Confused by CFL Bulbs? It is going to get easier.

I’ll admit it, I’m right in the middle of trying to do the best for the energy industry by saving as much as I can, but the whole CFL light bulb thing still has me very confused.

I’ve found that some trial and error has to occur to find the right color and tint that will work in various parts of the home. We bought some lights at Home Depot that were about 50cents each. They ended up being so harsh and bright that we had to move them out to the garage. They actually work really good out there. Next time, I did a bit of experimentation and found some that I really liked.

The other problem is, that they don’t appear to last as long as advertised. Many sites state that they will last up to 5 years. I’m sitting under a CFL right now that has been in about 9 months. It is getting very dim and I’m about to replace it. Not convinced yet.

However, GREAT NEWS! The Federal Trade Commission announced that light bulbs will have a brand new style of packaging, starting in 2011. The new label actually looks so much more informative and will help with some of the buyers remorse that I’ve faced.

As you can see, it contains some much needed information. Just knowing some basic information about how long you can expect your brand new light bulb to last, and approximately how much money you’ll spend powering it is great information to have.

It also includes two technical, but useful little facts on there: lumens and color temperature.

Lumens tell you how bright that bulb will be—the higher the number, the brighter the light. Color temperature is a bit more difficult to explain, though you’ve probably seen examples in real life. A bulb with “cold” color temperature tends to have a stark white color to it—the sort of color you get from task lights or fluorescent lights. “Warm” color temperature bulbs, on the other hand, have that soft touch of orange-yellow to them, and are probably what you have lighting most of your home.

This change is a major adjustment in the way that these bulbs will be sold. I still think the initial price is something hard to overcome, but that can be overcome with education and incentives.

Kudo’s to the great folks over at the Energy Savers Blog for a great location to learn more.

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About Garen Thatcher

All about me? I want to make this all about you and what I can do to make your life better, smarter, and richer. Research into energy and money saving home activities is my hobby and passion. I'm also investing in it for the future. This is my journey in helping us all.
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One Response to Confused by CFL Bulbs? It is going to get easier.

  1. Very good points Garen – one other item to consider is that many of the bulbs you see are not designed for ceiling fans, dimable, or outdoors use. If you are using a CFL in one of these locations, you will need to make sure it is designed for this area

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