The Blog Push for Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs

Compact Fluorescent LightsSeth Godin ignited a blog push for a good cause, to encourage people to use/try compact fluorescent light bulbs instead of the standard incandescent light bulbs most people use today. I won’t rehash the benefits beyond saying they save money, last longer, and use way less energy than standard light bulbs. Instead, I’ll just mention my quick personal story with them.

I first read about the benefits of CFLs a few years back, and bought a few to try them out. Basically, my wife and I hated the flourescent feel to the light, they flickered and took a second to light up, and they looked “funny” in lights where you could see the bulb. Those reasons led us I guess to make the unconscious decision to not purchase them again although we never really discussed it.

It’s now a few years later, and the impacts of energy use are a bit more real, so we took another look. The newer bulbs I bought have a light that rivals the normal bulbs, they turn on much faster, and the flickering is gone. They still look a bit funny, but that’s really just because we’re not used to them. I’ve now started using them in place of any old bulbs that go out so soon I imagine all our lights will be switched over. Additionally, I’m looking at LED lighting for the recessed lights I have in my house because CFLs don’t fit there and LED lights also have low energy usage.

If you want to participate in the blog push for CFLs, there’s also a Squidoo Lens to note you’re participating.

  • Aggie

    I’m with you….Replaced the ones in the Ceiling Fans and just two of these put out more light than 4 of the incandescents!

  • Jason Petty

    What we have found is that A-Shape Cold Cathode bulbs work really well in ceiling fans. They are not going to be near as bright as higher wattage CFL’s but they cast a good warm light.

    Here is a link to a product page if you want to check them out.

  • Lindsey

    this is a really good point!

    A buddy of mine, who is a teacher, came across this company that works with schools to do environmentally friendly fund raisers. Not only do the schools make extra money but they help the environment and make people more aware of global warming as well. They also offer lesson plans for teachers who are interested in teaching their students about the environment as well as lesson plans for An Inconvenient Truth with Vice President Al Gore. Their main product is compact fluorescent light bulbs which save a ton of energy and money compared with incandescent bulbs. They are called One Plant Fund raising and their website is http://www.oneplanetfundraising.c
    om. Definitely worth checking out!

  • Superking

    LED lighting has long life. It can go up to 10 years and never burn off !!! but don’t you know if you use it for a couple years, it gets a lot dimmer!!!!! The good thing is we don’t have to keep replacing but for 10 years you will spend money as much as you spend for regular lighting.To buy LED lighting product is better than try to get custom make because it’s alot cheaper. I found it out from

  • dave

    Standard CFL’s with color temp of 2700k should give the same color as a 120 volt incandescent on a 120 volt circut

  • dave

    a standard CFl with a color temp of 2700k should be the same color as a 120 volt incandecent bulb

  • Jenninfer

    I really like the CFL’s but I had to try a few different ones before I found some that didn’t have a delayed start and good color. Check our for great bulbs and other energy saving items.

  • Section9

    Instead of switching to CFL bulbs that contain mercury, its now time to switch to LED bulbs that last longer without mercury toxins of CFL, and they are now at a much lower price than before

  • leveck

    LED bulbs are the best energy saving products when used as indicator lights or in signs or to be seen like in a marque but as for a regular replacement for a household bulb the brightness level isn’t there yet

  • Tastes Good

    I do think CFLs are great for table lamps and closets, but who wants to feel like their in an office building when they get home?

    Dimmers are a great way of saving energy! There is alot of dimming info on the web (check and not only do you get engery and CO2 savings, but you get the option of setting the light level as you desire. CFLs can not be dimmed, even though some claim they can. The problem is the way dimmers work. In simple terms, dimmers shut your lights on and off around 120 times a second. What we preceive as dimming is actually the dimmer keeping your lights off longer in that on-off cycle. The dimmer the lights, the longer your lights are off, the more electricity you save, and the longer your bulb lasts ( potentially greater than 20x its normal switched life) The problem with CFLs is that the balast inside the bulb is also controling when the lamp is fired (using electricity) and that will always conflict with dimmers. One CFL manufacturer actually said they can be dimmed using a reastat dimmer. These things have been unavailable since the 70s when solid state dimming was coming of age (again check lutron who invented solid state dimming).

    Ok, so no dimming them. Another problem is installing these bulbs in down fixtures. The heat generated by the bulb with rise through the base where the ballast is located and shorten the life of that bulb significantly. Having to replace a CFL every 6-10 months is not a great way to cut your lighting costs. So now we have to replace all our downward facing fixtures with flourescent fixtures with externally mounted balasts. Should i keep going?

    Ok so you know that painting or picture we have lit with the sweet looking track fixture? well now we have use flourescent lamps… how do we aim the beam of light on the picture? You can’t (yet)! flourescent lights distribute light throughout the whole survace of the lamp. They can’t focus light like incandescent or some LED lamps can. I could go on and on but i will stop it here.

    There simply is not enough research being done by these law-makers to justify the termination of incandescent lamps. I am 100% for cutting green house gases and lighting is a huge component of that, but i am also expecting these law-makers to do their homework before jumping to a quick solution!

  • Jason Petty recently got this press release concerning mercury content in CFL’s. We thought this could be of interest to your readers.


