Next generation compact fluorescent lightbulbs are hitting the market, refined and revised to account for consumer criticism heaped upon their first generation predecessors. The Ecospiral is one such next-gen CFL, featuring ultra-low mercury content and an EPA-rated 15,000 hour lifespan. According to their website, a home that replaces five regular bulbs with Ecospiral bulbs can save $980 over the life of the Ecospiral replacements.

What’s good for your wallet is good for the environment. Always good to see.

Here’s another aspect of the Ecospiral that should be acknowledged: power factor. A bulb with a higher power factor is better for the utility company powering the bulb, says Steven Miller, Ecospiral’s North America General Manager. “The higher the power factor, the more efficiently the bulb uses electricity,” Miller tells me. CFLs with a low power factor cause electrical interference on the network, forcing costly corrections by the utility company. Where Ecospiral bulbs have a power factor rating of 90-95%, they don’t cause these problems, which ultimately save money for the utility company. This page on the Ecospiral website goes into greater detail on power factors in light bulbs.

Consumers should be on the lookout for these next generation CFLs that contain less mercury and feature a higher power rating. You won’t necessarily be shelling out more for the newer technology, either. Costs should be comparable to first generation CFL prices.

Have you changed to second generation CFLs in your home?