The Case for CFLs

Basically, I’m promoting compact fluorescent light bulbs, with the help of some very interesting facts from an article that happened to cross my path.

-Lumens (brightness):

26 Watt CFL = 100 Watt incandescent bulb (the one that produces the yellowish light)

-Power used and waste produced (1 bulb for 6 hours of daily use):

CFL saves 126 kiloWatt of electricity per year / 170 pounds of CO2 emissions per year

Assuming that you have 20-3o bulbs in your house, CFL reduces 2.3 metric tons of CO2 output per year.


Australia is the first nation to mandate CFL lights. Eventually, it will become equivalent to taking 1 million cars off the road.

-Side effects (mercury)

It has always been assumed that CFL produces harmful mercury.

Apparently, there are many misconceptions. It should be noted that half of the American homes get their electricity from coal.

An average 26 Watt CFL bulb emits 0.023 milligrams of mercury. Over a duration of 1 year, 0.66 milligrams will be emitted, including indirect emissions (coal).

With similar number, the 100 Watt incandescent bulb emits 2.25 milligrams.


Personal opinion: I like the light that CFL produces. Half of the bulbs in my house are already replaced. I might as well go ahead and change the other half. Although I might leave a couple alone, for the sake of tradition.


Posted on February 8, 2008, in Advice, education, News and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. It’s not that they emit mercury or produce mercury, they contain small amounts of mercury. The problem with trying to recycle them is that they almost always break in transport.

    Here’s an article on the subject. It’s from a note environmental group.

  2. Regardless of whether it is “emission”, the overall statistic is still the same.

    However, I’d imagine that it is more than common sense that mercury cannot be “emitted” or “produced” through the household bulbs. If what I wrote reflects otherwise, pardon on my part.

    Since it is common sense, then logically speaking your “argument” shares a border with “stating the obvious”, on which I feel compelled to congratulate you.

    In an effort to avoid repeated “mistakes”, I have an article for you:

  3. As a person who pays the electric bills, I switched all my regular light bulbs to CFls. This is the easiest way to save money on your electric bill.

  4. The big money is not in your lights it’s in your water heater. Take a look at the new tankless waterheaters.

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