Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs - the GEM of Energy Savings
Replacing standard incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent light bulbs(CFL bulbs) is probably one of the lowest hanging fruit on the tree of energy savings.
Compact fluorescent bulbs have come down in price dramatically over the last few years, and offer huge benefits. They are ideal for a first home energy saving project. Below are some pros and cons.
Still, there are drawbacks to compact fluorescent light bulbs making them unsuitable for certain applications or shorten their lifespan.
Disposal of Broken CFL Bulbs
Due to their trace amounts of mercury, CFLs need to be disposed of through recycling hazardous material handling centers. Also, many home centers such as The Home Depot accept spent bulbs from customers.
If you should break a CFL, follow these precautionary steps:
- Ventillate and vacate the room for 15 minutes or more
- Use a wet rag to clean up and dispose of the bulb pieces, and the rag, in a plastic bag
- Place that bag into another sealed bag
- Call your local recycling center for proper disposal information. You may also put it in your local trash.
- Wash your hands afterward.
Choose the Right CFL bulb
The light output or lumens of compact fluorescent light bulbs are rated by their Kelvin (K) temperature rating (or the absolute temperature at which that color brightness is emitted).
Low K numbers between 2700-3000 have a soft, warm light comparable to incandescent bulbs. The brightness for Higher K numbers increases and approaches a bright, cool, bluish hue, similar to sunlight (K nubmer between 3000-6000).
When choosing CFLs to match the brightness of your incandescents bulbs, match the lumens to the lumens of the bulbs you are replacing (not the watts or energy use). Also, match the shape of the bulbs so that they fit in the fixtures.
Below is a chart that matches the most common incandescent light bulbs, their light output in lumens and their wattage to comparable CFLs.
|Incandescent Watts ||Lumens ||CFL Replacement Watts |
|40 ||450 ||8-10 |
|60 ||890 ||13-18 |
|75 ||1210 ||18-22 |
|100 ||1750 ||23-28 |
|150 ||2780 ||32-42 |
Return from Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs to Lighting Considerations
Return from Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs to Home