What is a CFL?
Why should people use CFLs?
Where can I use CFLs?
Is it difficult to switch to CFLs?
Where can I buy them?
How are they packaged?
Are they dimmable?
What precautions should I take when using CFLs in my home?
How should I clean up a broken fluorescent bulb?
A Compact Fluorescent Light bulb, or CFL, is an energy efficient bulb that can replace an incandescent light bulb.
CFLs use up to 80% less energy than incandescent light bulbs and they last six to ten times longer. This reduces demand on the available energy supply and saves you money on your electricity bill.
You can use a CFL to replace many of the incandescent light bulbs in your home. Most of them come with standard screw-in bases as well as candelabra bases for a variety of light fixtures. There are many shapes, sizes and wattages to meet your needs and tastes.
No, it’s simple. It’s usually as easy as screwing in a new light bulb. In some instances, indented lighting may require the base to be adjusted or extended.
CFLs are available in retail stores and home centres.
CFLs are commonly sold singly and are also available in bulk for large conversions.
Not unless stated on the package. There are special models available that can accommodate dimmers.
CFLs can break when dropped or handled roughly. Be careful when removing a bulb from its packaging, installing it or replacing it. Always screw and unscrew the lamp by its base (not the glass), and never twist the CFL into a light socket with force.
Never use your bare hands to pick up a broken CFL.
Should a CFL break, follow this procedure:
- Open nearby windows to disperse any vapour that may escape.
- Carefully scoop up the fragments and powder. Do not use your hands as you may cut and contaminate yourself.
- Wipe the area clean with a damp disposable paper towel to remove all glass fragments. Do not use a vacuum cleaner as small shards of glass could damage it.
- Place all fragments in a sealed plastic bag and dispose of them in the same way as you would dispose of batteries, oil-based paint and motor oil at a local eWaste disposal site, or by wrapping the CFL in newspaper and then sealing it in a plastic bag before putting it out with your regular refuse.
Are there any dangers associated with using CFLs?
Would I be saving energy by dimming my incandescent lighting instead of using CFLs?
Which lighting in my house uses the most energy and what can I do about it?
There are no dangers if they are used as instructed. CFLs contain a small amount of mercury, less than is found in watch batteries.
This is a common misconception about lighting and energy consumption. Although a dimmed incandescent bulb will only give off about 10% of the full light, it will still be using 33% of the electricity it normally uses.
Research shows that kitchens, living rooms and outdoor lighting are the three biggest energy guzzlers. Using CFLs in these areas and switching lights off when not in use are the most immediate and inexpensive actions you can take to save energy.