Despite the fact that they use up to 75% less electricity than an incandescent light bulb, compact florescent light bulbs (or CFLs) haven’t always been showcased in the best possible light. Since their widespread introduction in 1999, some people have remained skeptical about their safety and visual appeal. I think it’s easy to understand some peoples’ initial hesitance, since those first generation bulbs looked pretty funny. When lit, they’d flicker for several seconds before finally illuminating the room in an unfamiliar cool blue tone. And at a hefty $12 – $25 a pop, outfitting every lamp in the house was a pretty steep proposition.
Today, some people still cite concern about the safety of CFLs. It’s true that they contain a small amount of mercury inside the glass tubing, but no mercury is ever released unless the bulb is broken. Light bulbs have always been made of glass, so handling them with care isn’t exactly a new proposition. CFL or not—broken glass is no fun! The good news is that if a CFL bulb ever does break in your home, the EPA has some simple guidelines for a quick, safe cleanup.
Today’s CFLs have advanced dramatically over the last decade, offering a wide range of decorative options. They’re available in several tones of warm and cool light, and are designed fit several different applications—from recessed (or canned) lighting to designer chandeliers. On a recent trip to the store, I even found a CFL black light for an upcoming children’s party and a CFL outdoor bug light to keep pests away from my door.
Besides looking great and giving you options, CFLs also:
- Last up to six times longer than an incandescent bulb
- Use approximately 75% less energy
- Can save up to $30 on your energy bill over each bulb’s lifetime
- Now cost as little as $2 per bulb
According to the US Energy Star program: “If every American replaced just 1 bulb in their home with a CFL, the resulting energy savings would eliminate greenhouse gasses equal to that of 800,000 cars.”
EIGHT HUNDRED THOUSAND CARS!
Today’s CFLs look great, are more affordable and continue to save you money, all while being better for the planet. What’s not to love?
Do YOU qualify for free CFLs from Duke Energy? Programs may vary by state. Please visit www.duke-energy.com/freecfls to see if you qualify today!