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Fluorescent bulb power consumption and electricity cost

A Fluorescent Light Bulb is a type of linear lamp available in different diameters (e.g 16 mm, 26 mm or 38 mm) which requires an external ballast to fire the lamp.

This external ballast can consume up to 10 Watts of electricity in addition to the 

How much power does a fluorescent bulb use

As shown as the picture below, the fluorescent light bulbs (e.g. CFL light bulbs) are much more efficient than traditional light bulbs but less efficient than LED light bulbs.

fluorescent bulb power consumption

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.

Light bulbs conversion tables

light bulb lumen and watts comparison table

Additionally, this other table also provides valuable information:

> Light bulb energy efficiency: How efficient the light bulb is

> Light bulb lifespan: An approximation on how many hours will the bulb last before having to change it

> Light bulb electricity yearly cost: An approximation on the yearly electricity cost.

light bulbs efficiency comparisson table

Fluorescent bulb electricity cost calculator

The calculator below can be used to estimate the power consumption and the electricity cost of CFL light bulbs over time. 

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 light 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 euro (or dollars or pounds) per every kWh you consume 

You will be paying around 23 euro (or dollars, or pounds, or…) per year in electricity costs to power up those 8 CFL light bulbs.

How much does electricity cost

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.

how much does electricity cost

Alternatively, if don’t have access to your contract or your electricity bills, this website does show the electricity cost per country.

Home appliances and devices electricity calculators

A few other examples from our ‘Electricity usage and electricity cost calculators‘ page that may be of your interest:

How to lower the home lighting electricity bill

Apart from choosing the most efficient light bulb for your need, 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 an 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 a 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, on the next section, you will find a calculator that should give you some insights on 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.

Fluorescent bulb electricity usage FAQ

How many watts does a fluorescent light use

There is not a direct answer to this questions.

How many watts does a fluorescent light use depends on the model and specifications.

On the ‘How much electricity does a fluorescent light bulb use’ section we provide the wattage usage for a Compact Fluorescent Light (CFL) bulb depending on the light (lumens) produced.

How much energy does a fluorescent light bulb use

Again, as on the questions above, there is not a direct answer to this questions.

How much electricity does a fluorescent light bulb use depends on the model and specifications.

On the ‘How much electricity does a fluorescent light bulb use’ section we provide the wattage usage for a Compact Fluorescent Light (CFL) bulb depending on the light (lumens) produced.

Do fluorescent lights use more electricity

They do use more electricity than LED lights but less electricity than incandescent light bulbs.

Is it true that there is mercury inside the fluorescent light bulbs

Yes, the florescent light bulbs contain a small amount of mercury sealed inside the glass tube. For example, as described in Wikipedia, a fluorescent light bulb F34T12 contains 5 milligrams of mercury.

How should I dispose florescent light bulbs

You should take the florescent 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.

What should I do if a florescent light bulb breaks at home

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.

How to dispose a broken CFL light bulb:

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 afterwards put the vacuum cleaner bag into a sealable bag for a safe disposal.

> If the florescent light bulb have came in contact with fabrics, like clothes or a carpet, they will need to also be disposed. 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.

Electricity measurement units

Not everybody it is familiar with terms like Watts, Kilowatts or Kilowatt hours so if you would learn more about them, have a look to this YouTube video that we have prepared about this topic.

What is a Kilowatt hour (kWh)

Electricity measurement units calculators

Or you can have a look to this electricity measurement units calculators to get a better understanding of:

> What is a Watt (W) and how to 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 to transform Kilowatts hours to other units

> What are Power (P), Voltage (V) and Current (I)

Watt (W)
Watt (W) wattage calculator
Kilowatt (kW)
Kilowatt (kW) calculator
Kilowatt hour (kWh)
Kilowatt hour (kWh) calculator
Power, voltage, current
Power, voltage, current calculator

Home lighting and energy conservation

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 on your energy bills. 

And it also does benefit the environment because conserving electricity prevents any unnecessary waste of natural resources.

Now, at individual level it may not look worth to try to save a few watts here or there. 

Still, every little counts and if hundreds or thousands of us do save a little every time, it will make an important contribution towards conserving our natural resources.

Energy conservation calculator

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 hour (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 euro (or dollars, or pounds, or any other currency) per kWh, we would collectively be saving nearly 6000 euro 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.

Have a look to this page for more information about the amount of resources needed to produce electricity.
 

In any case it is clear that small energy savings do really count when looking into the bigger picture.

Proven ways to save electricity at home

If you are looking for ideas to save electricity at home, have a look to this YouTube video were we show some useful tips to reduce the electricity usage at home and decrease the electricity bill. 

How to save electricity at home
How to save
How to save
How to earn
How to earn

Calculators

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