The saving potential of electrical energy for lighting in housing is very high. With the first phase of the European regulation on the production and sale of non-effective incandescent lamps having just come into effect, it appears that the use of compact fluorescent lamps (CFL) becomes an important topic. For that reason, this paper lists the major barriers to the spread of compact fluorescent lamps in housing and analyses four of them. 16 compact fluorescent lamps were measured in a laboratory in order to study their warm-up time, their colour shift during warm-up, the impact of their position on their luminous flux and their light output equivalent, in comparison to two incandescent lamps. Measurements show that information given on the lamp package is incomplete and inaccurate. The 1:5 rule, currently applied by European manufacturers in order to calculate the power of a CFL replacing an incandescent lamp, is inappropriate. A ratio of 1:4 would be better. While it has been observed that the position of the lamp base has an impact of the lamp efficacy, it was impossible to predict which position is best. The run-up time of compact fluorescent lamp can be long and depends on the shape of the lamp. The lamp colour modification during run-up is visible and can be a barrier to the use of compact fluorescent lamps. Tube CFLs should be favored as they have a higher luminous efficacy and take less time to reach their nominal flux. Finally, the measurements did not show any correlation between the lamp price and their quality.