CFL light bulbs are actually miniature versions of traditional fluorescent tubes.
As you can see from the picture below they're the "curly" type low energy bulbs which you can buy pretty much anywhere. They're also what most people think of when you mention energy saving light bulbs.
They're also the bulbs that people feel "take ages to light up" and "aren't very bright", but hopefully I can dispel that myth.
CFL stands for compact fluorescent light - also referred to as energy saving lights or compact fluorescent bulbs.
As I've mentioned above they're tiny versions of fluorescent tubes with all the electronics required to start them built into the base of the bulb enabling them to be used in traditional light fittings to replace your old incandescent bulbs.
Thankfully, since the early days of CFL bulbs the manufacturers have improved the manufacturing process to
improve the start-up time and light quality.
Modern CFL bulbs can light within 1 second.
I have to admit I was one of the early adopters and was really disappointed with their performance. But I'm glad to say I went back and tried them again and am now a convert.
My entire house is fitted with a combination of both CFL bulbs and LED bulbs.
As I mentioned above, a single CFL bulb can save you around £120
in electricity over its typical 12 year lifespan, so it's not hard to
work out what a typical house could save by replacing 15 regular
incandescent bulbs (£1,800). I know - I was surprised too, but now you
can see why I only use low energy bulbs in my house.
So what size of bulb should you use to replace your incandescent bulbs?
|Traditional Incandescent Bulb||CFL bulb|
|40 watt||9-12 watt|
|60 watt||13-18 watt|
|75 watt||19-24 watt|
|100 watt||25-30 watt|
I hope I've convinced you that the modern CFL light bulbs have improved enough for you to give them another try, and that you should be changing all your old light bulbs to CFL bulbs as they burn out. Alternatively you could switch to LED bulbs for even greater savings.
If you want to be truly green, you should wait until your old bulbs expire before replacing them as this avoids any unnecessary waste.