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CFL - 2 to 200 Watt Compact Fluorescent Bulbs

Please note: Fluorescents are not recommended for use with photo cells or timers.

CFL Light Bulb Wattages and Applications

Are you searching for an alternative to incandescent lighting for your home or business? Then take a look at our compact fluorescent (CFL) light bulbs. CFL bulbs, or spiral light bulbs are self-ballasted and do not require an external ballast to operate like fluorescent tubes do. CFL light bulbs come in a variety of wattages, sizes, and color temperatures making them a very versatile addition to your overall lighting plan.

Spiral light bulbs can be used in a wide variety of applications. Smaller CFL lights are suitable for use in household and business applications including table lamps, sconces, and outdoor fixtures if you live in mild climates. CFLs do not perform well in cold weather and may fail to turn on in the winter. If you want a more traditional A-shaped look for fixtures where the bulb is visible, take a look at our CFL lights that have a cover over the tube. Spiral light bulbs are also popular with photographers for providing additional light when shooting models and objects. Higher Lumen CFL lights are suitable for lighting larger spaces such as showrooms, warehouses, and other commercial applications. We also carry spiral light bulbs that can be used as grow lights.

While these lights can be used in many types of applications, they cannot be used with photocells, occupancy sensors, or vacancy sensors. CFLs are designed to operate using a steady current and need time to warm up. Photocells and other sensors cycle lamps on and off quickly and do not allow for a warmup period. This can significantly shorten a CFL's lifespan. CFL bulbs should not be used in recessed or fully enclosed fixtures unless they are rated for them. Spiral light bulbs are sensitive to heat, and too much can shorten their life span.

CFL Bulb Base Types offers CFL light bulbs in a variety of base types to suit your needs. The most common is the medium (E26), which is the standard household socket size. Commonly referred to as a screw-type, this base easily screws into the socket making for a quick installation. Other screw- type bases available are the mogul (E39) and candelabra (E12). Not sure what base your current bulb has? You can find out quickly by measuring the diameter of the base. The number after E is the diameter in millimeters. For example, a medium E26 base is 26 millimeters in diameter. Any time you need to know the size of a base or socket, just whip out your trusty ruler.

Size Matters!

While some of the smaller wattage CFL lights are similar in size to typical A-shape lamps, the higher wattages tend to be larger in size. Make sure that you measure your fixture to see how large of a bulb you can place in it. Also double check the size of the CFL light bulb you are considering buying. Measurements can be found in both the specifications areas on the product's page and the spec sheets. We carry many CFL light bulbs that measure well over 13 inches in length and over 5 inches in diameter. Bulbs of this size are more suited for warehouse lighting and would be much too large for a wall sconce or table lamp.

How Do They Work?

The body of a CFL bulb is designed into a coil to help make it into a more usable household shape. The coil design also helps to reduce the amount of heat it produces. Like a fluorescent tube, CFLs use a coating on the inside of the tube to generate light. An electric current is run though the tube, which filled with argon and a small amount of mercury vapor, to produce light.

Not sure what wattage CFL bulb is safe to use in your fixture? Help is just a phone call away at 1-800-624-4488. A member of our friendly staff is ready to help you out.