Flourescent Compact Light Bulbs
Flourescent compact light bulbs are a change you should make!
 

Flourescent compact light bulbs are a change you should make!

Many of us don't think twice about replacing a burned out light bulb in our homes. Although relatively simple in design and low in efficiency, the incandescent light bulb has changed little over its 120-year history, and it remains the residential light source of choice.

However, over the last 20 years, a new light source has emerged into a multi-million dollar market. Using refined and scaled-down designs from its bigger, tube-shaped cousin — the fluorescent bulb — the compact fluorescent lamp (CFL) has found its way into many homes. The first CFLs were used across Europe and Asia in primarily commercial and retail applications, including offices and public spaces.

A 100-watt incandescent bulb, which typically lasts about 1,000 hours, can now be replaced by a 25-watt CFL, lasting 10,000 hours. Not only would one save on the cost of 10 bulbs — equaling at least $5.00 — but at 7.2 cents per kilowatt-hour, an additional $54.00 would be saved in energy over the 10,000 hour life of the bulb. That's at least a $59.00 saving per bulb. The CFL purchase cost would be approximately $8.00-11.00, resulting in a net savings of up to $51.00 per bulb.

A variety of CFLs are now available. The newest are spiral shaped and have electronic circuitry. The spirals are not much larger than the incandescent bulbs they replace. Some CFLs (including spirals) are offered as a 2-piece design, where only the glass portion of the bulb is discarded after burnout. The glass portion "plugs in" to the electronic "ballast" in the plastic screw-in base. Spiral CFLs also best match the ball shape light pattern produced by incandescent bulbs, making them ideal for table lamps.

Over the last several years many CFL manufacturers in Asia and Europe had been aggressively competing with American manufacturers. The bottom line is that these products have become much more affordable and available. Purchasing the energy efficient CFLs makes sense, even in places where residential electricity is relatively low in cost.

CFLs are now available in a floodlight shape design (built on reflector) which can be used for recessed or track lighting applications. The vast majority of these have the replaceable glass portion as well as a detachable reflector for maintenance.

Some non-dimming CFL floodlight models are rated for outdoor use in the weather and can replace some of those expensive lower-wattage halogen floodlight bulbs we use to light our decks, yards and patios.

The plug-in CFLs used in the new floor lamps will last 8-10 times longer than halogen, which costs about $4.00 per bulb.

Today's CFLs are virtually indistinguishable in color from the incandescent bulbs they replace. Wattages for the electronic spiral versions range from 11 to 30 watts:

• The 11-watt, the smallest size spiral replaces a 40-watt bulb.

• The 15-watt replaces a 60-watt bulb.

• The 20-watt replaces a 75-watt bulb.

• The 25 or 26-watt models replace the 100-watt bulb.

Here are some tips for using CFLs to light your home:

• Unless specified on the box, never use CFLs in sockets on dimmers, even if the dimmers are turned up to full brightness. This will cause very short life and poor performance.

• CFLs may be used outdoors, provided they are completely protected from the weather and are rated for cold temperatures. Most electronic CFLs will start down to 0 degrees Fahrenheit, some down to -22 degrees Fahrenheit. Always read the box before purchasing.

• CFLs should never be used in very warm or hot locations, such as in ovens, over range tops, saunas, attics, etc., as this will result in a very short life with no return on investment. Some high wattage CFLs may not be suitable for use in totally enclosed (unvented) light fixtures.

• The life of all fluorescent bulbs including CFLs is maximized when they are not frequently switched on or off. Avoid use in bathrooms, closets, pantries, etc.

• Your greatest and quickest savings will result in areas where you have more hours of continuous burning on a regular basis, such as kitchens, home offices, living areas, dens and outdoor lighting on all night.

For more energy efficient lighting solutions, check out your local lighting dealer or supply stores

For additional light bulb news; flourescent bulbs, or to choose from a variety of related products, please select the link above.

Author Notes:

Mark Harris contributes and publishes news editorial to http://www.discount-light-bulbs.com.  Find online lightbulbs like Halogen, Projector, Tanning Bed, Fluorescent, Automotive and much more.

 
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