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Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs

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Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs. CFLs vs. Incandescent Light Bulbs. CFLs last 10 times longer Use roughly ¼ the energy Produce 25% less heat while producing more light per watt Save YOU $$$. Purchasing CFLs. Check the label Equivalent incandescent bulb wattage Where the bulb can be used

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cfls vs incandescent light bulbs
CFLs vs. Incandescent Light Bulbs
  • CFLs last 10 times longer
  • Use roughly ¼ the energy
  • Produce 25% less heat while producing more light per watt
  • Save YOU $$$
purchasing cfls
Purchasing CFLs
  • Check the label
    • Equivalent incandescent bulb wattage
    • Where the bulb can be used
    • If the bulb is rated as an ENERGY STAR qualified bulb
    • If the bulb is “dimmable” or “three-way”
  • For photo cells, motion sensors, and electric dimmers, check with manufacturer of the control.
energy star
  • Promotes products which are energy efficient
  • Look for ENERGY STAR logo on appliances, computers and electronics, heating and cooling equipment, lighting and fans, and plumbing equipment
types of cfls
Types of CFLs
  • Available in a variety of styles, sizes, and wattages
    • Spiral-shaped
    • A-shaped
    • Globe-shaped
    • Tubed
    • Candle
    • Indoor reflector
    • Outdoor reflector
  • Kelvin (K)
  • More yellow-colored – lower K number
  • Whiter- or bluer-colored – higher K number


tips for using cfls
Tips for Using CFLs
  • Hold CFL by ballast (white plastic part) not glass tubing
  • Keep CFLs on for 15 minutes or longer
  • If CFL is NOT marked as “dimmable” or “three-way” do NOT use in dimmable switch or three-way socket
  • Most CFLs do not work with photo cells, motion sensors, and electric dimmers – check with manufacturer of these controls
  • Place CFLs in open fixtures indoors
  • When using CFLs outdoors, check packaging labels for optimal operating temperatures, and place bulbs inside enclosed fixtures to safeguard from weather
  • CFLs do contain a small amount of mercury
  • In U.S., major source of mercury emissions is electricity use
  • CFLs use less electricity than incandescent bulbs
  • CFLs result in less total mercury emissions than incandescent bulbs

The amount of mercury in a CFL is roughly equal to the amount of ink on the tip of a ballpoint pen.

cleaning broken cfls
Cleaning Broken CFLs
  • Saving Money and Energy: Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs Publication
  • ENERGY STAR Website
  • KY Division of Waste Management 502-564-6716
  • County Solid Waste Coordinator
proper disposal
Proper Disposal
  • Spent CFLs should be recycled
  • For CFL recycling locations visit/contact:
    • Local utility company
    • County Solid Waste Coordinator

In 2008, Home Depot® launched a nation-wide campaign offering free recycling of spent CFLs. Simply bring your spent CFL to any Home Depot® location.

advantages of cfls
Advantages of CFLs
  • CFLs save energy
  • Saving energy helps the environment
  • Saving energy can save YOU money
  • CFLs have a longer bulb life than incandescent bulbs
  • CFLs produce less heat than halogen or incandescent bulbs
disadvantages of cfls
Disadvantages of CFLs
  • CFLs cost more than traditional incandescent bulbs.
  • Many CFLs have an initial low light output meaning that they have to warm up before they reach their full light potential.
  • When compared to incandescent bulbs, CFLs have a poorer quality color rendition. Color rendition refers to the light quality, and is defined by the U.S. Department of Energy as “How colors appear when illuminated by a light source.”
  • Incandescent bulbs project light further than CFLs.
  • CFLs contain mercury, thus they must be disposed of (recycled) properly.
  • Not all CFLs can be used in a dimmable switch or three-way socket.
  • CFLs may not work with photo cells, motion sensors, and electric dimmers.
for more information
For more information…

This presentation was prepared by Ashley Osborne and Tyler Henningsen, Environmental and Natural Resource Issues Task Force. March 2010.

How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.  ~Anne Frank