It took Americans a little while to get used to those funny-looking, curly light bulbs, but we’re finally realizing that CFLs are actually more cost-effective than traditional light bulbs. In fact, most Americans support the law that will start phasing out incandescent bulbs next year.
Sure, we may have heard a little grumbling at first, but in a recent USA TODAY/Gallup poll, about 71% of respondents say they’ve already replaced standard light bulbs in their homes with either CFLs or LEDs.
84% say they’re “very satisfied” or “satisfied” with the switch. As for those who are less than happy, most don’t like CFLs because they’re dimmer than traditional bulbs, and they cost more.
There’s also some concern about the fact that CFLs contain mercury. You do need to take some common-sense precautions with CFLs. Be careful when disposing of a broken bulb, and resist the urge to vacuum up any tiny shards or dust from the broken bulb, because that can spread the mercury particles. The best thing to do is give the dust several minutes to dissipate, and then use disposable gloves to get rid of everything.
The only other caution I would give you regarding CFLs is to buy them from reputable companies that are know for lighting, like GE, Sylvania and Phillips. There have been some reports of cheaply-made CFLs overheating, but we don’t actually have any confirmation on that.
Getting friendly with CFLs is not as difficult as you might think. Just remember to buy known brands, and if you do happen to break one, skip the vacuum and use gloves when handling any broken pieces. The benefits far outweigh any potential concerns around CFLs.