Compact Fluorescent lamps are basically just miniature versions of the standard tubes and are available in a variety of shapes and sizes. Designed to be more practical than their incandescent counterparts, CFLs have been a long-standing contender in the fight to improve energy efficiency and bulb life expectancy. What consumers have appreciated most, however, is that CFL bulbs are simple to install and are self-ballasted. Meaning they can be used in place of a standard bulb without needing to rewire your fixture to make them work.
These bulbs are also manufactured with or without a housing. Most people are familiar with the naked CFL, which shows off its curves in all its twisted glory! Others are encased in a plastic frosted covering to make them appear more like a traditional incandescent A-shape, torpedo or flame tip chandelier, or globe light bulb. While both options are great, keep in mind that the covered CFLs tend to have fewer lumens (are less bright) because the light must fight through the frosted plastic to illuminate anything of importance.
Twist CFL bulbs come in several sizes, and like all other light bulbs are identified by a given code that relays the type of bulb technology along with the diameter of the tube. For CFL bulbs, these codes always start with a “T” and are followed by a number to indicate the size of the tube, measured in eighths of an inch.