What are CFL bulbs? Advantages compared to normal bulbs

The Full form of CFL is Compact Fluorescent Lamps. These are made with the new technology that has replaced the conventional mode of lightning – incandescent bulbs. It is replacing the use of these bulbs almost everywhere – in homes, businesses, and government organizations.

The CFL bulbs are energy-saving and save at least 75% of the light energy. It is ten times more effective as compared to incandescent bulbs. Though this technology emerged much earlier, it was not manufactured due to the high cost involved in production. Edward Hammer brought in this technology, and in 1980, Philips manufactured the CFL bulb in bulk quantity.

The prices of the CFL bulbs are on the higher side, but it’s much better in terms of performance and energy-saving than the conventional bulb. It has a phosphor composition that assists in better light-emitting.

Types of CFL

Non-Integrated Ballast CFL

It is also called the “plug-in” CFL. The CFL bulb will not fit in the ballast. Instead, people need to purchase the different ballast according to the CFL bulb and complete the configuration.

Integrated Ballast CFL

People have the requirement of the CFL. These CFLs suffice the condition and are designed so that they can easily fit in the available socket. People don’t have to purchase a separate socket.

CFL Applications

The CFL bulbs are designed to meet the different requirements of people. It is easy to install, but its crisp and shadow-free light makes it suitable for many applications.

  • It helps save the electricity bills, and people can install it on ceiling lights and lamps. So, nowadays, almost everyone is using it in their residences.
  • It has an average life of 10,000, so many offices use it in their common and recessed areas.
  • Many warehouses and parking areas are using it.
  • Hotels and condominiums are using it in their hallways and the room.

Component and operation of CFL

It has the two components:

Gas-filled Tubes

These bulbs contain the gas inside them. It glows when the power is switched on. When the electric current flows, the bulbs emit light from the white coating phosphor.

They are more efficient than other types of CFL.

Electronic or Magnetic Ballasts

It consists of the circuit board with the filter capacitor, rectifier, and switching transistors. These all are connected with the high-frequency resonance. When the current is applied, it emits light with the various input voltages.

It does not work well in dimming applications.

Features of CFL

  • It has a high lumen range enhancing its performance.
  • It has a watt range of 11W to 100 W.
  • It has a high color temperature ranging from 6500 K to 7500 K.
  • It combines different gasses like liquid mercury, argon gasses, and mercury vapor.

The other color ranges are described below:

  • Red, green, blue, pink, and orange for novelty purposes.
  • Phototherapy – Blue
  • Yellow is used for outdoor lighting so that it does not attract insects.
  • People use the black light for special effects.


Life Span

The lifespan of CFL is ten times more than that of conventional bulbs. Though the lifespan is good, frequently switching on or switching off can reduce the lifespan of the CFL.

Energy Consumption

Energy consumption is far less than other bulbs. It only consumes 20% to 33% as compared to other bulbs.

Heating factor

The traditional bulb releases more heat. It increases room temperature in the hot climate. The CFL bulbs do not heat the room, making cooling appliances work better.


The CFL is indeed more expensive than the incandescent lambs, but in the long run, they save the user’s money as it has low power consumption, saving electricity bills with a long lifespan.


Harsh Light

Some people, especially those who have some eye problem, find it difficult to tolerate the light of CFL. People May have issues with dry eyes and bloodshot eyes.

Recycling issue

As the CFL contains mercury which is not safe for the environment, disposing of it is quite a problem. People need to dispose of it with utmost care as it has the potential to degrade the environment.


The control of electric consumption has become an essential element to consider worldwide. The Government is taking steps to reduce consumption and encouraging different technologies to emerge.

Noticing the positive effects of CFLon electric consumption and pollution, the Government has started campaigns to increase awareness. It has also begun to distribute it accessible to people.

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