Swapping out your incandescent bulbs for compact fluorescent lightbulbs is an excellent way to cut your energy consumption. Each bulb can use 25 percent less energy, which adds up, even if the bulb itself is a bit more expensive. However, there are certain situations of when not to use CFL bulbs.
Check out our comparison of lightbulb types.
According to Apartment Therapy, due to the way CFL bulbs are designed, there is a maximum ambient temperature requirement. The CFL manufacturers recommend keeping the temperature surrounding their CFL bulbs as low as possible and that the ambient temperature should not exceed 122 degrees Fahrenheit.
Of course, that seems high and not a concern. On the hottest day in Kentucky, we might push 110 degrees. However, if your CFL bulb is screwed into a tightly enclosed fixture which can be poorly ventilated, the temperature can easily rise.
However, the risk of fire is extremely low. The reason manufacturers have this warning is because overheating a CFL can shorten its lifespan. In part, the CFL’s lifespan is what makes it a more efficient option, so when that’s eliminated, it’s not worth buying.
Learn how to recycle or dispose of CFLs.