    Use even less mercury with MaxLite’s™ low mercury compact fluorescent lamps. Reinforcing its goal of producing the lowest mercury CFLs, MaxLite™ was one of the first in the industry to participate in the National Electrical Manufacturer’s Association’s (NEMA) initiative, “Voluntary Commitment on Mercury in CFLs.” Participants in the program pledge to limit the mercury content of their self-ballasted CFLs (residential use only) with less than 25 watts to 5 mg. and those with 25-40 watts to 6 mg. per bulb. MaxLite™ CFLs utilize only 1.2 to 2.5mg of mercury per lamp; half the amount present on the tip of a ball point pen, as compared to typical CFLS containing 4 mg. of mercury.

    Always ahead of the curve, MaxLite™ has created a unique procedure to control the amount of liquid mercury in its compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs). In its burner production, MaxLite™ accuracy is achieved by the utilization of a sealed tool akin to a medical injection tube. This permits defined quantities of liquid mercury to enter it each time the fluid is drawn. Then the identical amount of liquid mercury is infused into the burner. One amalgam dice is placed into the mercury control of the amalgam lamps. The amount of mercury is also fixed as the amalgam dice’s weight is controlled by amalgam manufacturers.

    The low mercury quantity is the least amount MaxLiteâ„¢ deems feasible for a compact fluorescent lamp to maintain a long and productive life.

  • Jack M.

    T. G., I am going to have to disagree with you. There are CFLs that will dim.

    You are correct when you say that crop of ‘dimmable’ CFLs on the market are less than compatible with available dimmers. The lighting controls companies that you mention (Lutron, etc.) have a vested interest in not catering to the needs of the CFL market and their disinterest in advancing their own technology is hurting the consumer, limiting the consumer’s options when it comes to lightbulb choice. The ‘big three’ lighting companies (GE, Sylvania, and Phillips) are just as guilty. The margins on Incandescent bulbs are much higher than those on CFLs, and in the interests of corporate profits these companies are slow to innovate beyond the bare minimum mandated by governments and the media. The myriad consumer complaints about CFLs (light color, start-up time, dimmability, etc.) all stem from these companies’ unwillingness to really invest in technology that in helping preserve global energy resources may negatively impact their bottom line.

    To my main point: There are companies who are working to change this paradigm, who have created and are working to create technologies that meet consumer needs. There are the TCPs of the world who make 1.4 million CFLs a day and are leading the way toward CFL adoption. There are also small companies, like a company called PureSpectrum, who have invented CFL dimmers and fully dimmable CFLs. People are making dimmable CFLs that work, you just have to look for them.

    see for their press releases on dimmable CFLs

  • bradbury

    CFL’s are NOT green, but another environmental hazard. Besides their mercury content they emit both RF and UV radiation which are associated with adverse health effects. See and google info about “dirty electricity.” Dimmers contirbute to dirty electricity. CFL’s do not contain diffusers to mitigate the UV.

  • Gary

    One thing that is often not covered in articles is their so-called longevity. The news media, pushing these things, will use the statement of the manufacturers that they will last 7 – 11 years… to this I say BUNK! They are NOT very reliable! I have lost more than a dozen CFB’s in the last three years. I am now keeping track of the so-called warranty (7 – 11 years depending on brand) – something one should not have to do on something that is so low cost (~$4/bulb) but you’re forced to as they are so very much more expensive than standard bulbs and they fail frequently. The last one I had fail was yesterday. The power went out in a storm four times for about 5 seconds each time – the bulb was on – it now does not work. I think the public needs to be informed that these things are NOT as reliable as they’re made out to be!!!! EVERYONE seems to promote “cost savings” and “they last so long” when the reality seems quite different from this. The whole justification tends to go away unless you exercise the warranty.

  • erik

    Can compact florescent bulbs be used with a dimmer

  • Superior Lighting

    Very interesting. As a company, we at Superior Lighting are always looking for new ways to become more eco friendly. We offer energy efficient light bulbs and lighting solutions and work with vendors on sound packaging methods.  What else can we do?

  • Superior Lighting

    I help manage a hotel, so we are always looking for good light bulb wholesalers for our hotel and

    restaurants. We only use energy star rated bulbs that minimize the environmental impact.

  • BradPit

    As i know its best to opt LED or Standard light bulbs rather than going with Fluorescent Light Bulbs to save power.So i hope this will do.

  • James

    Energy efficient light bulbs are the easiest first step consumers and businesses can take towards reducing their energy consumption. Products have gotten light years better in the past few years and, in my eyes, indisputably better for 99% of applications. Both CFL and LED light bulbs run much cooler than incandescent bulbs, use energy much more efficiently, and do offer saving on your electricity bill. I am a vendor of energy efficient bulbs, so perhaps I am a bit biased, but I don’t know why everyone doesn’t switch today.

  • Anonymous

    Well, CFL bulbs are really the best bulbs. And the regarding post really discloses the best of incredibility about it. And I am really surprised to know about it. And this one is extremely looking one of the ebst experienced post about Compact Fluorescent light bulbs. Thanks for sharing some exceptional information about it.

    Lights grow

  • Anonymous

    Great article of CFLs and LED.. I have noticed that A demand of LED still going so far rather than CFLs light. CFLs light is good choices but it is hard to say that CFLs light is Eco-friendly products. 
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  • Julia Allan

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