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Which light bulb is better to use in your home, CFL or LED?

By FPL Expert

Asked on: October 11, 2012 by Carlton H., Fort Myers

Which light bulb is better to use in your home, CFL or LED? Should I be concerned about the mercury in CFL bulbs?

That’s a great question. Compact fluorescent light (CFL) and light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs both represent huge efficiency improvements over the years when compared to traditional light bulbs.

CFLs may be the better value

All things considered, CFLs may be the better value for use in the home than today’s LED options. While both bulbs emit less heat and last longer, CFLs cost significantly less up front than LEDs while providing better distribution of light. A series of LED bulb studies, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy, cited insufficient light output and inconsistent color quality among a range of LED models. CFLs can save you more than $50 in electricity (over the life of the bulb) over a traditional bulb and are available for most lighting fixtures in your home.

Perspective on mercury levels

These spiral bulbs do contain a small amount of mercury—an average of four milligrams per bulb. This amount reflects a drop in CFL mercury content of about 20 percent in recent years. For perspective, an old mercury thermometer contains about 500 milligrams of mercury.

How to safely handle and dispose of CFLs

The mercury sealed inside the CFL tube is not released as long as the bulb remains unbroken. Always screw and unscrew CFL bulbs by holding the base, not the glass, and never forcefully twist the CFL into a light socket. If a CFL bulb does break or burn out, follow the Environmental Protection Agency’s recommendations for recycling and/or disposing of CFLs safely. To see what we recommend for holiday lighting, visit www.FPL.com/ holidaytips.

Your safety is very important to us. If this is a medical emergency, please call 911 immediately or go to your nearest emergency room. For non-emergencies, you can reach us during regular business hours via Facebook private message, or follow and message us on Twitter and one of our representatives will assist you. To report an outage, please call 1-800-4-Outage. Thank you and please stay safe.

Comments [81]

  1. CFL Light in India

    Nice information thank you for sharing…

  2. CFL Lamp Manufacturers in Delhi/NCR

    nice information about cfl. Thank you for sharing…

  3. Heather Deutsch

    You speak about how much money you can save by using CFL’s and even LED’s. You and no one else tells you that the manufacturers say that these bulbs cannot be used in an enclosed light fixture. Therefore, to use these bulbs, one would first have to replace every (or almost every) light fixture in their home. That would be incredibly expensive to do, plus there would also be the added cost of paying someone to install them. Where is the savings in that? Also, at this time, no one is making an equivalent for 40W candelabra bulbs.

    1. Eugene Falik

      Lowes sells both CFL and LED replacement candelabra bulbs.

  4. J-P Brunet

    LED lights are much better than CFLs and are improving. You should factor in the durability of LED lighting, it’s safety and the prices which are gradually improving. Please stop misleading the public and do the math before you go about publicizing this kind of non sense under the false cover of «offering advice». People expect scientific evidence and sound economic analysis from you.

  5. Barbara

    I have an interesting problem with a George Kovacs CFL bathroom fixture which uses two 13w4p CFL bulbs. The fixture came with two Fulham brand bulbs. When a bulb blew we replaced with a Phillips bulb. When the colors didn’t match we bought another Phillips bulb. When we use two Phillips 13 w 4p bulbs the fixture does not light at all. It will work if we place the original Fulham bulb on the right side with a Phillips bulb it will light. If we place the Fulham bulb on the left side of the fixturewith the Phillips bulb on the right it will NOT work.

    Can you tell us what is wrong with the fixture or the bulbs? It’s driving us nuts!

    Thank you.


  6. LED Floodlight

    I will go with LED Bulbs as they are much better. Also I would like to thank you for posting such a nice and informative article.

  7. Charles Scribner

    I am the president of a small 32 unit, one building condominium association. We have 24 watt CFL bulbs throughout. Most are on 24 hours a day in the hallways. They are continually being replaced, approximately 36 in the past two months. We are testing usage of the “Ecosmart” 14 watt bulb.

    Why is our replacement rate way above the advertised rate of replacement?

    Also, does FPL offer an electrical energy audit for condominiums?

