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The Compact Fluorescent Light (CFL) bulb has come a long way in the last few years. On the market for over two decades, the first CFLs were expensive and were more unreliable than the old-fashioned light bulb. But all that has changed. Today CFLs come on without delay and produce the same soft white light that we're used to.
The message is clear - It's time to switch! If every household in the United States replaced one old light bulb with a CFL, it would be like taking 800,000 cars off the roads. In Canada the equivalent would be 66,000 cars off the road. Now imagine if we replaced all of our light bulbs with CFLs!
Need more information before you make the switch?
- Screw one in and you get the same light as your old bulb with 75-80% less energy used.
- Incandescent bulbs waste 95% of the electricity as heat.
- CFL bulbs last for five to seven years. You would have to buy about eight incandescent bulbs for each CFL bulb over the same time.
- Wherever you buy CFL bulbs, look for the ENERGY STAR logo on the packaging.
- The bulbs that One Change distributes are 13-watt bulbs, equivalent in brightness to a 60-watt incandescent.
- CFL bulbs can be used in any fixture, indoors or out. They are fine in ceiling fixtures, floor lamps, or table lamps. CFL bulbs are available in many different sizes, shapes, and colours, including CFL bulbs for dimmer switches and tri-lights.
- CFL bulbs can be used in cold weather. In the extreme cold (minus 20 and lower) the bulbs may take a few minutes to come to full brightness.
- While incandescent do give off more heat than CFLs, it is not enough to amount to any significant savings in heat cost. You will save more overall by replacing your incandescent bulbs for CFL bulbs.
- The colour temperature of CFL bulbs is indicated by their kelvin number. Bulbs are available in warm tones (lower than 3000 K), through to more cool, white lights (4000 K and higher).
- Some timers (photocell) are incompatible with CFL bulbs. Check with the timer manufacturer.
- Some CFL bulbs have a unique "end-of-life" characteristic where they may emit smoke and a melting, plastic-like odour. This is a common occurrence in all brands of CFLs and is not considered dangerous.
- Dispose of CFL bulbs properly: The bulbs have a minute amount of mercury so it's important they aren't thrown out in the regular garbage. All household hazardous waste (CFL bulbs, batteries, old cell phones, etc.) should be disposed of properly. You can bring your burnt out bulbs to Home Depot stores. For more CFL bulb disposal information check with your local municipality or visit our CFL recyclers web page.
- Other types of energy-efficient lighting: LED technology is the next wave of energy efficient lighting. They are 95% more energy efficient than incandescent bulbs.