Compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) are small fluorescent light bulbs that use up to 75 percent less energy than a traditional incandescent bulb and can be screwed into a regular light socket. Switching from traditional light bulbs to CFLs is a change every American can make right now to reduce energy use at home and prevent greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to global climate change.
Lighting accounts for close to 20 percent of the average home’s electric bill. Changing to CFLs costs little upfront and provides a quick return on investment. If every home in America replaced just one incandescent light bulb with an ENERGY STAR qualified CFL, it would save enough energy to light more than three million homes and prevent greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to those of more than 800,000 cars annually.
As consumers look for ways to conserve energy, save money and help the environment, use of these light bulbs is increasing. Unfortunately, some of the properties that make these bulbs energy-efficient can also cause concerns in other areas.
Information on this page and a related associated fact sheet are intended to provide consumers with information they need to make an informed decision about the use and disposal of CFLs.