    If so, how do I apply?

    The “Energy Expert” is much appreciated; we plan to link it to our website when it is up.

    Thank You

  8. skippy

    After reading all the comments, and the epa recommended clean up procedure for broken cfl, i will not be buying anymore cfl’s. They seem to be dangerous, especially if you have kids. i will stick to incandescents until leds are cheaper.

  9. Katiea

    I have all my lights on dimmers. Why do the CFL bulbs make so much noise as the light diminishes is? The buzzing sound is annoying. Am I losing energy or saving it?!?

  10. Mike

    I noticed that if I take a photo and a CFL bulb is on that the photo has a yellow overtone.

  11. john jankus

    Some important things to remember about led bulbs is 1. They are Dimable with a standard dimmer
    . 2. The new led’s have a light spectrum equal to incandescent
    . 3. Led’s last 100,000 hours on average

  12. brian h

    thanks for the heads up on sving money and ways to help reduce my energy demand,hope all is well

    sincerely,Brian H. FPL customer

  13. Jan Ferguson

    Hi, I have been using CFLs for years and have noted many do not last nearly as long as they claim. This negates any savings that they might have provided. Is there any way to tell which ones have a long life, and some do, from th eshort lived ripoffs.


  14. Diana

    Is it true that the incandescent lights bulbs are trying to be eliminanted. Why?

  15. Diane

    I’m glad I read the answer to this question but especialy, the replies. I moved into a 4 bedroom duplex last January and all the fixtures had traditional bulbs and most fixtures had 2 bulbs. The 1st month we lived in this home, my bills was $137. 2 weeks of that month we just came to clean, we didnt live here. All the windows were open because of the weather we didnt need A/C nor Heat. My heat, hot water and stove are gas and I do not have a dryer. When the second month started, I changed all the bulbs to CFL. 7 of the fixtures were using 2 bulbs but I thought that 1 CFL bulb was plenty of light therefore I put only 1 bulb. And the 2nd month, my 5 kids and I were completly moved in. 2nd month’s bill was $110. It was a big differance. Now the CFL were more expensives then tradional but 1 month of electric savings paid for them,I thought I did good. BUT THEN,within 2 months a bulb went out, then a week later another, then another… I have not been here a year and I replaced 6 of the 12 bulbs. I dont think I replaced that many regular bulbs in the past 20 years. Then I didnt even know about the mercury in them, I just learned that by reading this blog, they should put on there bigger warnings about it because I read those boxes to compare wattage and energy savings but the fact that my kids and I could get mercury poisoning if broken, never jumped out. I will definitly change to the LED bulbs as these CFL go out. Thank you for all the information on this subjet.

  16. Anne

    CFLs appear to be the best choice for existing lighting fixtures but it would appear that even bigger savings can be made when using LED systems and T8 fluorescent lighting.

  17. Willam Thomas

    I find it difficult to find CFL lights that can be used with dimmer witches. I do buy and use cfl lights where I can. Last year I purchased a LED bulb for use in the bathroom where it is combined with 3 incandescent bulbs in canisters. I was quite pleased with the difference with the LED. I would not buy any more at this time because of price. I also understand there is a difference in color with the “k” rating of the LED. Isn’t the LED the light of the future when prices come down. All of my Christmas tree lights are LED.

  18. Steve Davis

    FPL does a great proactive job for the consumer. I take much of the information provided in your emails and forward them to my daughter- we both have National Grid as a service provider in our home area. NG provides me with a monthly smiley face that compares my service usage to other neighbors. NG neither knows what appliances I have or cares because they do not provide the ability to reply to their mailings and notices, and to make matters worse, I know I am paying for this silliness. A smiley face can be nice but insulting at the same time.
    One area I see that you could help people is evaluate cable box and TV energy consumption. To see some comparative numbers would open many people’s eyes.
    Great Job!

