CFL Bulbs or Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs: Energy Savings, Mercury, Recycling and More


CFL bulbs, or compact fluorescent light bulbs: energy savings
Commonly referred to as CFLs, compact fluorescent lamps or compact fluorescent light bulbs, the energy-saving bulbs have escaped the stereotype of buzzing, flickery, washed-out lights to become one of the poster children for consumers taking action in the modern green movement. The bulbs, which can replace incandescent, halogen and other electric lights around your house, use between 60% and 80% less energy than their incandescent counterparts, making them an increasingly popular way to cut energy use without having to make any radical changes, like replace your lighting fixtures or rewire your house, in many cases.

Dimmable compact fluorescent light bulbs
In addition to using a fraction of the energy, compact fluorescent light bulbs have a much longer usable life than incandescents, typically lasting between 6,000 and 15,000 hours, compared to 1,000 hours or so for incandescent bulbs. Recent improvements in technology (more details on that in a sec) have improved both the light quality and versatility of CFL bulbs -- many now emit a more pleasant "soft white" light and work in dimmable and three-way fixtures. All of this adds up to a bulb that can save the user upwards of $30 over its life and save 2000 times its own weight in greenhouse gas emissions.So, what makes these bulbs tick? Read on to learn how compact fluorescent light bulbs work.

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