Learn more about energy efficient CFL bulbs
A bulb for every socket
You can purchase energy efficient compact fluorescent bulbs for a variety of fixtures and uses, including dimmable bulbs, three-way bulbs, bulbs in traditional A-line, globe and candle shapes, bulbs for recessed can fixtures, and bulbs for outdoor use.
Bulb brightness: CF bulbs come in a range of light "colors" measured on the Kelvin temperature scale. Look for the "K" number on bulb packaging or the color description to get the color of light you want.
- Warm white or soft white, standard color of incandescent bulbs, 2700K - 3000K
- Cool white or bright white, good for kitchens and work spaces, 3500K - 4100K
- Natural light or daylight, good for reading, 5000K - 6500K
Dimmers: Bulb manufacturers recommend replacing the dimmer switch when you install dimmable CFbulbs. A new switch will sense the lower range of electricity needed to power a dimmable CF bulb.
Avoid bulb burnout
Hold the bulb by the plastic ballast, not the glass spiral, when installing, or use a thin cloth if you must grasp the spiral. (Oil from your fingers causes uneven distribution of heat and shortens the life of the bulb.) Don’t force the bulb, just gently screw it in.
Use these bulbs in spots where you leave a light on for 15 minutes or longer. Frequently turning a CF light on and off will shorten the bulb’s life.
Special uses: be sure to buy bulbs specifically marked for exterior fixtures, recessed can fixture or dimmer-controlled fixtures.
Standard CFLs are only meant for indoor use in a lamp or fixture with a standard on-off switch. With proper use, they should last 8,000 hours, 10 times as long as a standard bulb.
- Do not use these bulbs in fixtures with a dimmer switch, three-way switch, light or movement sensor or timer.
- Do not install these bulbs in a recessed can fixture. For this type of fixture, choose bulbs marked “indoor reflector.”
Compact fluorescent bulbs contain 4 to 5 milligrams of mercury, sealed within the glass tubing of the bulb. Manufacturers are working to reduce the mercury to 1 to 2 mg per bulb, but it’s an essential part of the light’s efficiency.
No mercury is released unless the bulb gets broken. (Remember those old mercury thermometers? They held about 500 mg of mercury.)
Coal-fired power plants are the leading source of mercury emissions in the U.S. By using 75 percent less electricity, CF bulbs save mercury emissions from power plants. Even counting the mercury inside bulbs, the total amount is half what’s produced to power an incandescent bulb.
If your bulb breaks, first air out the room for 15 minutes, then clean up the fragments using a damp paper towel or duct tape. Place fragments and clean-up materials in a glass jar or double sealed plastic bags, and place in the trash.
When your bulb burns out, please recycle it so the mercury and other materials can be reused. See local recycling locations at right.
Click here for rebate offers from local utilities for residential and commercial lighting upgrades.
Where to recycle CF bulbs
and buy more bulbs
2495 Railroad Ave.
1011 Highway 133
Other places to
recycle CF bulbs
Brite Ideas Bulb Recycling
All-Phase Electric Supply
5392 County Road 154
Glenwood Springs, Colorado 81601
Open 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays
* Fees apply
Holy Cross Energy
3799 Highway 82