Switching to CFLs A Personal Viewpoint

A Viewpoint

Just a few years ago when these light bulbs were becoming mainstream, it was really a toss up between spending the money for one of these or just getting a couple of dozen incandescent bulbs instead. But as sales of these new fangled bulbs increased, prices began to drop. And as of the day you read this article, it has now become more cost effective to stop using a regular bulb and switch over to energy efficient compact fluorescent light bulbs.

Whoever switches to compact fluorescents will save, perhaps, hundreds of dollars per year in electrical costs, depending on usage. Those are solid savings to be sure. But you cannot see it in your pocket, and you never will unless you calculate the savings bill by bill.  To see the dollar signs I mention above, you would need to add up the money over the course of the year!

In reality, it was always more cost effective to switch over, since CFLs last about 10 to 12 times longer than a regular incandescent bulb. The problem has always been between pocket money and saving money.

The biggest advantage to these bulbs is this. You can get these in package deals for less than 3 bucks a bulb, and they will last for years without needing to be replaced.  So, you won’t have to change them as often, and that’s the biggest advantage. Why…? Well, believe it or not, there are several hundred confirmed injuries every year resulting from someone changing a light bulb (particularly the bulbs that need to be reached by either a step stool or a ladder).  I mean, let’s face it folks, if you change a standard light bulb 2 or 3 times a year on a ladder or stool, imagine changing that same bulb once every 4 or 5 years.  You can see where I am going with this.

You see, I use CFLs, and they involve less hassle.  I rarely change them, and since they save me both time and money, these bulbs are the right choice for this guy!

One caution though… beware of cheap CFLs without warranty… Most of good brands come with 1 year replacement warranty and are available within 200 INR

CFLs come in many shapes and sizes. When purchasing CFLs, consult the seller for recommendations and consider the following:
• Choose the color temperature, if listed, that’s right for you; for example:
Approx. 2700K = Warm White (looks just like incandescent)
Approx. 5000K = Cool White (white/blue, often higher CRI)
• Choose the shape. CFLs are available in a variety of shapes to fit a range of lamps and lighting fixtures. See below on this page for the most popular CFL shapes.

• Match lumens to the incandescent being replaced. Lumens indicate the amount of light being generated. (Watts is a measure of energy use, not light strength.) To compare lumens and watts see chart below:

.Incandescent Watts….CFL Watt range… . . … .. Lumen Range
8 – 10
13 – 18
18 – 22
23 – 28
34 – 42

Although CFLs are an excellent source of energy-efficient lighting, they are not always the best choice for all lighting applications. Here are a few limitations to consider:

* On/Off cycling: CFLs are sensitive to frequent on/off cycling. Their rated lifetimes of 10,000 hours are reduced in applications where the light is switched on and off very often. Closets and other places where lights are needed for brief illumination should use incandescent or LED bulbs.
* Dimmers: Dimmable CFLs are available for lights using a dimmer switch, but check the package; not all CFLs can be used on dimmer switches. Using a regular CFL with a dimmer can shorten the bulb life span.
* Timers: Most CFLs can be used with a timer, however some timers have parts which are incompatible with CFLs; to check your timer, consult the timer package or manufacturer. Using an incompatible timer can shorten the life of a CFL bulb.
* Outdoors: CFLs can be used outdoors, but should be covered or shaded from the elements. Low temperatures may reduce light levels – check the package label to see if the bulb is suited for outdoor use.
* Retail lighting: CFLs are not spot lights. Retail store display lighting usually requires narrow focus beams for stronger spot lighting. CFLs are better for area lighting.
* Mercury content: CFLs contain small amounts of mercury which is a toxic metal. This metal may be released if the bulb is broken, or during disposal. New ‘Alto’ CFL bulbs are now available with low-mercury content. These low-mercury CFLs are available at our online store. For more information about mercury and CFLs, see below.


Eartheasy.com and Mygreenclick.com

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