COLUMBIA - As daylight saving time is nearing, there are fewer hours of daylight. This means the need for artificial lights is on the rise. Columbia resident Emily Parsons uses compact fluorescent bulbs in about 70 percent of the lights in her house.
Compact fluorescent light bulbs take longer to reach full luminosity than a standard incandescent bulb. Parsons says she uses the compact fluorescent light bulbs in rooms she stays in for longer periods of time.
"If I'm turning them off and on a bunch" Parsons said, "it's not as efficient."
There are several shapes and sizes of compact fluorescent bulbs. Many of these bulbs come in a spiral shape, but you can also buy them in a round shape.
"It's not just the ice cream curly kinda ones, but a lot of different specialty fixtures," Columbia Light and Water spokesperson Connie Kacprowicz said.
Compact fluorescent bulbs cost slightly more than a regular bulb. A typical bulb costs between one and four dollars. Compact fluorescent bulb prices usually range from three to ten dollars.
A standard incandescent bulb will last for one thousand hours. A compact fluorescent bulb will last ten times the hours, which could equate to almost a decade of light assuming you leave the bulb on for three hours per day.
Using compact fluorescent bulbs can also save money on your annual lighting costs.
"Over a year you're probably going to save about 60 to 80 dollars a bulb," Home Depot specialty sales assistant manager Sean Johnson said.
The bulbs contain a small amount of mercury so it's important to properly dispose of them. Home Depot has a recycle bin designated just for compact fluorescent bulbs.
Parson says when her light bulbs burn out, she will buy more compact fluorescent bulbs.
"They've paid for themselves in two years just in the cost in replacing the normal bulbs," Parsons said.
Burnt out or broken compact fluorescent bulbs can also be taken to the Household Hazardous Waste Facility on the first and third Saturdays of every month.