Compact Fluorescent Bulbs

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Where should I start with CFL's?

Depending on your budget and desire to make sweeping changes, you can start by deciding to replace one incandescent bulb with a CFL. Hopefully you will do more. Typically, you would select bulbs which burn the most hours in your home. These are often hallway lights, kitchen lights and porch lights. It's also common to begin with bulbs which are difficult to change. Switching to a CFL means you won't have to change that bulb again for 5 years or more.

NOTE: Bulbs on dimming circuits or 3-way bulbs require CFL's specifically designed for those purposes. Using a standard CFL in a dimming circuit is a fire hazard. You'll need a dimmable or 3-way CFL for the appropriate application and they are a little more difficult to find. If it's not clearly marked for dimming do not use the bulb in a dimming circuit, even at full brighness. The same applies for a 3-way bulb -- it should be clearly marked -- if not, don't use it.

To realize more advantages quicker, it's best to begin by replacing standard on/off bulbs which typically burn for a couple hours at a time, in your home or office.

Is it difficult to switch to CFL's?

No, it's simple. In the vast majority of conversions, it's as easy as screwing in a new light bulb. In some instances, recessed lighting may require the base to be adjusted or extended. It depends on the reflector and the original adjustment of the base in most cases.

What should I look for when purchasing a CFL bulb?

In the U.S., we recommend bulbs which are ENERGY STAR qualified. They can be identified by the Energy Star label on the package. These bulbs tend to be of reliable quality. That's not to say bulbs without this rating are inferior, it's simply that Energy Star bulbs have met current federal energy efficiency standards.

You'll need to know the wattage of the bulb you're replacing, and it's equivalent in a CFL.

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What wattage should I buy?

  • If you're replacing a 40 watt incandescent bulb, use a 9-12 watt CFL.
  • If you're replacing a 60 watt incandescent bulb, use a 13-18 watt CFL.
  • If you're replacing a 75 watt incandescent bulb, use a 19-24 watt CFL.
  • If you're replacing a 100 watt incandescent bulb, use a 25-30watt CFL.

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Where can I dispose of CFL bulbs?

CFLs can be dropped off at East Central Recycling, 701 E Centennial Ave. Their hours are Monday through Friday 8am to 4:30pm and Saturday 8am to 11:30am. You can drop them off there through the HHW Program which is free to all Delaware County residents. If you have more questions, call 765-213-6450.