  19. Tom Devlin

    I installed LED’s in place of five fluorecent fixtures. I saw my electric use drop significantly immediately. One problem is the industry has not kept up with demand for variety of LED lighting fixtures. I do see now the industry is improving at a faster pace. Being into electronics as a hobby, I was able to piece together with power supplies for 1,600 LED’s to replace five fluorecent fixtures. When you see the industry catch up with demand for more variety of LED fixtures,you will like the LED’s over the CFL’s

  20. Bob

    I can’t agree with your statement that LED bulbs emit less heat. In my experience with LED’s, they all have been hotter than any incandescent bulb and as such, are more dangerous to the touch.
    I’m interested in your answer.

  21. jeanne coyne

    I appreciate the information provided. I also want to be a better caretaker of our environment.

  22. Daniel Elustondo

    Dear Mr. Muccio,
    I was surprised with your answer when you defend CFLs. Of course that LED bulbs are more expensive but they last longer and make no harm to the enviroment.
    Another important point is when you talk about light output and color quality. It is untrue that LED bulbs are poor on this aspects. Nowadays we have LEDs with about 120lm/W and CRI at a minimum of 80%.
    I hope you change your mind about LEDs.

    Best Regards,

  23. Andor Almasi

    One aspect that seems to be ignored in many of the CFL versus LED comparisons is that many CFLs fail prematurely, sometimes within a coupole of months. CFLs are especially failure prone in recessed lighting enclosures. I have given CFLs many chances over the past few years, tried different brands, including recessed lighting approved ones and have yet to find a single bulb that has lasted me more than a year. I’ve had many bulbs blow out after just 1-2 months of use. The LED bulbs I am currently using in recessed lighting enclosures may cost a lot, but they have been going strong for almost two years.

  24. Edward McGee

    I am aware of all the hype surrounding CFLs. Unfortunately, my experience is it is just that – hype! I switched the majority of my home to CFLs. No reduction in electrical usage or bill AND the CFL lasts FAR LESS than a traditional incandescent bulb – at up to 4x the price.

  25. Monte

    The Home Depot link for recycling florescent bulbs doesn’t really tell you anything….I could not find any information as to whether or not they have this program, and whether or not my local HD has it specifically. Thanks.

  26. Carol Greenwald

    Great information. I recently asked a clerk at Walmart about the difference of CFL vs. LED. He told me LED was better. I should have asked the expert, you @ FPL.

  27. john Chivetta

    thanks. I’ve always wondered where the mercury is in a CFL, bulb or base.

  28. Kim

    I have tried CFL bulbs on several occasions, and they all burned out within a matter of months. None have even lasted one year, let alone five. I spent considerably more money on these bulbs, and I might as well have thrown it away :(

  29. GEORGE


  30. joyce

    Yes. Obviosly LED’s are more expensive to purchase. However, they are coming down in price drastically. So: I check the prices often and buy only 1 or 2 at one time. I am replacing my old CFL’s by which ones we use most- we have a lot of recessed spot lights. I hope I see a significant improvement in the power bill corresponding to this plan.

  31. Judy Rudnick

    I just recently purchased alot of bulbs and I must say, “was I confused! So many choices! Thanks for your information. I found it very useful! In the future I’ll know what to do, hopefully….

  32. Carole Sheridan

    I find that the CFL bulbs do not emit as much light as the incandescent bulbs — never mind that they might last longer. CFL’s are also more expensive. I think I’ll stick to the “old reliable” ones as long as they are on the market.

  33. Eileen

    I cannot see how CFL’s can ever be used safely. Most bulbs do not break with nobody around. Children and elderly don’t stand a chance if a bulb breaks near them. I think they should be banned. Their method of disposal is outrageous for any average people to adhere to. Give me the old inefficient bulbs that can at worst just cut me (or a member of my family).

  34. Lin O

    What you fail to mention is that it is dangerous to move a CFL bulb from the first location it is inserted because of the likelihood it will explode. Yes, I know this personally and have experienced it.

    So, that little bit of mercury that is usually contained, becomes a personal and environmental hazard in one burst.

    If I have to go energy efficient, I’ll chose an LED or just turn my lights off when I leave the room.

