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Compact Fluorescent Bulbs

Posted: Sat Apr 28, 2007 2:47 pm
by Mike Deneen
These CFL bulbs have been all over the media lately as a way to reduce energy costs. In fact, Australia and Canada have already announced a ban on traditional incandescent bulbs.

Have you tried these yet? If so, what do you think of them?

Posted: Sat Apr 28, 2007 3:24 pm
by dl meckes
We have been using these for several years and have found that they don't last as long as they are advertised to last–but they do last much longer than regular bulbs. I can't say that we have noticed as much of a difference in our electric bill as we would have imagined, but there are probably other factors at play and perhaps I'm looking at where the energy is saved in the wrong way.

We have to change to incandescent bulbs in the basement in the winter because it takes "forever" for the bulbs to fully light. CFLs don't do well with dimmers.

However, we just got some mini-CFLs from the Lakewood hardware store and they seem to be smaller, brighter and better than any of the other bulbs we've purchased from Costco or Home Despot. In the fall, we'll have to try the minis in the basement and see if they do better than the "regular" CFLs.

Matter of fact, I'm really feelin' the love for those minis and the only place we've seen them is in the new hardware store.

Posted: Sat Apr 28, 2007 8:06 pm
by Bryan Schwegler
Mike, I also have been using them for about 5 years now. There are a few things to be aware of:

- Color temperature is VERY important. You will never get that yellowish "incandescent" color from them, but there are certainly some that are more yellow and most which are much more white or blue. I prefer the warmer color myself. So pay attention to the color on the package. Home Depot's for example have it right on the front.

- As dl mentioned, they can take awhile to "warm up", especially when it's cold out. And they normally don't work in dimmers (there are dimmer CFLs out there but they tend to be much more expensive)

In general, I'd only recommend CFLs to replace those lights you tend to leave on for awhile. For lights that are only used every so often for short periods of time, it's probably not worth it.

I actually just replaced the flood lights in my backyard with CFLs from Target and they're amazingly bright. The types of CFLs available is so much more expansive than it was a few years back.

Posted: Sat Apr 28, 2007 9:06 pm
by Charyn Compeau
We have CFB in almost all of out fixtures and I did notice a drop in our average monthly bills - not muh, but enough to be noticed.

I would caution everyone, however, to be aware of the fact that CF Bulbs require special disposal due to the mercury they contain.

For information on disposing of hazardous material in our area you can visit:

I assume the recycling department would also have information on hand as well


Posted: Sat Apr 28, 2007 9:24 pm
by Bryan Schwegler
Charyn Compeau wrote:I assume the recycling department would also have information on hand as well

Great point about the importance of proper disposal. The Lakewood Refuse dept does accept the bulbs for recycling at their drop-off center on Berea Rd.