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Use Compact Fluorescent Blub...Tip #9

Many people automatically think "No way!" when the mention of compact fluorescent bulbs come into the conversation. Don't panic...if you don't like the blue tint that the fluorescents can give off, they do make them in many shapes, sizes, and 'temperatures'. I use the GE brand in my home. I replaced all of the light bulbs in my house when we moved in three years ago. I haven't changed a bulb yet.

Most people don't like the blue tint, but that's only noticeable if you keep your old bulbs or if you don't get the same temperature bulbs. As I said, I replaced all of the bulbs and we don't even notice any blue tint and we have the 'bluest' available. When we flip on our lights, it's like adding daylight. Everything in my home is bright and distinct. I have become so used to these bulbs that when I go into somewhere using regular bulbs, everything seems to yellow to me.

Using compact fluorescent bulbs will help you save money on your electricity bill. I can't really tell you how much I have saved, but if you click on the picture above it will take you to a GE site that will provide you more details.

The one thing you do need to keep in mind is that all compact fluorescent bulbs contain mercury. Once again, don't panic... You can handle bulbs as you do any other bulb. It's if the bulb breaks that you need to take precautions. Here is an excerpt from Popular Mechanics that explains how much mercury is in the bulbs and exactly what you should do if they break.

How much mercury is contained in a CFL?
Each bulb contains an average of 5 milligrams of mercury, “which is just enough to cover a ballpoint pen tip,” says Leslie, associate director of the Lighting Research Center at Rensselaer. “Though it’s nothing to laugh at, unless you wipe up mercury [without gloves] and then lick your hand, you’re probably going to be okay.”

What is the proper way to handle a broken CFL?
Open the windows and let the room air out for 15 to 30 minutes, then remove as much material as possible without a vacuum cleaner. Using disposable gloves, scoop the glass onto a piece of cardboard and wipe the area with a wet paper towel. For smaller pieces of glass and powder, use duct tape to pull up the fragments and wash your hands after cleaning up the debris.

The other thing to keep in mind when using these bulbs is to properly recycle them so they are not ending up in landfills! IKEA and Home Depot are some of the businesses that will take your used bulbs for proper recycling.

As with everything, there are always differing opinions and everyone is entitled to their own. I use and love these bulbs. And yes, I have broken them before with no horrible side effects. These are just my opinions, but I feel that the blubs are worth it. So, my tip for today is:

Use Compact Fluorescent bulbs instead of incandescent bulbs.

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