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Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs

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User Rating 1 Star Rating (1 Review)

By Electrical Guide - Tim Thiele

CFL - Compact Fluorescent Light Bulb

CFL - Compact Fluorescent Light Bulb

Tim Thiele

The Bottom Line

CFL's are a great way to save a little on your energy bill. CFL's are slower to brighten up than incandescents. They cost a little more initially, but the savings should more than pay for that. Bulb life is much greater than the incandescent bulb, but the compact has dangerous mercury in it.


  • One of the simplest way to save money and energy.
  • The cost of these bulbs have gone down dramatically since 1999.
  • These fluorescent bulbs last around 8,000 hours, compared to incandescents that last 1,000 hours.
  • You get 60 watts of light for 13 watts of power used.
  • Each bulb can save you $37.00 in energy savings over the life of the bulb.


  • Compact fluorescent lighting contains mercury. If one breaks, leave the room immediately!
  • Disposing of these bulbs may be a little tricky.
  • These bulbs tout that they will last seven years, but that is based on three hours of use a day.
  • CFL's take a few seconds to reach full brightness, so they are not for every application.


  • Initial Cost Higher
  • Same Wattage of Light For Less Wattage of Energy Use
  • Saves Up To $37.00 Per Life of Each Bulb
  • Slower Full Brightness Time
  • Contains Mercury
  • Hard To Dispose of

Guide Review - Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs

In areas where light is needed immediately, CFL's may take too long to reach full brightness. The style takes a little getting used to, but the light it emits is just fine. Getting 60 watts of light for only 13 watts of power is a plus in my book. By using these bulbs in my home, I've shaved about $35.00 off of my electric bill. This is close to what they estimate the average homeowner will save. It all depends on how many lights are used in a home and for how long. The initial cost will range from $2.00 to $3.00 for each bulb, depending on the size and manufacturer. With a life expectancy of eight times the 60 watt incandescent bulb, the cost would actually be cheaper to buy the CFL.

Be very careful with these bulbs! They do contain mercury and can be very dangerous if broken. Read all warning labels and know what to do if this happens before installing one. I have had a few burn out within the first two months, but they are in my ceiling fan. This could be due to vibration from the fan. All in all, I'd have to say I've been happy with the bulbs so far.

User Reviews

Reviews for this section have been closed.

 1 out of 5
CFLs - Compact Fluorescent Fittings, Member Arnoldstark

We are fed only positive propaganda about CFLs, but there are many disadvantages as well. The length of life given by supporters of CFLs is grossly exaggerated. If you switch the lamps on for short periods, such as in a bathroom or passage, the life is a tiny fraction of the life time claimed. My experience is that incandescent lamps in a house last longer that CFLs. The light spectrum of CFLs produces an unpleasant light when compared with incandescent lamps, even if a ""warm light"" CFL is used. CFLs often give out much less light than we are led to believe from manufacturers of CFLs. The physical length of CFL lamps of similat lux output is considerable bigger than incandescent lamps, so that they often do not fit in existing light fittings. I now regret having got rid of my old incandescents and replacing them with CFLs.

23 out of 33 people found this helpful.

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