Low energy bulbs have many advantages: They are economical to use and they last a long time. However, like all bulbs, whether incandescent, halogen or LED, compact fluorescent bulbs have some disadvantages. In order to use them to the best of their ability and in complete safety, it is important to know these weak points.
CFLs emit electromagnetic waves
All your electrical equipment, from the electrical appliance to the electric cord of your bedside lamp, to your mobile phone or your box, emit electromagnetic waves. And compact fluorescent bulbs are no exception.
Simply plugging in a device or a lamp creates a electric field. And when you turn on the device or the lamp, the intensity of the current will create an electromagnetic field. It is a physical rule that to this day does not suffer from exception.
This electromagnetic field can be perfectly measured. But a controversy exists as to the extent of this field and as to whether it can have an impact on health.
Between those who say "yes" and those who say "no" with just as much vehemence, we must take certain precautions. Because all the measurements show that the more one moves away from the emitting source the lower the intensity of the electromagnetic field. The French Agency for Environmental and Occupational Health Safety (Afsset) advocates to be placed more than 30 cm from a compact fluorescent light bulb. In practice, this means that you should avoid equipping your bedside lamp or desk lamp with this type of bulb.
CFLs emit ultraviolet light
The principle of operation of the compact fluorescent bulb is that of fluorescence: an electric discharge sent through a gas composed of mercury vapor generates ultraviolet rays invisible to the naked eye. These react with the phosphor fluorescence powder lining the inner side of the bulb, which then produces a visible white light. The phosphorescent layer should normally absorb all UV. Nevertheless a small amount of UV can escape.
Overexposure to UV from any source (sun, bulb) may pose a risk to the skin, eyes and the immune system in general. To protect yourself, always stay more than 30 cm away from a compact fluorescent light bulb. And preferably choose models with an envelope around the fluorescent tube. Not only will you protect yourself from a possible danger but you will gain in aesthetics. They exist in the form of traditional light bulb, globe, flame, etc.
Good to know : When buying light bulbs beware of very cheap products. Not only, one can ask the question of the working conditions of the persons in charge of the manufacture but also to wonder about the quality of the material. If the components are of lower quality, they will last less and the disadvantages, electromagnetic waves, UV radiation and presence of mercury will be all the more present.