Tag Archives: light bulbs

Switching to compact fluorescent lightbulbs (CFLs)

We have been using regular, old-fashioned, 60-watt incandescent lightbulbs in our house.
Incandescent light bulb

Incandescent lightbulb

 But compact fluorescent lightbulbs, or CFLs, are a quick and easy way to reduce your energy consumption. CFLs are four times more efficient and last up to ten times longer than incandescents, according to Earth Easy, an environmental blog.

They are cheaper, and they give off a softer light than incandescent bulb.

We’ve tried them at my house. I personally like them. Besides the warm fuzzy feeling I get from burning less energy, they give a soft, dimmer light when you first turn them on. That’s great for people like me who can’t stand to wake up and turn on a jarringly bright light in the morning. And in a couple of minutes, they are at their full brightness.

My mom doesn’t like the slow brightening. It annoys her, but she can’t explain why… 🙂 My dad got worried about the mercury inside them, and took them all out! 

CFL (the green choice)

CFL (the green choice)

CFLs contain small amounts of mercury inside. It’s very small, but the light bulbs are made of glass, and therefore, they can break. If you handle them carefully, that shouldn’t ever happen. But if it does, don’t panic, because you can clean it up at home (and you don’t need a hazmat suit).

I let my dad know, and he said he’d consider putting them back in, but he doesn’t seem to convinced yet.

He may not have much of a choice. The Energy Independence and Security Act, signed in 2007, will force us all to have more energy efficient bulbs in 2012!

Home Depot is already on board: If you look at the lightbulb categories, there are nine incandescent options and 99 fluorescent!

In the meantime, I’ve also been using IKEA’s low-energy SPARSAM bulbs on two lamps I purchased from the Swedish behemoth. They’re cute and seem virtually impossible to break. They two have the slow brightening effect–something I’m not sure my mother will warm up to anytime soon.



Filed under Energy Use