CFL’s, or compact fluorescent lights, are an easy way to cut your home energy bills and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. They will cost you more upfront but over time they will save you money.
- CFLs use about 75% less energy than standard incandescent bulbs and can last up to 10 times longer.
- CFL’s use only about 30% of the power needed for a similar incandescent bulb.
- They can save you $30-60 or more in electricity costs over each bulb’s lifetime.
- They produce about 75% less heat, so they’re safer to use and can reduce energy costs associated with cooling your home.
You probably shouldn’t use CFL bulbs in ceiling fans because the movement will cause the bulb to wear out sooner. Outdoor CFL bulbs are in a secondary enclosure to help with their cold weather performance; however, CFL’s like to be warm so you may notice that their efficiency drops with colder temperatures.
It is important to dispose of CFL’s properly because they contain a small amount of mercury. IKEA offers a “Free Take Back” program where you can give them your old CFL’s to be recycled. You can also bring your used CFL’s to all Home Depot stores for them to be recycled as well. If you don’t live near either of these stores, you can go to Earth911, the largest online resource for recycling information in the United States and Canada, where you can enter “CFL” and your zip code to find where you can bring them to be recycled.