The Truth About CFL and LED Energy-Saving Light Bulbs

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3. These Bulbs Are Far Too Expensive

It is a fact that CFLs are often three to five times more than the old incandescent bulbs and LEDs. Although prices have dropped a bit in the last few years, they are still between eight and 10 times more expensive than the old style bulbs; however, sticking with the old bulbs will cost you more money in the long run. It’s rather like buying in bulk — you might pay more upfront because of the size, but if you break down the cost into smaller portions, you see the savings. These bulbs work the same way. Because CFLs use far less electricity and last much longer, an average homeowner who switches all their bulbs to CFLs will save — depending on the cost of their electricity and their usage — between $40 and $50 dollars on their electric bill over the bulbs’ six to 10 year lifespans.


4. CFL Bulbs Leak UV Radiation

One study conducted by Stony Brook University in 2012 found that most CFL bulbs leak UV radiation that could damage skin cells if skin was exposed at a close enough range. There really is no need to worry, however, unless you plan on working with one of these bulbs in an uncovered fixture less than 11 inches away from your skin. The Canadian government conducted an extensive study in 2009 which showed that CFL bulbs, when used at a distance of more than 11 inches away, are not any more dangerous than a conventional lightbulb. So bulbs used in lamps that have glass covers are safe, as are bulbs put in ceiling fixtures. Even if they are exposed, they are safe as long as they are at least 11 inches away from you.


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5. CFL’s Don’t Work In Cold Weather

It is true that most CFLs are very slow to warm up and give off sufficient amounts of light in very cold temperatures. For indoors, these bulbs work just fine in 40+ degree temperatures. If you live in a colder climate, go outside fixtures, such as porch lights or security lights, use LEDs or halogen bulbs, instead of CFLs.

The bottom line is this: Yes, CFLs need a bit more special care when it comes to handling and disposal, but they aren’t dangerous themselves. Many other countries have been using CFL bulbs for decades with no reported problems. Isn’t it time America got on the energy-saving bandwagon?


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