While compact fluorescent (CFL) bulbs may be much more efficient than incandescents, part of those energy savings come from knowing how to properly use and install them. Below are some quick tips to make sure you get the most out of CFL lightbulbs in your home.
- Don’t touch the tubs when you’re screwing them in. Always hold your CFLs by the ballast (the plastic part at the bottom) when you’re installing them in fixtures throughout your home.
- Leave your CFL bulbs on for at least 15 minutes whenever possible. resist the urge to turn them on and off for short periods of time, as it can reduce the lifespan. It may seem counter-intuitive, but you’ll use less energy and your CFL bulbs will last longer if you leave them on if you know you’re going to return to the room ten minutes later. But be sensible with this tip, as obviously if going on vacation for two weeks you’re better off turning off all your lights.
- Only use CFL bulbs in open fixtures as they need air flow to operate properly. You can use CFL in enclosed recessed lights and other applications but their lifespan will be much shorter than they otherwise would be.
- Be careful when using CFL with dimmer switches, as many combinations of CFL bulb types and dimmer switches will work, but the CFL won’t last as long as it typically would with a traditional switch/fixture.