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57 Ways To Protect Your Home Environment (and Yourself)
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55. Save Money And Energy With Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs

cost comparison of bulbs and electricity

Compact fluorescent light bulbs not only save you money but also help reduce the consumption of hard-to-replenish natural resources, such as coal, oil, and natural gas. They also help to reduce the emission of gases that might be increasing the Earth’s greenhouse effect.

Due to its high price tag, a 27-watt compact fluorescent light bulb is a little more expensive over the first 1,000 hours of use when compared to its equivalent—a 100-watt incandescent bulb. But after 12,000 hours (the life expectancy of a compact fluorescent light bulb), you can have significant savings.

cost comparison of bulbs and electricity

After 65,000 hours of use, you could potentially save hundreds of dollars.
Compact fluorescent light bulb

Compact fluorescent light bulbs come in two basic designs. An integral, or one-piece, light bulb is fused to the ballast, which is the electricity-regulating device that is part of all fluorescent lights.
a modular, or two-piece design

In a modular, or two-piece design, the ballast and light bulb are separate. Ballasts usually last five to six times as long as the bulbs, so even greater savings are possible with two-piece compact fluorescent lights. You won’t have to replace the ballast every time you replace the bulb.
magnetic ballast, electric ballast

Ballasts for compact fluorescent light bulbs come in two forms. The “old-fashioned” fluorescent lamps have a magnetic ballast, which flickered before coming fully on, took some time to achieve brightness, and were often accompanied by an annoying buzz. New electric ballasts are silent, turn the lights on instantly, and are virtually flicker-free.
circular bulb

The two most common styles of compact fluorescent bulbs are circular and vertical. Some vertical bulbs will not fit under the mounting bracket that holds the shade on certain lamps. In lamps originally designed for incandescent bulbs, this problem can be solved by using ultracompact vertical fluorescent bulbs or by using circular bulbs.
color rendition index

The color rendition index (CRI) refers to how true colors look under a particular light source. Many of the newest compact fluorescent bulbs actually produce a light that is close match to natural sunlight; they have a CRI as high as 80 or 90 out of a possible 100. However, some are as low as 60. Natural sunlight is 100 and incandescent bulbs have CRIs of about 99.
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