  35. Joe Doyle

    I no longer buy CFL bulbs. I have tried several manufacturers – domestic and foreign – and i in 3 bulbs burn out in less than 3 months. My experience is that LEDs are brighter, last much longer, and are environmentally safer.

  36. Claire Leone

    I totally disagree on CFL bulbs. The are flourescent and I was told years ago by my dermatologist that excessive esposure to flourescent light can lead to skin cancer and people who work under cfl lights have more incidences of skin cancer. This fact has been covered up. CFL bulbs make you look older and harsh. I won’t buy them, but I do conserve on electricity by turning off lights when I leave the room.

  37. Joseph

    That is a load of garbage. Leds are way better. They may be more up front but last 2 to 4 times as long as any bulb. They also use Alot less wattage…. of course they didnt tell you this. They only told you about the cfl saving money. didnt compare to leds. They actually are brighter than any bulb as well if you get the right ones. This is a perfect example of a company with no real compition and giving out poor advice for more money. I work with aquariums and have seen many tanks and light setups. leds use less watts, are brighter and emit less heat than anything else out there. Why do you think most aquarists switch to leds. Heat will also cuase your a/c to run longer to. yes a bulb that emmits heat will warm up a room quick. turn on a light in 1 room and off in the other. Then vice versa. youll feel the difference. leds dont really do this and will keep your house cooler unless you live in a cold climate. then might be a good idea.

  38. Lloyd

    Trouble with CFL bulbs is they are more expensive and I have had several that fail to operate after days or weeks. Of course even though they are “gauranteed” for 5-7 years there is now way to prove you bought that particular bulb on this sales reciept!!!!

  39. R Smith

    I hope that most of your readers realize that the average person using CFL bulbs will just through them out with the trash. People should read the Environmental Protection Agency’s report on these bulbs and what to do if one breaks. They are not good for use anywhere.

  40. donald gousse

    i totally disagre whit your statement about mercury one cfl times 100000000 is areal problem look at the big picture dont forget your grandkids there going to have to deal with it and not youuuuuuuuu

  41. George Davis

    quote: “A series of LED bulb studies, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy, cited insufficient light output and inconsistent color quality among a range of LED models”

    I replaced the CFL floodlights in my kitchen with LED floods precisely because the color quality of the CFL’s is consistently poor. Even though the floods seem more likke spotlights the light quality is greatly superior. Just need to find one has better distribution.

  42. lance

    Your article fails to mention the most significant difference between CFLs and LEDs besides cost. Most CFLs, even the ones marketed as “instant on” take a few minutes to develop full brightness and many output less than 30% of their rated light output during the first 30 seconds or so. This effect appears to increase with age and is significantly exacerbated by low ambient temperature. For some applications this isn’t an issue but in most home environments it’s annoying at the very least and potentially dangerous for areas like stairways.

  43. Diane

    I prefer CFL’s – I ABSOLUTELY HATE the blue color the LED’s emit in lamps, light fixtures. For a Christmas tree – I’m so glad my old ones are still working and I have backup sets in storage. I feel the LED’s are just TOO bright.

  44. Joe

    I used CFL bulbs in small fixtures that have plastic covers. They burn out frequently and because of the extra cost I don’t feel it is worth it. Went back to regular bulbs.

    1. Tom

      How do led fixtures stack up against other light sources used in lighting the parking field of a condominium.

  45. Hank Smith

    For the benefit of those who claim that the mercury in CFLs is so dangerous, what is the level of mercury in the old Honeywell thermostats, or in a store, office building, or garage double eight foot fluorescent light fixtures?

  46. jack humphreys

    CFL’s might save you money, but they are made in China. I would much rather give my money to the Americans than the Chinees. They aready own most of our debt

  47. al

    I have four CFL bulbs installed in high hat fixtures in my kitchen. They are on for an average of four hours per day, seven days per week. Roughly 1400 hours use per year. I have used this type of bulb for the past four or five years and each bulb has burned out in approximately one years time. Well below the advertised usage. Although the prices have come down over the years, they are still considerably more expensive than incandescent bulbs. Although they are designed to emit less heat, I believe they were not designed to be used in a fixture where the base is above the bulb. The heat from the bulb deteriorates the mechanics in the base and severely shortens the lifespan. I have an additional four bulbs in the same type high hat in the adjacent room, and these fixtures use ordinary incandescent bulbs that are at least five years old each. Considering the added cost, inconvenience of changing the bulbs, diminished lighting, as well as problems relating to disposal of the burned out bulbs; I consider these bulbs to be a great waste of money. One is out as I write, and as soon as another burns out I will replace them all with ordinary incandescent bulbs and be done with this experiment!

