A Compact Fluorescent Light bulb (CFL) is also known as compact fluorescent light or compact fluorescent tube.
The compact fluorescent bulbs were designed to substitute the incandescent light bulbs and for that, they were made compatible with standard bulb fixtures.
A CFL light bulb uses less power than a conventional incandescent light bulb but more that an LED light bulb.
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The power usage of a bulb is always displayed on the package of the bulb.
Depending on the bulb type, the minimum power consumption of a CFL light bulb is around 4 Watts and the maximum power consumption is around 55 Watts.
Under the same conditions, and when compared to a LED light bulb:
> A CFL light bulb will use around 75% more electricity
> An incandescent bulb will use around 625% more electricity.
For a better perspective, the table below shows the power consumption of equivalent light bulbs as well as their brightness in lumens.
Additionally, this other table also provides valuable information:
> Light bulb energy efficiency: How efficient the light bulb is
> Light bulb lifespan: An approximation of how many hours will the bulb last before having to change it
> Light bulb electricity yearly cost: An approximation of the yearly electricity cost.
The calculator below can be used to:
> Estimate the daily power consumption of a CFL light bulb
> Estimate the daily, monthly, and yearly electricity cost of one or several CFL light bulbs
You just need to adjust the values in the PARAMETERS section to your requirements and the calculator will automatically display the RESULTS section.
For example, if you have 8 CFL bulbs at home that:
> Have a power rating of 7 Watts (W)
> Are switched on 6 hours a day and 320 days per year
> You are paying 0,217 euros (or dollars or pounds) per every kWh you consume
You will be paying around 23 euros (or dollars, or pounds, or…) per year in electricity costs to power up those 8 CFL light bulbs.
If you don’t know how much you are paying per kWh, you should be able to find the cost per kWh on your electricity contract or in one of the electricity bills.
Alternatively, if don’t have access to your contract or your electricity bills, this website does show the electricity cost per country.
A few other examples from our ‘Electricity usage and electricity cost calculators‘ page that may be of your interest:
Apart from choosing the most efficient light bulb, here there is some advice that can help you with reducing your lighting bill:
1.- If possible, use transparent shades or fittings.
This is because the dark lampshade can absorb some of the light that a light bulb emits.
2.- Clean your shades and fittings
Dust accumulation will prevent efficient light distribution.
3.- Choose the right color
‘Soft white’ or ‘warm white’ light bulbs provide a homey glow that is best for general household lighting
‘Cool white’ or ‘pure white’ are ideal for office spaces, reading areas, or any area that requires clear vision.
If you have an office space and install the incorrect lighting, you may try to compensate by installing additional lighting like desk lamps. And this approach will become an electricity waste.
4.- Do not keep the light switched on unnecessarily
Well, this is the most common piece of advice but it does really count.
Below, in the next section, you will find a calculator that should give you some insights into the importance of electricity conservation.
Even small savings may have a big impact when it comes to reducing our carbon footprint and conserving our natural resources.
The average lifespan of a CFL light bulb is around 8000 hours.
No, they are not dimmable, unless specifically stated on the package.
Yes, CFL light bulbs contain a small amount of mercury sealed inside the glass tube. Mercury is an essential element of CFL bulbs.
A small amount, around 5 mg (milligrams). As a reference, a thermometer does contain between 500 and 1000 mg.
You should take the CFL light bulbs to your local hazardous waste collection points. Most probably you can take them to the same collection point where you take your home AAA or AA batteries.
When a CFL light bulb is broken a small quantity of mercury vapor is released. But do not worry, the risk to human health is very minimal.
1. Open the room windows for a minimum of 15 min and make sure that children and pets are moved outside the room. Also, you should evacuate the room for 15 min after making sure that the air conditioner is powered off.
> Do NOT use a vacuum cleaner to pick up the broken pieces.
2. If you have them at home, use globes to collect the broken pieces and put them into a sealable bag. After collection of the broken pieces, place also the globes into the sealable bag.
> If you don’t have globes, use a piece of cardboard or paper to collect the broken pieces
> If you don’t have a sealable bag, use a normal bag a close it using tape. Alternatively, you can use a jar with a lid.
3. Use a vacuum cleaner to hoover the area and afterward put the vacuum cleaner bag into a sealable bag for safe disposal.
> If the CFL light bulb has come in contact with fabrics, like clothes or a carpet, they will need to also be disposed of. Washing the contaminated clothes could spread the mercury to other clothes.
4. Check where in your area you have a hazardous waste collection point and dispose of all the above-mentioned materials.
Not everybody is familiar with terms like Watts, Kilowatts, or Kilowatt hours so if you would learn more about them, have a look at this YouTube video that we have prepared about this topic.
Or you can have a look at this electricity measurement units calculators to get a better understanding of:
> What is a Watt (W) and how do transform Watts into Kilowatts
> What is a Kilowatt (kW) and how to transform Kilowatts into Kilowatts hour
> What is a Kilowatt hour (kWh) and how do transform Kilowatts hours into other units
> What are Power (P), Voltage (V), and Current (I)
Energy conservation can be defined as the decision and the act of using less energy
Energy conservation both benefit you and the environment
The act of saving and conserving electricity does benefit you because you will be paying less for your energy bills.
And it also does benefit the environment because conserving electricity prevents any unnecessary waste of natural resources.
Now, at the individual level, it may not look worth trying to save a few watts here or there.
Still, every little count and if hundreds or thousands of us do save a little every time, it will make an important contribution towards conserving our natural resources.
If we could reduce the home lighting electricity usage, even a very small amount, it would make a big impact on preserving our natural resources.
For example, if 9000 households would manage to save as little as 10 Watts per day (0,01 kWh) on home lighting electricity usage, that would add to 32850 Kilowatt hours (kWh) saved per year.
9000 households x 0,01 kWh per day x 365 days per year
32,850 kWh saved per year
That is a considerable amount of electricity, but let’s add additional perspectives for clarity:
> Assuming an average cost of 0,18 euros (or dollars, or pounds, or any other currency) per kWh, we would collectively be saving nearly 6000 euros per year.
> To produce 32,850 kWh of electricity it is necessary to use around 17 metric tons of coal or 56 barrels of residual fuel oil.
In any case it is clear that small energy savings do really count when looking into the bigger picture.
If you are looking for ideas to save electricity at home, have a look at this YouTube video where we show some useful tips to reduce electricity usage at home and decrease the electricity bill.
Buying an energy effcient appliance or device is going to save electricity, water and decrease your energy and water bills, but at what prize?
Find out if you have paid a reasonable prize for that efficient device or appliance.
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