Category Archives: Fluorescent Light Bulbs Picture

Fluorescent Light Bulbs Picture

In case you hadn’t noticed, the “Green Movement” is taking hold. More and more people are realizing that we, as individuals, need to do something about pollution, and we need to start now.

The problem is that with all the media hype, most people think it’s too hard a job to go green. In truth, there are literally thousands of easy ways to go green. One of the most cost efficient and easiest ways to go green is to switch from incandescent light bulbs to compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFL’s).

History of Early Compact Fluorescent Bulbs

Not many people realize that fluorescent light bulbs have been around since the 1800′s. In the 1970′s, General Electric improved the design, but found it was too expensive to build factories to mass produce the bulbs. The use of these bulbs was generally limited to office buildings, garages and under the kitchen cabinets.

In addition, the light they gave off was not of the quality we expected from an incandescent light bulb. The shape also restricted their use to a fixture that would allow the use of a long tubular bulb. They could not be easily used in table lamps, desk lamps or floor lamps.

Another factor that limited their use was that they often flickered and made an annoying humming noise.

In recent years, all that has changed. Improvements in the bulbs, especially with the development of the electronic ballast, have eliminated most of the negative features that made them less popular in the past.

The Pros of Compact Fluorescent Lamp, (CFL’S)

Listed here are some of the positive reasons to switch to CFL’s:

1. CFL’s now are shaped to fit nearly all our light fixtures.

2. The light they give off is comparable to traditional light bulbs.

3. They use 75-80% less electricity then traditional light bulbs.

4. A 60w standard bulb can be replaced with a 13-15w CFL Bulb to give the same amount of light.

5. The CFL bulbs last ten times longer. The average life of a CFL is 10,000 hours compared to less than 1,000 hours for a standard bulb.

6. It is estimated that using one CFL bulb will keep one half a ton of carbon dioxide from being dumped into the atmosphere over the life of that bulb.

7. The CFL bulb is less hot to touch, so is easier to change if it had been lit.

8. There will be eight less incandescent light bulbs that find their way into landfills if CFL’s are used.

9. CFL’s now come in many designs and can be used for many different applications.

10. The installation of CFL’s can earn a discount with some utility companies.

The Cons of Modern Compact Fluorescent Bulbs, (CFL’S)

As with anything, there are some negative features to these bulbs that should be taken into consideration when you decide to make the switch.

1. CFL’s have a higher initial cost.

2. CFL’s do not work well in places where the light is switched on and off frequently. This will reduce the life span of the bulb.

3. Not all CFL’ can be used with dimmer switches. Special bulbs are required for this application. Again the life of the bulb will be shortened.

4. Some timer mechanisms are incompatible with CFL’s.

5. Not all bulbs are suitable for outdoor use. Low temperatures may reduce light levels.

6. CFL’s contain a small amount of mercury which is toxic. Mercury vapor can be released if the bulb is broken.

7. Bulbs of inferior quality are showing up on the store shelves and may not be of high quality and will not last as long.

Despite the negatives, CFL’s have become extremely popular in the last several years.

Benefits of CFL’s

Replacing one 60 watt standard bulb with a 15-w CFL will save you more than $40 in electricity costs over the life of the bulb if you use it 6 hours a day. Add to that less trips to the store, and less money spent on replacement bulbs, the savings are significant.

Multiply that times the number of light bulbs you have in your home and you could realize a significant savings in both money and energy consumption.

Some states require that burned out CFL’s be disposed of at a hazardous waste facility (the preferred method of disposal) while most municipalities allow them to be disposed of in regular trash. CFL’s can easily be recycled at stores such as Home Depot and Ikea.

CFL’s do contain a small amount of mercury and opponents to these bulb cite that as a major drawback. One should just remember to never incinerate these type bulbs. This will disperse the mercury into the atmosphere.


The benefits of CFL’s have become evident in terms of the amount of energy saved and the amount of green house gasses that are not being pumped into the atmosphere. If everyone in the US used CFL’s we could retire 90 average size power plants.

In an effort to reduce greenhouse gasses, Australia and Canada have already banned the use of incandescent bulbs and the United States has passed legislation that is phasing out the manufacture of incandescent light bulbs and will ban them entirely by the year 2012.

Replacing energy-hogging incandescent bulbs with energy-saving fluorescents (CFLs) is a simple, effective way to slow the rate of global climate change while saving money. It’s good for the environment, it’s economical, it’s efficient, and it’s easy.

By Beverly Saltonstall

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