Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs

Compact Fluorescent Lights (CFL) is an energy-efficient lighting option. The compact design allows them to be used in place of incandescent light bulbs. CFLs screw into standard sockets, and give off light that looks just like the common incandescent bulbs not the lighting we associate fluorescent lights.

CFLs are four times more efficient and last up to 10 times longer than incandescent bulbs. A 22 watt CFL has about the same light output as a 100 watt incandescent and uses much less energy.

CFLs appear to be initially more expensive, but they use 1/3 the electricity and last up to 10 times as long as incandescents. A single 18-watt CFL used in place of a 75 watt incandescent will save about 570 kWh over its lifetime. At 8 cents per kWh, that equates to a $45 savings.

CFLs can be applied almost anyplace where incandescent lights are used. They can be used in recessed fixtures, table lamps, track lighting, ceiling fixtures and porch lights. 3-way CFLs are also now available for lamps with 3-way settings.

When replacing incandescent with CFL match the lumens of light.
A 60 Watt Incandescent = 13-18 CFL Watts or 890 Lumens.
A 75 Watt Incandescent = 18-22 CFL Watts or 1210 Lumens.
A 100 Watt Incandescent = 23-28 CFL Watts or 1750 Lumens.
A 150 Watt Incandescent = 30-38 CFL Watts or 2780 Lumens.

Although household CFL bulbs may legally be disposed of with regular trash (in the US), they are categorized as household hazardous waste. CFLs should not be sent to an incinerator, which would disperse the mercury into the atmosphere. The best solution is to save spent CFLs for a community household hazardous waste collection, which would then send the bulbs to facilities capable of treating, recovering or recycling them.

© 2007 Steven G. Atkinson – All Rights Reserved

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