The compact fluorescent light bulb has a shadowy side ...

... But a plasma bright side too


compact fluorescent light bulbs has envirotoxin mercury on the inside
Those two sides of the compact fluorescent light bulb should NOT be incompatible though. Moreover the shadowy side doesn't have to be such a disadvantage and it probably won't. (And in some places the problem has already been addressed.)


What? A Compact fluorescent Light bulb is Like a Mini plasma tv?




What? -- PLASMA bulb a tv?
The bright side
The shadowy side
Compare to Incandescents
Related Articles, Resources Products

It's a fourth state of material (gas, solid, liquid being the basic three.) When particles of the nucleus are separated into ions - positive proton and negative electron - the distance between them is bridged by electricity.

When the electron falls back into the nucleus the discharge creates very intense UV light. So yes, this whole thing into a closed container and you get what we call plasma light.

the bright side

where compact fluorescent light bulbs really shine

The same technology drives those super bright plasma televisions. Both have been around for dozens of years,  both neglected for too long.


compact fluorescent light bulb air purifier said to combat SADIn a plasma television those containers are really tiny, put on a grid and each point on the grid is excited by electricity simultaneously. The same thing happens in a compact fluorescent light bulb.

And that is the bright side and a very promising at that. There are many things stem from here including the air purifier compact fluorescent light that is said to ionise indoor air by passing on electrical charge in the near proximity of a specially designed bulb. And the rich daylight brightness had made CF bulbs really good candidates for conventional light box therapy.


And further using the analogy of the color plasma television, by using various filters compact fluorescents are theoretically possible to make in all the colors of the rainbow as well as UV. The only problem of course are the filters that would make the light less efficient. In the new generations of LED lights (bulbs and downlights) this is no longer the problem and that of course further increases efficiency. Price however, for the moment is prohibitive for LEDs here unless they are for commercial commercial applications.

That is why for the price conscious, compact fluorescents should be the light fixtures of choice. Their prices are relatively moderate and already falling and their performance is established and reliable.

This Guide is about LED lights. So it is fair to ask, why do I have to say that compact fluorescent light bulbs should be in fact the light fixtures of your first choice for many home light fixtures … ? It is a good question, and the answer is that I don't have to say this. But you need to make an informed decision before buying.


Besides, I do use fluorescent bulbs - Like a LOT


In fact, they are the current choice of the day for folks who are determined to save energy and are very budget conscious.
Add to this that - most recently - there are full spectrum fluorescent light bulbs too :o) They are developed so that they could replicate the richness of natural daylight and combat SAD (seasonal affective disorder.) Actually. CF bulbs compare relatively well with LED for effective light therapy though the balance is heavily tilting towards the latter.

Although I really do think that LEDs could have an edge in quality daylight imitation precisely because they are narrow spectrum. And that should allow better filtration of the less needed spectrum. But that's just my thing. You've got to see the difference for yourself of course.

(If you are in Australia or part of the UK you’d probably call them fluorescent globes. This might sound somewhat embarrasing, especially if I mention that for the most part fluorescent lights don’t have the spherical shape of a globe...mostly they are wound up spiral pear kinda shapes.)

Actually, they come in three main shapes: tubes, spirals and (occasionally) with a near pear-like shape. They usually come frosted because of the high intensity light it gives off. (All I could see so far were frosted. But then again I rarely notice things directly in front of me.) Yeah, when I do, I make a note of it. Find more of my shape comparison and the possible reasons here.

and the Shadowy side

Mercury is enviro-toxic and It could be VERY unhealthy

Without separation, some estimate that the loss of energy in recycling nearly offsets the gain on energy using CF bulbs.


The UV light the the plasma emits wouldn't be good for much from a compact fluorescent light bulb unless that light excited a third substance which in turn would emit nice visible white light. And that substance is mercury. A very thin layer of vapour is blasted on the inside of the glass container that is the luminaire of the fluorescent light fixture. But there is a problem with that mercury. A BIG problem ...


The other downside comes from the fact that the glass is luminaire. Because when that when glass is broken or is leaking due to occassional manufacturing fault the escaping mercury could contribute to some noticeable headache. And mercury is HIGHLY TOXIC even in very small micro quantitites. Do NOT underestimate this!


In sufficient quantities mercury - much like pulsed radio frequency or pulsed microwave radiation - is brain damaging. But mercury is particularly ugly because it can effect chemically induced partial lobotomy (or irreversible frontal lobe damage), according to Noble prize winning Betrand Russell and others.


Mercury is also very hard and expensive to recycle. In the US and Australia, the uptake of Compact Fluorescent (CF) has been rapidly increasing lately. In Australia the use of incandescents will be illegal from 2010 and the use of CF has been very much encouraged. Some rebates are also in the pipeline.


However, the recycling of the Compact fluorescent light bulbs is a strain on the system, unless properly separated from the rest of the rubbish.  In many countries, proper recycling has not yet been implemented.


So unless proper system of recycling is in place near you, please dispose of your used compact fluorescent light bulb with utmost care, and treat it like HAZARDOUS WASTE, because it is. Conceal it in sealable plastic bags, and take it to the point where you council or collects hazardous waste.

some comparison with incandescents

and what to check when buying fluorescents,
and Then running Them in ...

incandescents - need a near sphare shapeIn comparison with compact fluorescent light bulbs, incandescent bulbs contain near vacuum to enable the thin metal filament inside (wolfram or cadmium) to burn for longer. That red hot burning is essential for creating the bright incandescent white glow  - the light those globes give off. 



Questions to ask when chosing the right CF bulb: Energy rating, wattage (often confusing). Is it dimmable? - Many are, and that's a good thing. We don't talk about it, but light pollution is also hurting wildlife and disrupts natural habitats.
What to check for when running it in: color of glow (warning sign - if different from expected return quick. It could be saying to you - heck, I'll never burn bright.)


More often than not the choice comes down to this: Do I choose an incandescent bulb or a compact fluorescent light bulb; if so do you really compare apples with pears? (Or more like apples with pears, spirals, tubes and other exoticly shaped similarly energy efficient light bulbs.)



Related Articles, Resources, Products

Compare fluorescent with incandescent light bulbs.

For effective light therapay CF bulbs compare relatively well with LED

Fluorescents may be shady, but they shouldn't be dull. These aren't

About long life incandescents bulbs


Energy Efficient Lighting and LED. LED lighting in context of important energy efficiency issues.

In the new generations of LED lights (bulbs and downlights) the use color filters is a problem no more

Learn the various color temperatures and the different fluorescent coloration effects.




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