Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs can Save Money in the Right Applications
By Mark J. Donovan
||Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs (CFL bulbs) can save you a lot of money, but not necessarily as much as proponents and home improvement stores suggest.
Technically Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs use only a quarter of the power as incandescent light bulbs and they are typically guaranteed for 8000 hours versus 500 hours, respectively. Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs cost around $3.00 (during sales) whereas an incandescent typically goes for around $0.50.
Though a Compact Fluorescent light bulb costs about 6 times as much as an incandescent bulb, it lasts 16 times longer and uses only ¼ the power of the incandescent bulb.
As a result, Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs make a lot of financial sense, at least in the simple math.
The problem with Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs is that they have a fixed number of times that they can be turned on before they begin to fail. As a result, they are not appropriate for lighting applications where the light will be turned on and off frequently. Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs are meant to be turned on and left on for long periods of time (e.g. 3 hours or more).
The other consideration with Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs is that they contain trace amounts of Mercury and thus should not be simply thrown away when they fail. Instead they should be taken back to the store where you purchased them or to a recycling plant that can properly handle them.
So the next time you are contemplating a Compact Fluorescent Light bulb sale at your local home improvement store, think where you will use them in your home before you decide on how many to actually buy.
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