Best Practices – Changing a CFL Bulb

You can switch off and allow a working CFL bulb to cool before handling.

You can handle CFL bulbs carefully to avoid breakage.

    • If possible, screw/unscrew the CFL by holding the plastic or ceramic base, not the glass tubing.
    • Gently screw in the CFL until snug. Do not over-tighten.
    • Never forcefully twist the glass tubing.

You can choose not to install CFLs in table lamps and floor lamps that can be easily knocked over, in unprotected light fixtures, or in locations where they can easily be broken, such as play spaces.

Other available options for these areas:

      • LEDs (super-efficient, with very low energy costs; pricey, although prices are dropping rapidly), and
      • halogens (inexpensive, more efficient than incandescents, but not as efficient as CFLs or LEDs).

Learn about current lighting choices

  • You can purchase CFL bulbs that have a glass or plastic cover over the spiral or folded glass tube, if available. These types of bulbs look more like incandescent bulbs and may be more durable if dropped.
  • Consider using a drop cloth (e.g., plastic sheet or beach towel) when changing a fluorescent light bulb in case a breakage should occur. The drop cloth will help prevent mercury contamination of nearby surfaces and can be bundled with the bulb debris for disposal.