We all have heard of and used CFL’s or compact fluorescent lamps. They are “bulbs” that have glass tubes (fluorescent gas filled) that either twist and spiral or loop up and down. CFL’s are actually miniaturized fluorescent lamps that are made in the traditional “bulb” form (Edison’s bulb) and mostly designed to fit light sockets intended for incandescent bulbs (two types of socket designs are the Edison’s screw and bayonet fitting). The main difference between these two types of light fixtures are incandescents use a heated filament to produce light while fluorescents produce light through the excitement of gases….wow!
Like their older and longer fluorescent lamp brethren, they do have ballasts in a very compact assembly. CFL’s are also known as energy efficient lamps. They are known to be 20% to as much as 60% more efficient than incandescent bulbs. Life span is deemed 8 to 15 times those of incandescents. Although cost is about 3 to 10 times more than incandescents, the efficiency and lifespan benefits outweigh cost differences any given time or day. C’mon, do the math!
When you do get into your new house or apartment, you will find that most, if not all light fixtures are CFL’s, these include the “bulbs” for those lovely chandeliers (it has been set as policy to use these fixtures whenever practical….in the Embassy and in our residences). Should you need more light (most people find these bulbs dim and not fit for reading), or if your existing fixture burns out, do not slide into the convenience of replacing these CFLs with a cheaper 100 watt incandescent bulb. Suitable CFL replacements may be found in shops around town. A good store for higher lumens (brighter) replacement CFL’s is Le Gran on the VDN. As well, you can pick up CFL’s from the expendable supply closet.
Remember, a replacement CFL that can produce light equivalent to that of a 100 watt bulb uses only 30 watts! Do your share! Go with fixtures with excitable gas……they’re good for your environment and your pocket in the long run!