  48. BoBo DINAN


  49. Allan

    If the government supports it then its gotta be wrong. How much more simple can you make it, as a nation we can produce more power than any country. Incandescent bulbs are safe, provide the light we like and are very inexpensive. Instead of having a choice of what the consumer wants the government is picking winners forcing us to purchase dangers products that will leave mercury spread all over the landscape. It is also forcing American companies to close that produce good American products in favor of Big political contributors that will take our jobs to China. Its not about saving anything that is American its about rip offs and pay offs to the cronies of the government.

  50. Harlee

    I cannot tolerate the lack of light from the new bulbs, and believe me, I am not alone. If new, better bulbs are invented to save money, at the very least they should give off the same amount of light. They don’t. Enough said.

  51. M. Ross

    Well, frankly that’s a pretty sloppy answer. A proper answer would have compared initial cost, average time before replacement, and operating costs.

    If an LED bulb costs twice as much and lasts three times as long as a CFL, then if the operating costs are close, the CFL may not be the more economical choice.

    Another unexplained factor in making the comparison is whether the lumens produced are identical or disparate.

    So, sorry, but I am unimpressed with your answer.

  52. dsheldon

    I am disillusioned with CFL lamps. We installed them a couple of years ago in a twelve bulb fixture in the bathroom. The lights are not on continuously, only when the room is used. We find that a bulb has been burning out about every few months, even though they are supposed to last seven years. Already four bulbs in this fixture are out. I don’t wish to return to incandescent, since the special small round bulbs are also expensive, although not as costly as CFLs. But the economies of using CFLs are not real if the bulbs have a short life.

  53. Taisto O. Pitkonen

    I switched all the old light bulbs in My apartment to CFL’s and I save a bundle on My electric bill!

  54. Joy Coblentz

    I save money every week by using the old fashion clothes lines faithfully. I hardly ever use my dryer unless it’s been raining for more than 10 days or more. I even have clothes lines on the carport for those rainy days or days when its looks like it might rain. My dryer is over 10 years old and has maybe been used 2 dozen times or so. And my clothes are not stiff and hard either, I use fabric softener is all you really need to keep them soft.
    Now that two of our four children are grown and gone they are holding on to the tradition as well. Thank goodness!

    Our thermostat is always at 78* in the summer and in the winter we either have the windows open or the heat set at 74*. Seems reasonable to me. All of our windows are tinted as well and we have new insulation blown into the attic (an R16 I think) and under the house we have R16 (I think) stabled up to the bottom of the house.

    All of our light are switched over to CFL’s as well too.

  55. Rs

    I love RF is the perfect power I wish l keep all my life thank you fbl

  56. David

    I have to disagree with you. I have outfitted my house,our weekend home, barn and banquet room with LED kighting. A huge decrease in my electric bill followed. Yes, the LED bulbs are expensive but over the long term they more than pay for themselves. People need to be aware of where thry buy their LED bulbs. They can get ripped off at places like Home Depot and Lowe’s but they can find them much cheaper at Sam’s Club. The CFL’s do not last very long. They are a danger to our enviroment and they are merely a bandaid to the enviromental problems we face in America. It is time to push the purchase of LED lights. No doubt, that is going to be the lighting source of the future.

  57. Ralph Mollerick

    There is more to life than LED vs. CFL. Nor is it cost vs. lumens or candlepower. The comparison should also include the Halogen, and as the reference to the incandescent we all know.

