Compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) are smaller versions of full-sized fluorescent lights, though they have better quality than their predecessors. As you may have noticed, today’s fluorescent lighting is much more different than those ghastly white office lighting fixtures in the past that drained everything of color. But while CFLs are becoming popular, there are also some drawbacks to their use. Here, we look at their advantages and disadvantages to help you decide whether they are right for you.
List of Advantages of CFL Light Bulbs
1. They are cost-effective.
While these bulbs cost more at first, they are actually less expensive in the long run because they last longer than incandescent bulbs. And since they consume about 60% less than incandescent bulbs, they can help cut down a substantial amount from your bills. Once you switch to them, you will see a noticeable change in your expenses.
2. They are efficient.
It is said that CFLs are up to 400% more efficient than incandescent bulbs. This means that you can replace your 100-Watt incandescent bulbs with 22-watt CFLs for the same amount of light, with less energy used.
3. They come with versatility.
With the versatility of CFLs, you can use them in any setting that you would with incandescent bulbs. Also, they come in various sizes and shapes that they can be used for table lamps, recessed fixtures, ceiling lighting and track lighting. There are even 3-way CFLs that offer more versatility.
4. They help reduce emissions of carbon dioxide.
Switching to these lights will allow you to do your part in reducing carbon emissions, where just a single bulb is said to reduce half a ton of this gas in the atmosphere.
List of Disadvantages of CFL Light Bulbs
1. Not all of them can be used with dimmer switches.
If you are using dimmer switches, keep in mind that not all CFLs can be used with these innovations. So, make sure to check the package before using, as regular CFLs can burn out quickly when used with dimmers switches.
2. They cannot hold up to frequent switching.
While it is claimed that these lights will last about 10,000 hours, their life will be reduced significantly by turning them on and off too frequently. This means that you should not use them in places where you would turn them on only briefly, but in areas where they will be left on for a while.
3. They contain mercury.
Most probably, this is the most alarming drawback of CFLs, especially among environmentally conscious users. While this element is not toxic or dangerous when the bulbs are being used, it will surely be if the bulbs are broken and not disposed correctly.
4. They cannot endure outdoors elements.
When using these light bulbs, you need to cover and protect them from the elements, as they are sensitive to extreme temperatures. Check the package to see if the one you are buying is suitable for outdoor use.
CFLs can truly provide you with many benefits, but it is also important to consider their negatives. This way, you will be able to decide if they are the best light bulbs to use in your home.
Natalie Regoli is a child of God, devoted wife, and mother of two boys. She has a Master's Degree in Law from The University of Texas. Natalie has been published in several national journals and has been practicing law for 18 years.