How do CFL bulbs work?

Click for ENERGY STAR explanation.

Click for Wikipedia explanation.

Comparison between CFL’s and incandescent lamps wattage.

CFL 9-11W = 40W Incandescent

CFL 13-15W = 60W Incandescent

CFL 18-20W = 75W Incandescent

CFL 23-26W= 100W Incandescent

Color Temperature and Kelvins.

Soft White – 2,700 Kelvins

Cool White – 4,100 Kelvins

Day Light – 6,500 Kelvins

Soft White (sometimes referred to as warm white) (2700K) is a more traditional soft light. It most closely reproduces the Kelvins (color) of an incandescent light bulb. As you go higher in color temperature (higher Kelvins, 6,500K) the color is a bright bluish light.

Finding the correct color temperature for lighting different rooms in your house will depend on each room and your needs. For example in the living room where you may not need bright lighting you may choose a softer more traditional soft white light (2,700K). In your kitchen or office you may want to choose a cool white color temperature (4,100K) for bright lighting. In the bathroom you may want the lighting to be as day light, you would then choose a higher color temperature (6,500K).

When lighting your home, it is a good practice and a great way to cut your energy cost by finding the correct color temperature you need, and then choosing a bulb with a lower wattage.

The rated life of a CFL bulb.

The rated life is based on continuous use for 3 hours a day every day, in a recommended setting.

Mercury in CFL bulbs.

There is a small amount of Mercury in all CFL bulbs so that they can operate. If the CFL is not broken there is no exposure to Mercury and are safe to use as a incandescent bulb. For more information on Mercury in CFL’s see ENERGY STAR Fact Sheet. For information on recycling a bulb that has burned out see EPA recycling. If the bulb breaks follow these EPA recommended steps.