Say “So Long” to CFLs

Written by Taylor Johaneman, ESLLC 2015-2016

Recently, General Electric, more commonly known as G.E., released a statement claiming that they soon plan on phasing out CFL bulbs. And while they phase out CFL bulbs, they will be putting most of their efforts towards improving their LED light bulbs.

What exactly are CFL bulbs? CFL stands for compact fluorescent light. For those who don’t recognize the name, CFLs are the light bulbs that have a spiral lamp. For past few years, they have been applauded for their energy-saving technology. CFLs quickly replaced traditional incandescents, as incandescent light bulbs no longer met government standards. Although CFLs are great, there were and still are some complaints, such as taking several minutes to warm up. Also, there is a hazardous component to CFLs because of the mercury inside. So, when they are dropped, they must be cleaned up and disposed of carefully. With these downsides, a more advanced light bulb was popularized: the LED light bulb.


LED(Light Emitting Diode) light bulbs are a type of light bulb in which electric currents pass through the light emitting diodes, hence the name “LED”, and allow light to be produced. They are even more efficient and long-lasting than CFLs. Additionally, they are not as hazardous as CFLs when they are dropped or broken. In the past couple years, they have gained in popularity. In fact, in the third quarter of 2014, LED light bulbs only made up 5% of the light bulb market. A year later, in 2015, they made up 15% of the market and continue to grow.

The growth of LEDs in the market is one of the reasons why G.E. has decided to phase out the production of CFL bulbs. Aside from that, the price of LED light bulbs is dropping rapidly and retailers are starting to move away from using CFLs.

Overall, CFLs aren’t bad. The creation of CFLs was a great technological innovation that met the need to save energy. But, as with everything, the CFL has been surpassed. So, don’t expect to see as many of them anymore, and reach for the LED light bulb next time you need a replacement.


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