Underwriters Laboratories (UL) recently released the results from its compact fluorescent lamp (CFL) safety study, which found that consumers may by able to use CFLs more broadly and safely than previously believed or understood. UL’s Safety Study found no fire or shock hazards in CFLs when used in light fixtures, lighting controllers, and switches traditionally used with incandescent light bulbs.
CFLs have continued to gain in popularity over the past decade with businesses and homeowners due to their increased interest in energy efficiency. In fact, CFLs are installed in approximately 11% of available sockets in homes. The findings from UL’s CFL Safety Study give consumers several reasons to use these energy efficient light bulbs in even more applications. Study findings revealed the following:
- CFLs perform well and safely in a variety of lighting applications
- Temperatures of CFLs are generally lower than those of incandescents when used in a wide range of lighting applications
- CFLs’ lifespans may be reduced when used in fixtures where switches are turned on and off repeatedly, but will not pose any safety hazards when used according to manufacturer’s specifications
- Advancements in CFL technology improve performance and eliminate end-of-life issues that had previously raised safety concerns, like popping sounds or smoke
UL’s CFL Safety Study examined the following: substitution of CFLs into a variety of light fixtures, compatibility of CFLs with light controls, and safety hazards related to switches. Additionally, it studied end-of-life behaviors of CFLs, which is where most consumer concerns lie.
The light fixture substitution analysis tested for potential temperature hazards of using CFLs in common household lamps and open fixtures. Tests found that not only were there no safety hazards, but even the hottest CFL emitted less heat than a 40 watt incandescent light bulb. Additionally, this test did not find any end-of-life safety issues.
To read UL’s full research study, visit www.uluniversity.us/thoughtleadership.