Has all the concern about mercury scared you away from CFL bulbs? If so, here are some interesting facts:
According to LampRecycle.org, “CFL bulbs average less than 4 milligrams of mercury — 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.”
If you do have to deal with a broken CFL bulb, LampRecycle.org gives instructions on safe clean up.
If you’re more concerned with the effect of mercury on the environment, you may be interested to learn that using Energy Star-qualified CFL light bulbs actually results in less mercury in the environment than using incandescent lights. According to the Energy Star web site, “A coal-fired power plant produces 13.6 mg to power one 60-watt incandescent light bulb, but only 3.3 mg to power an equivalent CFL lightbulb. Even with 5 mg of mercury inside, using CFLs results in fewer mgs of mercury compared to incandescent bulbs.”
If every American home replaced just one light bulb with an ENERGY STAR-qualified CFL bulb, we would save enough energy to light more than 3 million homes for a year, more than $600 million in annual energy costs, and prevent greenhouse gases equivalent to the emissions of more than 800,000 cars. (Source: Energy Star)
By replacing all the bulbs in the 5 fixtures you use most at home with Energy Star-qualified CFLs, you save about $60 each year in energy costs. (Source: 18seconds.org)
(While you’re saving on energy costs, make sure you’re getting the best electricity rate available in your city. Compare electric companies online at Allconnect.com. )
Good to know about CFLs:
• Not all CFLs work with dimmer switches. Read the packages!
• Some newer CFLs have an “instant on” feature.
• Today, CFLs come in all shapes, sizes, lumens, watts, and Kelvins! Find a comprehensive Buyer’s Guide at www.EnergyStar.gov.
• IKEA participates in recycling programs and their locations accept used, unbroken CFL bulbs from the general public.
• The U.S. EPA has a geographic list of facilities that accept used CFLs or you can search Earth911.org.