Best Compact Fluorescent Bulbs
Together with LEDs, compact fluorescent's (CFLs) are revolutionizing the world's lighting. Compact
fluorescent's are quickly replacing the energy-guzzling incandescent energy saving bulbs that many
countries are phasing out Though they're more expensive initially than incandescent bulbs, CFLs are
cheaper in the long run because they last so much longer and save so much money on your electric
Incandescent bulbs are only rated to last for 750-1,000 hours of use, while CFLs are rated at 6,000-
15,000 hours. And CFLs give off 3-4 times as much light as incandescent for the same amount of power.
CFLs are also starting to displace the old-style, bulky fluorescent tubes. This is because CFLs are
smaller and will screw into regular sockets.
But CFLs have problems you should know about before you buy any.
Like regular fluorescent tubes, CFL bulbs will burn out a lot faster if you turn them on and off a lot.
Use them only in applications where you'll need their light for at least fifteen minutes at a time, and
preferably for an hour or more.
Regular CFL energy saving light bulbs can't be dimmed or turned down with a 3-way; you'll need to get
special CFL bulbs for that. And you'll probably also need to get special dimmer switches or 3-way
switches, as the ones made for incandescent bulbs usually burn CFL bulbs out very rapidly, if they work
There are quite a few types of CFL bulbs, each suited to a different need and situation. Take care to
get the right one, or it might either not deliver the light you want or it might burn out quickly.
Certain CFLs deliver fairy lights that is far superior to the light of an incandescent. Some CFLs give off
a light that, like natural daylight, is cool-coloured (5000-7000 K) and crisp. But, for those who like
warm-coloured bulbs, some CFLs put out light that is similar to regular incandescent light.
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Most people associate fluorescent light with flickering, but only the lamps with magnetic ballasts
flicker. Many of the new CFLs have electronic ballasts, which don't flicker (though they cost more).
Types of Bulbs
Spiral CFL bulbs put out a warm-coloured light. They're more energy-efficient than most other CFL
bulbs and are good for mood lighting.
Standard spiral CFL bulbs have a dome cover over them, so they resemble incandescent bulbs (which is
why they're called "standard"). Their light is similar to that of "soft white" incandescent bulbs.
Triple tube bulbs are extra compact, and they pack of lot of light into a smaller bulb.
Globe CFLs have a globe that somewhat resembles an incandescent bulb. They spread their heat out,
so they're better for hot places than regular CFLs, which can falter under high heat.
Flood CFLs are nice for reading, as they generate less heat than halogen or incandescent flood lights,
while delivering a soft, high quality light.
Candelbra bulbs have a torpedo shape that's great for smaller lamp fixtures.
For more information on Best Compact Fluorescent Bulbs
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