Do You Use CFLs at Home?

| 10/1/2009 12:41:30 PM

Tags: CFLs, light bulbs, energy efficiency, question to readers,

Using compact-fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) is an easy way to save energy and money at home. These energy-efficient bulbs use much less electricity than an incandescent light bulb. (For a quick and fun overview of the benefits of CFLs vs. incandescents, check out the Common Craft video below.)

Over the last few years, CFLs have become much cheaper and easier to find. However, some people are concerned about the small amount of mercury in CFLs. Others are more interested in using LEDs — another type of energy-efficient light bulb. (Background information on both LEDs and CFLs is available on the Energy Star website, including this fact sheet on mercury and CFLs.)

We’d like to hear what type of light bulbs you’re using at home. Are you using CFLs, and why or why not? Share your thoughts by posting a comment below.



John Stelmack
11/7/2010 9:21:20 AM

CFL's DO NOT last as long! Being an Energy Efficient Builder of SIP homes, my wife and I built our house to achieve the lowest HERS Index we could afford. It was certified at a HERS rating of 49. Every fixture in the house is a CFL fixture that uses the square base "plug in" type bulbs. The fixtures themselves are Energy Star Certified. The house is less than three years old and we've replaced approx ten of the bulbs already. There are two out currently. The kitchen ceiling light and a half bath vanity light. At $8 a bulb +-, we can say, through real life experience, DO NOT BELIEVE THE CLAIMS! These bulbs are a scam. Sure, they use less energy. But they produce less light and a less desirable light. We will be replacing the fixtures with incandescent fixtures and purchasing a large stock of those bulbs. We have tried a few LED lights which seem to hold promise. They are burning out as well. But at least they burn out differently. The LED's are configured in "rows" to satisfy voltage design requirements in the bulb. The LED failures leave the bulb half lit. I believe the LED technology will be the future, but the manufacturers have to work out the manufacturing costs and of course, increase the reliability. All in all I say "Thank You Congress! Thanks for jamming another useless product down our throats!" Regards, John

Luann Stubbs
1/3/2010 11:29:44 PM

I do not use CFLs because they contain mercury! Even if everyone recycled these bulbs properly, (which won't happen, so the mercury in them will end up in landfills where it will contaminate the soil), the manufacture of these bulbs calls for harvesting and handling of mercury meaning even more chances for contamination of the environment or exposure of workers to mercury. And for a really scary truth, check out the EPA's guidelines for cleaning up a broken bulb! Keep in mind that any small amount of mercury that gets in your rug means both young children and pets that play on the rug will be exposed. Of course, any mercury that vaporizes can be breathed in by all members of your household. Mercury is a nasty toxin that should never be used in any household products - why do you think mercury is no longer used in thermometers? I'm switching to LCDs instead. Note I'm very pro-environment; I even own an expensive Prius hybrid car. But CFLs are just not the solution to replace incandescent bulbs!

11/24/2009 6:10:24 PM

I use them and like them but one light seems rather dim-- they have lasted since I bought my house in 05 and I got them on sale at Walmart (the only store in town) Wonder why the diff in longevity? Could it be the Seems I had more trouble before I moved-older home and known for sags and spikes.

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