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A compact fluorescent lamp (CFL), is a fluorescent lamp designed to replace an incandescent lamp; some types fit into light fixtures normally used for incandescent lamps. The lamps use a tube, which is curved or folded to fit into the space of an incandescent bulb, and a compact electronic ballast in the base of the lamp.
Compared to general-service incandescent lamps giving the same amount of visible light, CFLs use one-fifth to one-third the electric power, and last eight to fifteen times longer. A CFL has a higher purchase price than an incandescent lamp, but can save over five times its purchase price in electricity costs over the lamp’s lifetime. Like all fluorescent lamps, CFLs contain toxic mercury[ which complicates their disposal.
For more information on safe disposal of CFLs visit www.fluorocycle.org.au