Difference Between Compact Fluoresent (CFL) and Standard Light Bulbs


Incandescent bulbs have a burning filament that produces heat in addition to light.  This heat has a negative effect on the life of bulb and costs money in your electricity bill without creating extra lumens (measure of light). CFL bulbs produce almost no heat and save you energy by only giving off light instead of wasting energy on extra heat that shortens the life of the bulb.


Do you know the Difference between regular incandescent light bulbs and Compact Fluorescents lightbulbs? Let us help you truly understand the difference between the regular incandescent light bulbs that you see in the vast majority of light applications today and the energy efficient compact fluorescent light bulbs.

  1. 75% energy savings – Compact Fluorescents will save over 75% of energy used per lamp. You can change every 60 watt bulb in your house with a 13 watt Compact Fluorescent. Less wattage = Less Energy. You do the math!
  2. Lasts 10 times longer – Compact Fluorescent light bulbs last 10 X’s longer than traditional incandescent bulbs. You know that hard to reach light in your entry way? Well, you will only have to change it 1/10 of the time you do now!
  3. Less Expensive - Although the price per bulb is higher you get what you pay for by saving money in the long run because CFL's use 1/4 the electricity and last up to 10 times as long as incandescent. A single 18 watt CFL used in place of a 75 watt incandescent will save about 570 kWh over its lifetime. At 8 cents per kWh, that equates to a $45 savings.
  4. Reduces Air and Water Pollution: Replacing a single incandescent bulb with a CFL will keep a half-ton of CO2 out of the atmosphere over the life of the bulb. If everyone in the U.S. used energy-efficient lighting, we could retire 90 average size power plants. Saving electricity reduces CO2 emissions, sulfur oxide and high-level nuclear waste.
  5. High-Quality Light: Newer CFL's give a warm, inviting light instead of the "cool white" light of older fluorescents. They use rare earth phosphors for excellent color and warmth. New electronically ballasted CFL's don't flicker or hum.
  6. Versatile: CFL's can be applied nearly anywhere that incandescent lights are used. Energy-efficient CFL's can be used in recessed fixtures, table lamps, ceiling fixtures and porch lights. 3-way CFL's are also now available for lamps with 3-way settings.

Incandescent light bulbs are low on the Kelvin color scale.  If you prefer incandescent light choose a warn or soft white CFL with a 2700K color temperature.  Below is a photo taken by Planet Bulb of three identical desk lamps with the same spiral CFL bulb in three different colors: 3500K, 2700K and 6500K.  You can see that as you increase in Kelvin temperature (K) your light moves along the natural color specturm from yellow towards blue-ish white.