    The case for the LED:
    Instant on and instant bright.
    It is dimmable.
    Contains no murcury.
    Life expected is 15 to 20 years or more, about 40,000 hours.
    For the eldery, it is no more bulb changing and ladder.
    The initial cost is high compared to the CFL and Halogen, but the cost savings are around $130 per light bulb.
    The LED is about brightness, not wattage.
    The LED is about color temperature measured in Kelvin ranging from 2700K to 6500K, or softer yellowish light to natural daylight for mood or prefernce.
    Most LED bulbs are relatively indestructible.

  58. aurora gatzonis

    been using led bulbs for about 2 years they save me money give out a nice light yes they are expensive but I think they are worth the money I have 4 lamps in my living room with led bulbs each give the same light as a 60 watt and I am only using 10 watts I love them

  59. William Miller

    I see you’re biased toward CFLs as you did not mention the terrible CRI of the florescent lamp. Nor did you discuss the dimmable capabilities of the LED technology. Also, a cold CFL takes a long time to produce full light output, it has to warm up the gases and this can take up to a minute. I’ve worked in theatrical lighting for over 20 years, LED is taking over our industry by leaps and bounds. No one uses CFL, they are garbage. LED manufacturing quality has advanced hugely over the last few years while CFL has had no improvement at all. I suggest you answer customers questions accurately next time using current information.


  60. elaine eckart

    I prefer the incandescent light bulb. It is easier to read by because there is no flickering. I think all light bulbs should be available and allow the people choose.


    great info, will apply to my home thx

  62. Kathleen

    We tried the led lights and detest them. We buy the regular light bulbs whenever we can. Stocking up on them. In today’s terms – they “suck!”

  63. oldnassau'67

    I’ve experienced three negatives with CFL’s: they burn out much more quickly than advertised (just as with mpg numbers for cars); they take several minutes to reach their advertised luminescence; their price is multiples of incandescent. Example: Wal-Mart selling 12 CFL’s for $23.75 vs. Home Depot selling 20 incandescents for $5.

  64. linda delprete

    commenting as an RN who had to eliminate all items in the operating room that had any mercury in it, I find it incomprehensible that now we have mercury in our homes. Doesn’t make sense to me, for the sake of saving energy, why not shut off the light when not in use…common sense!!!

  65. George Phelps

    CFL bulbs pose great risk in sheer volumn over a couple of decades of being tossed into land fills and filtering down into our aquifer. EPA wishes are wishful thinking, few will be aware or comply with EPA recommended disposal procedures. LED is really advancing rapidly and personally I find them to be superior to CFLs and ecologically sound. I think the blog item is lacking in correct perspective. Mercury is a heavy metal and extremely toxic even in microscopic amounts.

  66. JPfrmME

    I consider it bad advice to recommend removing a light bulb by touching the base. In the event of a wiring error in the house wiring, the base of a bulb, especially in a lamp that is plugged into an outlet on older homes, can be connected to the line voltage; i.e. 120VAC. In addition to the fact that it is very difficult to reach the base sometime when the bulb is fully seated.

  67. Gretchen Hickman

    Thanks so much for the help with these bulbs. They are so confusing.

    Appreciate it!

  68. Michael Schaefer

    I disagree based on one important fact: Neither CFL and in no case regular light bulbs have the same life expectansy then LED’s. A regular LED bulb has a guaranteed life span of 50.000 hours. Some of them even 100.000 hours. Take your ususal 3 hour use and you end up with a life span of more then 45 years!!! We target businesses with 24 hour lighting. Even for them it means more then 5 years. Although the warranty is usually only 3 – 5 years, I’ve seen them lasting more then 10 years. Show me one CFL that last’s only quite that long? You can’t. We sell LED bulbs for households starting at $10 per bulb. It’s more then worth it!

  69. Charles Bell

    For anyone wondering, the LED lasts far longer than the CFL. Also, I had an LED bulb that unknown to me was in a loose socket. When I had to move the fixture a short distance the bulb fell out and the glass shattered. I cleaned up the glass and plugged the bulb back in and it light just fine. The only difference was the partially opaque glass was now gone. You don’t lose your light bulb because the glass broke.

