Energy Efficiency – CFL’s Save You Money, But at What Costs?

CFL’s are in your future. How do I know? I know because President Bush signed an Act stating everyone must ‘switch’ to CFL’s by the year 2012. What are CFL’s and how can they help me?

CFL stands for compact fluorescent lamps. CFL’s are used in place of incandescent bulbs. They will last longer and should be brighter than incandescent bulbs. But why now? Why do I have to change now? If I am required to change or ‘switch’ to CFL’s, I want to know what are the advantages and disadvantages.


A CFL will last longer than an incandescent bulb. The initial cost of a CFL could be as much as ten times higher. CFL’s use about 1/4 of the power of an incandescent bulbs, maybe less, so they will last longer. You will not have to change bulbs as often. If you are using fewer CFL bulbs and saving in the labor in changing them (if needed), you are saving money. That’s a big advantage.


A fluorescent fixture makes noise, a slight hum and so do CFL’s. They are not supposed to make noise but some of the cheaply made bulbs do. CFL’s contain Mercury. When they burn out, they must be disposed of properly. If you break a CFL in your home, the CFL releases mercury vapors into your home. This could be a health risk. Visit the web site for the Environment Protection Agency for directions to properly disposal of CFL’s. You can also call your local recycling center to ask how they handle them and dispose of them.

So what do you think? How do you design the light in your home? Do you use incandescents or CFL’s? Is your home bright enough or do you need more light brightness? Will you be able to dispose of CFL’s properly and not just throw them in a garbage can? Would you like to save money?

Since I have until 2012, I will buy a bulb or two once a month or every time I go shopping. Saving money is what sold me.

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