Compact fluorescent lights or as known as CFL’s are low-energy lights that were designed to replace incandescent lights.  These bulbs are supposed to last longer than regular bulbs, cost more and give about the same amount of light as regular bulbs.  Using CFL’s can reduce electricity costs by $30 throughout the bulbs lifetime.  Unlike regular bulbs, these give off a different light spectrum and have improved formulas that give off a soft white color.   The average lifetime of CFL’s is between 6,000 to 15,000 hours where traditional bulbs last between 750 to 1000 hours.  On average, lighting a house takes up 8.8% of electricity bills and CFL’s save over 7% of that.  By the year 2012, manufacturers hope that incandescent bulbs will be whipped out and CFL’s will be the primary source of light.

Obviously with the information given, CFL’s are more energy efficient than traditional bulbs.  They save over 80% less energy and last way longer. Depending on the quality of the bulbs determines how bright they are and their lifespan.  It seems that buying the more expensive bulbs will help financially in the long run because you wouldn’t need to buy them as often.  They also come in different shades such as cool light, soft light and daylight so that the person who purchases them has more of a variety to put in their home.

Mainly manufacturers focus on the positive aspects of CFL’s but they are also very dangerous.  These bulbs contain mercury, a dangerous substance that can cause serious damage to the human body and nervous system.  Mercury is one of the most toxic chemicals around and can cause serious health problems.  In each bulb there is about 30 milligrams of mercury and it only takes 5 grams to harm someone.   When mercury is inside the bulb it is okay but when the bulb breaks there are big problems.   There are guidelines that we are supposed to go through when they break.  First get everyone out of the house, open all the windows, wear gloves, cover you mouth and nose and put all pieces in an airtight bag.  It is illegal to throw away CFL’s in the trash because they contain mercury.  The buyer is supposed to bring it back to the place they bought them and they will safely dispose of them.  The EPA says that they save more energy then it is safe for the environment but that is ridiculous and wrong.  The state of Maine did a study to find out how harmful it is to release mercury into the air.  Researchers broke 65 bulbs and they found that it had 100 times more mercury then what is considered to be not harmful.

To me, it seems that it isn’t worth all the trouble just to save energy.  As good as it may seem, I don’t agree that it is a product that should be used.  I could see a lot of deaths and environment issues with these bulbs in the future because each day they are becoming increasingly popular and more mercury will be dispersed in the air.  They may save energy and have less greenhouse gases but there has to be another option than CFL’s.