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Comparison of Some Popular Models of Compact Fluorescent Bulbs










PCF209155 20w

20w Swirl Bulb



Kelvin Temp.










Lumen Output





Average Lamp Life In Hours

10 000

10 000

10 000

10 000






Warranty in Years

1 year

1 year



Click here to see independent test results of 30w Sunwave bulbs

Black line = sunlight
Gray line = Paralite CFLs

Frequently Asked Questions about the Compact Fluorescent Bulbs


Why do compact fluorescent lights cost more?
The price of high quality compact fluorescent lights has decreased recently. Part of the price relates to the costs of compact fluorescent technology. Remember that the compact fluorescent light has a built-in micro size ballast. This makes the lamp cost more than regular light bulbs.


Can I really save energy and save money on my electric bill?
Yes. Compare a 15 watt compact fluorescent light with a 60 watt incandescent bulb. A compact florescent bulb cost $17.00 and lasts for 10,000 hrs. A regular incandescent bulb costs $2.50 and last for about 1,000 hrs. You would have to replace the regular incandescent bulb 10 times at a cost of 25.00 to equal a compact florescent light. The savings here would be $8. The energy savings between the two is about $1.50 a month. A compact florescent light costs .50 cents a month and a regular incandescent bulb costs about $2.00 a month (with normal use).
By using a compact fluorescent light, the savings is $30.50 over the life of the bulb for this example.


Why aren't compact fluorescent lights as small as regular incandescent bulbs?
A compact fluorescent light includes a lamp and a ballast or transformer. The incandescent bulb has no ballast. While compact fluorescent lights have been larger than their incandescent equivalent bulbs, the newest lights are less than one half inch larger than the equivalent 60 watt incandescent bulb. The new spiral compact fluorescent light by ParaLite will fit most fixtures, but it is wise to measure each fixture before ordering.


Where should I use my compact fluorescent lights?
As you can see by the energy savings and longevity of the CFL, anywhere the lamp will fit is a good place to use them. However, the best places for compact fluorescent lights are in frequently used fixtures that are on for at least three hours at a time. Difficult to reach fixtures are also good places to put compact fluorescent lights because you will have to change them less often.

Where are some places that compact fluorescent lights should NOT be used?
Because of electronic interference, compact fluorescent lights can not be used on dimmers. Doing so will shorten the life of the bulbs. They also should not be used in recessed or fully enclosed fixtures.

Can I use compact fluorescent lights in three-way lamps?
There is no danger in doing this, but you will get light only in the middle one of the three "on" positions.

Will compact fluorescent lights work where it's cold? Where it's hot?
Always check the light package for exact recommendations, but generally, compact fluorescent lights can be used in the 20°F-140°F range. Many new products like ParaLite lamps will start at temperatures to -20°F, though the light output may be somewhat reduced at very low temperatures. When compact fluorescent lights operate at temperatures above 140°F, there may be reduced light output and premature ballast failure.

Will they work where it's damp?
Do not install compact fluorescent lights where they will be exposed to water or snow directly. You can install compact fluorescent lights in sheltered exterior places. Some compact fluorescent lights have ventilation holes to keep them cool. Do not install that type of compact fluorescent light where moisture or water can get in the holes.


How long will compact fluorescent lights last?
That depends on what type of compact fluorescent lights you purchase. ParaLite one-piece units should last up to 10,000 hours. ParaLite CFL's are guaranteed for one year.

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