The ugly duckling CFL bulb turns into a beautiful recessed light. A true story.

Real Estate Agent with West Michigan Real Estate Specialist-Five Star Real Estate

Curly CFL Bulb


If there is one thing we have all heard, it is that the new CFL (Compact Fluorescent Light)   bulbs can save you money.  I was a little shocked by how much money when I read Can Fluorescent Lighting Really Save You Money?  But there are some things that can be very confusing about them.  Many also believe they have to put up with that squirrely looking bulb.  Let's face it, lighting should also look atheistically appealing.


CFL Bulb Normal

Recessed Light

First, you should know that the CFL bulb has evolved.  No longer do you have to be concerned you will have to look at that unappealing bulb to save yourself a lot of money.  After all, the average home uses 28% of its electrical use on lighting.  CFL bulbs have been known to save the average household 30% on their electrical bill.  Now you no longer have to give up a normal looking bulb to save money!

The bulbs now come in normal shapes and sizes.  They come in the original bulb form, recessed light form and candle light bulb form.  They also come in soft light and daylight brightness.  There is a bulb that will fit every need you may have and still look as you would want it to.

However, there are some things you need to consider before purchasing your bulbs.  They are much more expensive than the old incandescent lighting.  The curly looking bulb remains the most inexpensive at this time and of course you will need to pay a little more if you would like the traditional looking and the recessed lighting.  With the bulbs being rather costly, you will want to make sure you use the correct light in the correct place.

Dimmer switched bulbs take a special CFL bulb.  Because of the way the bulbs are made, the dimmer places stress on a regular CFL bulb causing it to cease working earlier than its expected life.  They are now making CFL bulbs specifically  for the dimmer switches.  The same is true for the three stage lights.  Make sure you spend the extra cash to get CFL bulbs made for dimmer switches and for dimmer switches.

CFL Bulbs take some time reach their maximum brightness.  The average time it takes to reach full luminosity is approximately 90 seconds. This is why it is best to use a CFL bulb in a place where the light will remain on.  Constant off and on will shorten the average life span of the bulb which is usually 10 times that of an incandescent.  Below is a light in my home coming on.  This video has been time lapsed--it usually takes about 90 seconds for it to reach full brightness.

CFL Bulbs do contain mercury.  The amount is so minimal that it is less than a fraction of the amount of mercury found in the amalgam filling your dentist puts in your mouth.  As the light reaches the end of its life, the mercury becomes inert as it has fused to the glass.  Many places such as Home Depot, will dispose of the old bulbs for you in the proper way.

Know your wattage conversions.  This is where many people get confused.  Because the bulbs create light in different ways, it effects the wattage of the light.  The CFL bulb makes light in a way that uses less wattage to produce more light.  In fact, it is 4-6 times more efficient than the incandescent light.  The conversion chart looks like this:

                                      Standard Bulb                              CFL Bulb

                                          60 watt                                   13-15 watt

                                         75 watt                                     20 watt

                                        100 watt                                   26-29 watt

                                        150 watt                                   38-42 watt

To help you with your lighting plan, click HERE for an interactive guide that allows you to click on each area of your home.  You can adjust the lighting to what makes you comfortable.

Do your part!  A recent study in Canada showed that if every household replaced just one 60 watt incandescent bulb with a CFL bulb, they would save $73 million on in energy and it would be like taking 66,000 cars off the road.  What can we as Americans do?


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Kristin Moran
Owner - RE/MAX Access - - San Antonio, TX
San Antonio,TX - Real Estate - 210-313-7397
Hi Tami! Thought i would give this post some love since you had a bit of drama w/it! THat light video's music is very dramatic! Loved it. KM
Nov 12, 2008 03:39 AM #1
Gena Riede
Riede Real Estate, Lic. 01310792 - Sacramento, CA
Real Estate Broker - Sacramento CA Real Estate (916) 417-2699

Tami, that was great information and I love your video with music. Super job!

Be sure to put your link in for the interactive guide.

Nov 12, 2008 04:30 AM #2
Diane Hudzik
Keller Williams - Ann Arbor, MI

Very attractive post, however these bulbs contain mercury and if one drops and breaks everyone needs to leave the house for a while. Also you can't vacuum up the pieces because you will spread the mercury around. I have heard you have to cut the carpet and remove the piece of carpet that has the broken pieces on it. I have not confirmed this however. These bulbs are risky and I wouldn't have them in any light fixture that a child could possibly get near and accidentally break the bulb. I am not convinced that the risks out way the benefits.

Nov 13, 2008 01:44 AM #4
Tami Vroma
West Michigan Real Estate Specialist-Five Star Real Estate - Grand Haven, MI
Realtor, Grand Rapids MI Real Estate


As mentioned above, the amount of mercury in them is less than the filliings in most people mouth.  From my research, you are absolutely correct that you need to open the doors and windows.  My research indicated that it really wasn't anything to be alarmed about just cautious.  I don't think most children are near light bultbs anyway.  At least not real young ones.

Nov 13, 2008 06:42 AM #5
Tami Vroma
West Michigan Real Estate Specialist-Five Star Real Estate - Grand Haven, MI
Realtor, Grand Rapids MI Real Estate

Cheri - YOu can order an entire box through Walmart really cheap!

Nov 13, 2008 06:43 AM #6
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Jun 13, 2011 05:06 AM #7
Katerina Gasset
Get It Done For Me Virtual Services - Wellington, FL
Get It Done For Me Virtual Services

Tami,Great job in making this video.I'm loving the music and the information that I'm learning.Great job here! Keep up doing a great work.You're no doubt the best Grand Rapids Short Sale Agent.


Jun 17, 2012 02:04 AM #8
Petra Norris
Lakeland Real Estate Group, Inc. - Lakeland, FL
Realtor, Lakeland FL Homes for Sale

Hello Tami,Thanks for a great presentation of your blog.Keep it up being the number one Grand Rapids Short Sale Agent.Best of luck!


Jul 08, 2012 04:13 PM #9
Inna Ivchenko
Barcode Properties - Encino, CA
Realtor® • Green • GRI • HAFA • PSC Los Angeles CA

According to the Department of Energy, if every American home replaced just one incandescent lightbulb with one Energy Star CFL bulb we would save enough energy to light 3 million homes for a year, save about $600 million in annual energy costs, and prevent 9 billion pounds of greenhouse gas emissions per year equivalent to those from about 800,000 cars.

Sep 28, 2015 07:16 AM #10
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Tami Vroma

Realtor, Grand Rapids MI Real Estate
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