CFLs have several advantages over incandescent light bulbs: they last from 8-10 times longer, use about 75% less energy, and produce 90% less heat while delivering more light per Watt. For example, a 25 Watt CFL provides about 1800 lumens, compared to 1750 lumens from a 100 Watt incandescent lamp!
CFLs have come a long way since their introduction. They provide a flicker-free, soft-white light and come in a variety of styles. The traditional "twist" bulb is the most popular, but if you need a more stylish version, consider the household style. This bulb is similar in design to a standard incandescent bulb but uses significantly less energy. The 3-way CFL is perfect for reading lamps or conversation areas where ambience is a factor. The globe style is designed for bathroom fixtures.
Here's a groovy advantage - CFLs save you money! One 20 Watt CFL (replaces a 75 Watt incandescent bulb) will save you $66 dollars over the life of the bulb (based on $.12 kWh). Replace one 100 Watt incandescent bulb with a 25 Watt CFL and save a whopping $74 dollars over the life of the bulb!
Not only are CFLs the smart choice - they're hip, too. The EPA reports that CFLs are the environmentally friendly choice. Replacing one incandescent light bulb with an energy saving CFL reduces carbon monoxide emission to the atmosphere by 1,000 pounds!
According to the US Department of Energy, as a nation we spend about one-quarter of our electricity budget on lighting, or more than $37 billion annually. And while traditional incandescent light bulbs are less expensive to purchase, they are much more expensive to operate. Incandescents aren't such a bright idea after all.
FAQs on Mercury and CFLs (EnergyStar)
Why use CFLs if they contain Mercury? (US EPA)