A resource dedicated to lighting and its many forms

Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs: Energy Efficient Lighting

The right type of lighting for your home, can be a difficult decision.  You’ll need to weigh the energy costs that you can expect, against the type of life you can expect out of your choice of light source.  For this reason, compact fluorescent light bulbs can become a fantastic asset to any home.  They are remarkably cheap to maintain, and will last a surprisingly long time.  Plus nothing provides brighter illumination that you can count on to penetrate every dark corner of a room.  With compact fluorescent light bulbs you can ensure that the area is always properly lit, so that you are free to go about your normal business.

Your typical CFL (compact fluorescent light) bulb will look like this

How CFLs work: the science behind it

The way in which compact fluorescent light bulbs work, is by using a special gas in order to literally create light.  Inside of any bulb’s glass casing are trace amounts of mercury, inside a special gas.  When an electrical current is delivered to the bulb, the mercury will become excited, causing the gas to emit ultraviolet light.  Then that ultraviolet light meets with the glass and fluorescent coating of the bulb, so that it is converted into a glowing illumination that will light any room effectively.  You’ll find that few other sources will illuminate your rooms as well as compact fluorescent light bulbs.

The great energy savings features found in CFL bulbs

Plus the real bonus of using these types of light bulbs, is simply in the energy savings that you can expect.  While most compact fluorescent light bulbs are more expensive than a standard incandescent variant, they last much, much longer.  Plus they require around 75% less energy to maintain operation, on average.  That means you’re both saving energy, as well as providing a light source that will last a lot longer than the few months you can expect from an incandescent bulb.  This guarantees that you always have the light you need, under any circumstances, and you’ll be able to rely on your compact fluorescent light bulbs a lot more than any other type of light source.

The drawbacks of compact fluorescent lights

Although there are a few problems when it comes to compact fluorescent light bulbs, and some of the negatives can make them a bad idea for home use.  One of the major problems with fluorescent lighting, is simply that the illumination flickers.  That means when you’re trying to read, words will literally appear to be moving on the page, which can irritate your eyes, and even cause headaches.  Plus, the mercury and gas used inside is extremely harmful to breathe, if you ever accidentally break any of the compact fluorescent light bulbs in your possession.  They can pose a dangerous toxic hazard, while incandescent bulbs don’t provide anywhere near the same risk level.

You can find compact fluorescent light bulbs as an alternative to incandescent practically anywhere.  Most department stores have them in the utilities sections, and while they may be priced slightly higher than other types, they are still a fantastic investment.  Just think about the simple advantage of having an eco friendly light source in your home, that really saves on your energy bill.  The benefits alone should be enough to push you into purchasing compact fluorescent light bulbs for every fixture in your home.

Further resources that may be of use to you

This video guides you through the process of choosing the right compact fluorescent light bulb for your needs, courtesy of Howcast.

More behind the science of CFL bulbs and how they work