How to Switch to CFLs
What: CFLs (Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs) have become one of the most shared energy saving devices on the market today. CFLs combine energy saving technology with great interior lighting. Unlike traditional incandescent bulbs which generally last 500 to 2,000 hours, Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs are guaranteed for 8,000 hours!
Why: Did you know that lighting accounted for approximately 9% of household electricity usage in the United States in early 2000? extensive use of CFLs could save as much as 7% of total US household usage! For a given light output, CFLs use 20 to 33 percent of the strength of equivalent incandescent lamps. An average user can expect to save $36.00 per bulb when using Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs over incandescent bulbs. Although they do cost more upfront, this cost is equaled after using the CFL for 500 hours. Also, if every home replaced one bulb with a CFL, it would be equivalent to taking a million cars off the road!
1. Before you replace your old bulb with CFL, get its lumen rating. (Lumen is a unit of measurement of the amount of brightness that comes from a light source. The higher the lumen rating, the brighter the light.)This way, you will know how powerful you need your CFL to be. When you buy your CFL bulbs, check the label for its light output.
2. Inventory the fixtures in your house. Which ones do you use most often? If you’re low on budget or want to switch to CFL bulbs in stages, focus on those fixtures which receive the most amount of use first. Also, since CFL light bulbs generally work better in open fixtures where they receive more air flow, examine if your fixtures are open or recessed. Reflector CFLs are preferred for use in recessed fixtures since their design allows for a more already dispensing of light.
3. CFL light shade varies in shade and intensity so check the shade of light when you buy your CFL light. For your living room or dining room, pick warm lights. Also, clarify lights in your home that make use of a three-way switch or a dimmer. You can buy CFL bulbs specific to those kinds of needs.
4. On disposal: in case you didn’t know, compact fluorescent lighting contains mercury. Mercury is classified as a hazardous material by the US Environmental Protection Agency and CFLs should be recycled instead of being thrown out with the normal trash. Take used CFL bulbs to the recycling center or seal them in a plastic bag and manager them with care.
TIP: In case you break a CFL accidentally, open a window and leave the room for 15-30 minutes, sweep up the materials and place them in a sealable plastic bag.