A compact fluorescent light (CFL) uses 75% less electricity and last up to 10 times longer than a traditional incandescent light. If every home in McLennan County replaced just one traditional incandescent light with a CFL, we would save enough energy to light almost 2,200 homes* for a year or save about $500,000 in annual energy costs. This is also equivalent to the emissions of nearly 600 cars.
What about Mercury in CFLs?
CFLs contain a very small amount of mercury sealed within the glass tubing - an average of 4 milligrams - about the amount that would cover the tip of a ballpoint pen. By comparison, older thermometers contain about 500 milligrams of mercury - an amount equal to the mercury in 125 CFLs. Mercury is an essential part of CFLs; it allows the bulb to be an efficient light source. No mercury is released when the bulbs are intact (not broken) or in use.
Most makers of light bulbs have reduced mercury in their fluorescent lighting products. Thanks to technology advances and a commitment from members of the National Electrical Manufacturers Association, the average mercury content in CFLs has dropped at least 20% in the past year. Some manufacturers have even made further reductions, dropping mercury content to 1.4 - 2.5 milligrams per light bulb.
Because CFLs contain mercury, they should be disposed of properly. Follow proper clean-up recommendations if a CFL breaks in your home.
For More Information
Learn more at: www.energystar.gov
*Energy to power light fixtures for an average home only. Does not include energy to power appliances or climate control equipment.