What is and isn't a CFL?

Old 04-06-19, 02:06 PM
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What is and isn't a CFL?

Today I brought what I thought was a CFL to a store for recycling. A staff told me it is a fluorescent lamp and is not accepted. I disagreed and she went and asked another staff who also said it was a CFL, so it was accepted.

But now I want to know for sure, what is the difference between a fluorescent lamp and a CFL? Is CFL merely a compact fluorescent lamp? How compact is compact? Or does a CFL have to include a built-in ballast? Or does it have to screw into a lamp socket to be a CFL?

And what is the reason many stores accept CFL for recycling but not fluorescent lamp?
Old 04-06-19, 02:50 PM
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what is the difference between a fluorescent lamp and a CFL? Is CFL merely a compact fluorescent lamp?
You answered your own question right there, CFL stands for Compact Fluorescent Lamp. CFL's come in all sorts for sizes and shapes. Some are self-ballasted, like what you can screw into a standard medium base. While others have a separate ballasts as you find with GX24 base lamps.

All fluorescent lamps have mercury and require recycling. It is likely because CFLs are smaller and easier to contain that some stores recycle them. 4' and 8' long fluorescent lamps are harder to store safely.
Old 04-06-19, 02:50 PM
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Hi, the major concern is the Mercury in the lamps, which they both contain, we have always recycled them together.
Old 04-10-19, 07:09 AM
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I would define a CFL this way: A fluorescent lamp unit that fits in a space 9 inches by 4 inches by 4 inches and has all of the exposed electrical contacts at one end. It may or may not have built in electronic parts external to the glass tube (and within a small plastic chamber at one end)..

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