Electric lighting consumes up to 25% of the average home energy budget. The electricity used over the lifetime of a single incandescent bulb costs 5 to 10 times the original purchase price of a CFL bulb.
Compact fluorescent light bulbs are simply miniature versions of full-sized fluorescents. They screw into standard lamp sockets, and give off light that looks just like the common incandescent bulbs - not like the fluorescent lighting we associate with factories and schools.
BENEFITS OF COMPACT FLUORESCENT LIGHT BULBS
Efficiency: CFLs are four times more efficient and last up to 10 times longer than incandescent light bulbs. A 22 watt CFL has about the same light output as a 100 watt incandescent. Compact fluorescent light bulbs use 50 - 80% less energy than incandescent light bulbs.
Savings: Although initially more expensive, you save money in the long run because CFLs use 1/3 the electricity and last up to 10 times as long as incandescent light bulbs. A single 18 watt CFL used in place of a 75 watt incandescent will save about 570 kWh over its lifetime. At 8 cents per kWh, that equates to a $45 savings.
Pollution Reduction: By replacing a single incandescent bulb with a CFL you can keep a half-ton of CO2 out of the atmosphere over the life of the bulb. If everyone in the U.S. used energy-efficient lighting, we could retire 90 average size power plants. Saving electricity reduces CO2 emissions, sulfur oxide and high-level nuclear waste.
High-Quality Light: Newer Compact fluorescent light bulbs give a warm, inviting light instead of the "cool white" light of older fluorescents. They use rare earth phosphors for excellent color and warmth. New electronically ballasted CFLs don't flicker or hum.
Versatility: Compact fluorescent light bulbs can be applied nearly anywhere that incandescent lights are used. Energy-efficient CFLs can be used in recessed fixtures, table lamps, track lighting, ceiling fixtures and porch lights. 3-way CFLs are also now available for lamps with 3-way settings. Dimmable Compact fluorescent light bulbs are also available for lights using a dimmer switch.
For more information about CFL bulbs, please visit projectporchlight.com.
(CFLs: A Bright Idea, data excerpted from ENERGYSTAR.GOV, ONECHANGE.ORG, 1000BULBS.COM)
Marlboro TAC participates in Project Porchlight - Nov. 21, 2009