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Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs (CFLs)

CFLs can help you save money, use less energy, reduce light bulb changes, and lower greenhouse gas emissions, which lead to climate change.

New Light Bulb Law (Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007) - The Basics

The law:

  • does not ban the use or purchase of incandescent bulbs.

  • does not ban the sale or manufacture of ALL incandescent bulbs, just those common household incandescent (and other) bulbs that are not energy-efficient.

  • does not require the use of compact fluorescent bulbs.

  • requires about 25 percent greater efficiency (that is, less energy use) for household light bulbs that have traditionally used between 40 and 100 watts of electricity.

  • exempts many bulbs, including specialty bulbs, three-way bulbs, chandelier bulbs, refrigerator bulbs, plant grow lights and others.

  • was passed by Congress and signed by President Bush in 2007 and is implemented by the U.S. Department of Energy.

  • includes many other provisions that do not pertain to lighting. Some of these provisions call for: higher gas mileage in automobiles; transportation electrification; increased reliance on biofuels; and training for green jobs.

  • View more information about the new "light bulb law" from:

B is the correct answer.

YES TO AIRING OUT: If a CFL breaks at home, one of the best things you can do is air out the room for 5-10 minutes by opening a window or door to the outdoor environment. Learn the most important steps to take.

NO TO VACUUMING: Vacuuming is not recommended unless broken glass remains after all other cleanup steps have been taken. Vacuuming could spread mercury-containing powder or mercury vapor.

Contact the CFL Web editor to ask a question, provide feedback, or report a problem.

How bright are you? quiz

When a CFL breaks in your home, one of the most important things you can do is...


Light Bulb Finder app helps you switch to more efficient bulbs

Eco Hatchery's Light Bulb Finder app for iPhones and Androids won the "best overall" prize in EPA's Apps for the Environment Challenge.

Businesses using CFLs

Businesses considered universal waste handlers under RCRA must meet certain storage, transportation and disposal requirements for CFLs and other bulbs that contain mercury. Learn more on the EPA wastes website.

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