Tips when buying energy-efficient light bulbs

2011-06-21 00:00

• Before you buy an energy-efficient bulb, check the wattage you will need. If you need a bright light, then you will need the equivalent of a 100-watt bulb. (100 divided by 5 = 20 W) which means you will be looking for a 20 W CFL.

• Check whether you will need a screw fitting or a pin fitting, and also estimate the length of the bulb. CFLs are usually bulkier than the old incandescent bulbs, and sometimes they do not fit into the light fitting.

• CFL bulbs do have different shapes — not just the two parallel-bars variant. If the bulb does not fit, look for more suitable shapes — the twirly shape and the three-bars bulb.

• The CFLs come in two colours — bright white and soft white. Usually the soft white is used for social rooms, where a warm and inviting environment is preferable. The bright white is better for rooms like the kitchen and bathroom.

• The CFLs are supposed to last a lot longer than an incandescent light bulb, but this depends on which brand you buy. Examine the small print on the side of the box for a realistic idea of what to expect. The longevity of the CFL can be affected by power surges and the amount of time they are used continuously.

• If the quality of the CFL light bothers you, then you can invest in an energy-efficient halogen globe. This will fit easily into any fitting, and offers a brighter light.

• CFL lights are not yet compatible with dimmer switches.

• Energy-efficient LED lights (downlighters) are hugely expensive and not yet an option for the average person.

• Most photocells, motion sensors and electronic timers are not designed to work with CFLs.

Information supplied by Zebbies Lighting, Victoria Street, PMB


• The mercury in them could cause poisoning if released into the air. The mercury will contaminate the environment.

• EMF radiation from them is so high it can cause electro-sensitivity or, at the very least, will cause our immune system to overwork, leading to insomnia, headaches, depression and irritability.

• They can suddenly ignite and are a potential fire hazard.

• The light they emit is not powerful enough to read by, and can cause eyesight to deteriorate.

• If used in hallways, their light is insufficient to ensure safety.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.