New CFLs With Cool Designs

Do you want to save money and energy by switching to CFL lights in your home, but the spiral design doesn't work everywhere?

Hold on-CFLs now come in different designs. New tests from Consumer Reports shine a light on these new CFLs.

Dimmable ones are now available.

So are CFLs you can use in three-way lamps.

And there are new designs for chandeliers and candleabras.

Consumer Reports tested 43 CFLs to find which work best for different fixtures.

"You should look for an Energy-Star-qualified CFL, because ones we tested that were not Energy-Star-qualified didn't do so well." said Consumer Reports Jim Nanni.

Take this Ikea proch bulb that does not carry the Energy Star. Five of the ten bulbs Consumer Reports tested burned out before three thousand hours-which most CFLs easily meet.

"CFLs aren't ideal for every fixture. Theyr'e not good for staircases or other locations where you need instant light because they don't reach full brightness right away," said Nanni.

While the incandescent light on the right reaches full brightness immediately, the CFL on the left was ridiculously slow getting there. It took a full three minutes to brighten!

And when it comes to dimmable CFLs, Consumer Reports doesn't have great news.

The dimmable CFLs tested just GO OUT...versus actually "dimming" like a regular bulb.

For table and floor lamps as well as sconces, Consumer Reports recommends the EcoSmart spiral CFLs from Home Depot.

For track lights as well as recessed ceiling lights, testers recommend Home Depot's EcoSmart indoor reflectors.

Consumer Reports says be aware CFLs contain a small amount of mercury so they need to be recycled-not thrown in the trash.

Some stores, like Home Depot and Ikea, have a recycling program

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