Before the onslaught of LEDs, the compact fluorescent lights or CFLs were seen as the heir to incandescent lighting.
CFLs use between one fifth and one third of the energy that incandescent use and they are able to save one to five times their purchase price over the course of their life; there were many people who weren’t taken with the idea of making the change.
There were some that didn’t like the white light that CFL bulbs created and preferred the warm yellow light of incandescent and they did not like the fact that CFLs were not dimmable.
However, the technology behind CFLs has improved and you are now able to find a variety of color options and there are even dimmable CFLs. You can even find instant on CFL bulbs, which means that there is no delay to flipping the switch and the light going on.
Even though CFLs have undergone improvements, the life expectancy of them can still be decreased when they are used for short periods of time. You will then rather want to use CFLs in areas where you will be using the light for a longer period of time.
CFL bulbs do contain a low amount of mercury, which can create pollution if CFL bulbs are disposed of incorrectly.
Direct exposure to mercury can cause damage to the lungs, brain and kidneys, but don’t panic. If it happens that a CFL bulb smashes on the floor you will not need to evacuate your home. Open a window and let the room air out. The glass and dust should be transferred to a sealed container. You shouldn’t use a vacuum cleaner though as this will kick the chemicals into the air. It is best to take the broken bulb to a recycling center so that it can be disposed of correctly.
The average life span of a CFL bulb is about 10 000 hours and the wattage is between 9W and 52W.
CFL bulbs then last 10 times longer than incandescent. When you buy a CFL bulb ensure that you are buying one that has the Energy Star Label.