Compact Fluorescent Lighting

The current trend of global warming is mostly attributed to emissions of carbon dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels such as coal. To generate one Kilowatt-hour (kWh) of energy, approximately 2.5 pounds of carbon dioxide (CO 2 ) are emitted. One kWh is enough energy to run one 100 watt bulb for 10 hours. Consider that the average home has approximately 34 sockets. If each socket is filled with a 100 watt bulb and is powered for 5 hours each day, 294 pounds of CO 2 are emitted into the atmosphere in one week!

  • The EPA estimates that nearly 25 percent of the energy needs in the United States are dedicated to lighting. Compact fluorescent bulbs are about 3 to 4 times
    more efficient than incandescent bulbs. Therefore if all 34 bulbs in our example were replaced with 30 watt compact fluorescent bulbs, only 95 pounds of CO 2 would be emitted into the atmosphere.
  • By switching from incandescent lighting to compact fluorescent lighting the average consumer can save 50 to 80 in energy costs without any loss in lighting quality. The average compact fluorescent bulb lasts 8 to 10 times longer than any incandescent bulb. Depending on the initial cost of the bulb, the Federal Trade Commission estimates that it costs $2.60 less per year to power a compact fluorescent bulb than an incandescent bulb.
  • The full purchase price of the bulb will be paid back well within the 10-year life expectancy.

CFLs of years past earned a bad name with inadequate technology. For this reason many people think of unnaturally bright lights and loud humming noises
when they think of CFL lamps. Fortunately, CFL technology has greatly improved since those days.

To read Green Sealís environmental rating of 32 recommended compact fluorescent lighting products, download their Choose Green Report!

Adapted from a Green Seal Choose Green Report, by Green Seal. Copyright (c) by Green Seal. Reprinted by permission of Green Seal.
A Green Seal Choose Green Report, by Green Seal


Mike B.
Mike B.7 years ago

Funny how some people, just by someone saying that they are smart, are believed in everything that they say. Incadesent light bulbs have been around for along time. Sure, I'd like a replacement, but , should we give a safe , maybe more costly, product over to the old "Heave Ho" for a cheaper, (ahhh....suppposedily, at the meter...the bulbs are NOT cheaper) for one that has a nasty rep in the EPA's mindset. The "Green Police" will brag about how good they are....but, will the GP come clean your house when you drop one??...The CFL's look really Green now...don't they?..the only things that is hazardous in a regular light bulb is breakingit and cutting yourself. Argon is inert, and brass causes rashes if you rub too much into the skin at a fast rate of motion.

J. L.
J. L7 years ago

I agree fully with Dancing Dove Sings!--and can't believe that Care2 is promoting CFL's! I read the Choose Green Report and it does mention mercury minimally. Yes, coal-fired plants do emit mercury--the most toxic metal known. However, CFL's CANNOT BE CLASSIFIED AS GREEN, AS THEY MUST BE DISPOSED OF AS TOXIC WASTE! How many of us know how to dispose of them when they break? How many breathe the toxic fumes that accompany breakage? These fumes have been known to result in infant death!
I'm well aware of the adverse health effects, having suffered from mental, emotional and physical debilitation due to 'silver' amalgam dental fillings. These initially contain about 50% mercury, which over the years leaches into the brain and entire body!
How many of us don't read the fine print on the packages--small print warnings of the presence of mercury!
I purchased a few CFL's, before realizing their connection with fluorescent tubes and presence of mercury! NOW I'M WAITING FOR SERVICEABLE LED'S, WHICH COST MORE--BUT I'D RATHER PAY FOR MY HEALTH NOW, THAN WITH MY HEALTH LATER!
Also, as far as I've seen most of the bulbs come from China, which is known to produce cheap products and not care for the health of its workers or the environment.

Robert O.
Robert O7 years ago

Interesting. I never knew much about CFL's until now. Thanks.

beverly g.
beverly g.7 years ago

i meant thks for info very intresting.

beverly g.
beverly g.7 years ago

thks.for ino.

David Jones
David Jones7 years ago

Thanks for sharing the information

Elaine Stephenson

Home Depot advertises they will take used CFL bulbs for proper disposal- don't put them in the trash!

Patricia Z.
Patricia Z9 years ago

Thanks, Joy. Full spectrum sounds good to me, especially in the winter and on foggy days (I need those rays!), and LEDs are coming.

JoyAve L.
J. L9 years ago

I pray that everyone read the comment of DancingDove Sings, and knows about the danger of the CFL bulbs which "contain 5% mercury and there is not plan for proper disposal. You may save a few bucks in the short run but in the long run someone in the future will pay... I recommend full spectrum lighting, nonpetroleum candles, conservation, and a new energy policy..."
Mercury is the most toxic metal existing and the thus the vapor from broken CFL's as toxic. I won't buy any more and am waiting for efficient LED's.