Off Grid Home Forums Technical Discussion Energy saving light bulbs Re: Energy saving light bulbs


CLF’s use gas, mercury particles and phosphor to create light. The gas becomes excited by electricity, and when combined with mercury particles, produces invisible ultraviolet light. The UV light then hits the white phosphor coating inside the bulb causing it to fluoresce and emit white light. There is circuitry inside the base of the light that stops it from flickering like in old fluoro lights.

Most CFL’s have a charge up time usually using about 5 times the bulbs wattage rate for roughly 10 minutes, making them inefficient for areas where fast switching is needed and where lights are frequently switched on and off. They also take around 30-45 seconds to reach full light output from a cold start.

The main issue with CFL’s is the large amount of energy and materials that go into manufacturing them. Fluorescent tubes can contain up to 15mg of mercury that is an extremely toxic element, especially dangerous to pregnant women, babies and children. One fluorescent tube contains enough mercury to pollute 30,000 litres of water. It is essential that all CFL’s and Fluorescent tubes are recycled appropriately.

LED lights and tubes use diodes instead of gas or heated filaments to produce light making them the most energy efficient lighting option available. LED technology has increased dramatically in recent years and LED Lights are now bright and efficient enough to power an entire home while enabling saving of up to 90% on lighting bills. For more information on LED lights see or for led specific products,