CFL Light Bulbs

Manufacturers of Compact Fluorescent Lights, or CFL bulbs – the ones with the curly-q shape – say that their bulbs have extraordinarily long lifespans.  The packages and promotional materials of these bulbs commonly claim that they will last 8,000, 10,000 or 12,000 hours.  If used one hour a day, a bulb with a 12,000 hour lifespan would last, believe it or not, 32 years!  Even with “only” an 8,000 hour life, a bulb that was used three hours a day would still last more than seven years.

In actual practice, however, many consumers find that CFL bulbs don’t last anywhere near that long.  That is partly because the more often a CFL bulb is turned on and off, the sooner it burns out.  But manufacturers test their bulbs under the unrealistic assumption that consumers will keep their lights on for three hours a stretch, day in and day out.  Many consumers turn their lights on and off much more frequently, and that makes them burn out much more quickly. 

Not only that, but when CLF bulbs are placed in enclosed or semi-enclosed fixtures, heat build-up will shorten their lifespans.  Manufacturers don’t tell you not to use the bulbs in such environments or that doing so will cause premature burnout. 

The Law Office of Richard S. Cornfeld is investigating whether the manufacturers of CFL bulbs are violating state consumer protection laws by making such deceptive claims.  If you have had CFL bulbs burn out sooner than the companies said they would, we would like to hear from you.  Please use the contact form on this page or call us (collect) at 314-241-5799.  There is no charge or obligation for discussing the facts about CFL bulbs, reviewing your information, or answering your questions.