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Unbiased Look at CFLs: Part II, Pros and Cons of CFLs

In Part II of this article series, we look at the pros and cons of compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs). First, we go over their bright side and then proceed with their dark side. We hope that this in-depth look of CFLs allows you to make an informed decision on how you should make the switch to energy efficient lighting. 

Pros of Compact Fluorescent Lamps Compact fluorescent lamps are popular for a number of good reasons. They are in many ways, better than incandescent light bulbs •    CFLs use up to 80 per cent less electricity than incandescent bulbs. The equivalent of a 60 Watt incandescent light bulb would be a 13 to 15 Watt CFL. This makes CFLs far more efficient than traditional light bulbs. •    Because CFLs use far less energy than incandescent bulbs, they help in reducing your overall energy consumption, thus reducing your electric bill in turn. •    CFLs have a significantly longer lifespan than incandescent bulbs. Traditional bulbs only lasted up to 2000 hours. In contrast, CFLs can last well beyond 10,000 hours. •    With consumers having different types of lighting requirements, CFLs have been engineered to produce specific types of light. Today’s generation of CFLs can generate cool light, warm light and daylight, giving consumers a wide array of lighting devices to choose from. CFL’s save energy. Saving energy is good for the planet and may retard global warming. Sounds good although CFL has some seriously negative effects. 

Cons of Compact Fluorescent Lamps •    The prescience of mercury gases in compact fluorescent lamps is by far the biggest flaw of CFLs. Firstly, mercury is one of the most toxic substances in the planet and is highly dangerous to our health and has the potential to cause a host of diseases, cancer among them. Secondly, the presence of mercury in CFLs means that its’ harder to dispose of them properly. Proper disposal is crucial to prevent the contamination of the soil and underground water source, which mercury can easily seep into. •    CFLs have been connected to a number of health problems. There have been a number of reports of a migraine caused by the flickering of CFL lighting. This is caused by the ‘hum’ and flickering of old CFLs with low frequencies. The effect is similar to the stress caused to the eyes by staring into a computer screen the entire day. •    Similarly, the UV radiation emitted by CFLs puts people with UV sensitivity at risk. Ultra-powerful CFLs used indoors have the potential to cause problems. So does prolonged exposure to close and intense light produced by CFLs.