From the familiar soft white of incandescent bulbs to “cool or bright white” color, and “natural or daylight." This fact, along with others included in these guidelines, help take the mystery out of selecting and using CFLs.
Getting the most from your CFLs
To have the best experience possible, keep the following in mind:
- Hold the base and not the glass to screw in the bulb.
- Not all ENERGY STAR® certified CFLs are designed to work in every socket.
- Place your ENERGY STAR certified CFLs in high use locations first to get the most savings.Use these bulbs in places where you will have the light on for at least 15 minutes at a time.
Choosing a CFL
- As you transition to CFLs, use up your incandescent bulbs in low-traffic areas such as closets and the garage.
- Most photocells, motion sensors and timers are not designed to work with CFLs. Check with the manufacturer for compatibility.
With the wide variety of home mounted lighting fixtures, table lamps, chandeliers and ceiling fans, there is a need for a wide variety of CFL bulbs to fit these various receptacles. Today CFLs come in a variety of shapes and sizes. The majority of CFLs are designed to look identical to the traditional incandescents. There are a few guidelines to remember when selecting CFLs:
More about CFLs
- Table lamps often have a wire device called a “harp” that support the lamp shade and the CFL bulb you select needs to be properly sized to fit inside the harp.
- Ceiling fans and garage door openers vibrate during operation and you should select a CFL that is made specifically for those conditions.
- Many CFLs don’t perform well in recessed, enclosed fixtures due to the heat build-up inside and can suffer from short life. Remember, reflector lamps (R-20, R-30, BR-38, etc.) are for use in down lights 120v track lights. If the fixture is open or vented you should be fine.
- There are specific CFLs designed for use in dimmer switches, so purchase bulbs labeled as dimmable CFLs.
- 3-way CFLs are now available for use with 3-way table and floor lamps. Make sure to match the replacement wattage of the CFL to the wattage of the incandescent to get the same light output.