  70. Mr Obvous

    LEDs have come a long way. While the up front cost is still higher than CFLs, it’s been my experience that the quality of light the good ones put out is superior to CFLs, in terms of color and pleasantness (a subjective assessment, granted). The longevity of LEDs is exponentially greater than CFLs. The power consumption of LEDs is likewise much less than CFLs.

    Just an observation: CFLs, and even LEDs, can still put out some small amount of heat at the base (where the power conversion units for LEDs, and ballasts for CFLs are).

    I’ve been gradually migrating from other bulb types to LED for awhile; and, mixing and matching different types is probably the way for most people to go, as they migrate – one bulb at a time, as they go, budget permitting.

  71. Fernando Vila

    The life of LED bulbs is even longer than CFLs, however the main advantage is that LEDs are easily dimmable. Altough there are dimmable CFLs they are more expensive and their performance is not good.

  72. Denis Valin

    Yes you are right about efficiency of the CFL bulb BUT THE INCONVENIENT they cannot be dimmed

  73. James H. Humphrey

    I do not need a reply! I have purchased many of the CFL bulbs. I will not buy another. IF you leave a CFL bulb on it will last a long time. If you turn them off and on, on a regular basis, they do not last. I have had two of them burst and spew a large amount of smoke and fire. Had they been in a setting next to a combustable source, my house WOULD have caught fire. I happened to be setting under the fixture both times they burst. I started smelling an electrical smell and then puff, my wife yelled and pointed, I immediately hit the switch and the spewing stopped very quickly. I have talked to several other people and they have had the same thing happen. I have moved several and will only use regular bulbs there and I will NOT buy any more. The LEDs are more expensive but I am sure that as time passes they will be improved and the cost will go down. PLUS, I have yet to find a CFL than is manufactured in the USA, all in China, no thanks! For the last couple of years, if I have a choice, I buy only made/grown in USA.

  74. Joshua Titus

    A CFL may only have 4 mgs of mercury, compared to up to 500 mgs liquid mercury in a thermometer, but the mercury in a CFL is vaporized! If you crack/break a bulb (mercury can even leak out during use), you can’t prevent the vapor from contaminating your whole house. The EPA’s limit for mercury exposure is 0.0003 mg/m^3, or in other words, there’s enough mercury in one CFL to contaminate 13,000 cubic meters (450,000 cubic feet)of air… the choice is yours, but LEDs are the safe choice for me.

  75. Karoline Carvajal

    I put CFL bulbs in most of of my lamps , I found that they don’t last longer than the regular bulbs and when I brought the burned out CFLs to Home Depot they just put them on a pile of other things that need to be disposed like batteries they didn’t seam to know how to appropriately dispose of these dangerous light bulbs..Also if one breaks it’s a major disaster, you need gloves, a mask and a plastic container..that’s ridiculous..I think someone is making an enormous profit on these bulbs and in a few years we will find out that these bulbs will affect our health and ultimately the environment.

  76. jeff

    LED study you are refering to is very old and LEd lights are much better than CFL’s… Stop misleading the public.

  77. Judi French

    I couldn’t remember when I first started using the CFL bulb in my lamp on my endtable, which is on from maybe 7 AM to 10 AM and then 6 PM till 11:00 PM. I knew it took a long, long time to burn out. So, when I replaced it, i made a “folder” in my computer and listed the date for that light and a couple more in the house, just to see how long they really do last. I know it’s a long time. Obsessive??? maybe, maybe not. Interesting tho.

  78. Scott

    LEDs are a way better route, you only have to buy them once and they won’t start on fire. I got rid of all the CFLs after the fire and bought LEDs from Home Depot for $9.97 each. A couple each time I went there and now my whole house is changed over. I don’t worry as much now when someone leaves a light on.

  79. K. Raskasky

    I realize that it’s your job to make CFL bulbs look good, but after reading the EPA’s recommendations for cleanup if a bulb breaks, are you kidding me? Do you really think the average person is going to get the cleanup procedure right, if they even attempt it? I believe you guys pushing these bulbs need to be much more honest with the people. That’s your job, too!


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