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Choosing Between Incandescent and Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs

Aug 18, 2007
Recently a Democratic lawmaker introduced a bill to ban the sale of the traditional incandescent light bulb. The purpose of the bill is to make "an important first step toward making every household, business, and public building in America more energy efficient."

The average incandescent bulb based on filaments emits 12-15 lumens per watt (a measurement of the bulb's lighting output). While compact fluorescent bulbs currently available on the market emit 60 lumens per watt with projected outputs of 65-120 lumens per watt in the works for the future. The proposed bill will require all bulbs sold in the US to emit no less than 60 lumens per watt by January 2012.

Many people are opposed to this bill, feeling it will force consumers to purchase the more expensive product for their light fixtures and lamps. These individuals do not feel the energy savings from the CFL bulb outweighs the cost of the product and believes individuals should have their choice of light bulbs. When purchasing light bulbs it is easy to figure the cost difference between incandescent bulbs (around $0.25) as compared to CFL ($2-5 each) while long term cost savings are a little more difficult to figure.

So what are the cost and energy savings that have some people singing the praise of the compact fluorescent bulb?

* CFL bulbs use two-thirds less energy than the traditional incandescent bulb to provide the same amount of energy. This is equivalent to $30 or more in savings on your energy bill over each bulbs lifespan.
* CFL light bulbs last ten times longer than standard incandescent bulbs.
* Compact fluorescent bulbs generate seventy percent less heat, resulting in a safer to operate light bulb and a reduction in home cooling costs.
* CFL bulbs also meet quality requirements which include ; instant on, no sound production, and the light produced falls within a warm color range.
* A CFL bulb can prevent more than 450 pounds of emissions from a power plant during its life. These power plant emissions are directly related to greenhouse gases, which pollute the environment and lead to global warming.

When replacing a incandescent light bulb with a compact fluorescent bulb there are a couple of things to consider. Frequently turning on and off a CFL bulb will shorten its lifespan. So if only replacing a few bulbs in your home replace those that remain on for longer periods of time, which are typically the most used rooms in your home. CFLs are also great for those hard to reach light fixtures such as ceiling pot lights, wall sconces, and chandeliers which you don't want to have to change as often. When replacing the bulb use this approximate sizing guide to select the correct wattage for your bulb.

Incandescent - CFL
40W - 9W
60W - 13W
75W - 20W
100W - 23W

CFL bulbs may cost a little more at the checkout, but they are quick starting, come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and light levels. You can also save money in the long run on your energy bill by using them and can spend less time in the dark changing bulbs. Plus CFL bulbs are still improving in output, quality, and style everyday to one day be an ever better product for all of your lighting needs.
About the Author
All Things Tiffany is a complete internet store with Tiffany table lamps, wall scones, stained glass panels, and Tiffany table lamps. Shop today on the site which has the best prices and service for All Things Tiffany.
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