We have compact flourescent light throughout our house. Is it still more efficient to turn off lights whenever we leave a room, even if we expect to return within a few minutes? I guess I’m asking whether it takes more energy to start an energy effic



  1. 0 Votes

    When fluorescent light switch is turned on, a short (1/10 sec) and powerful (5 sec worth of normal operating power) current burst is required for the ballast to charge the cathodes in order to “ignite” the bulb. Clearly the energy surge required is not significant enough to justify keeping it on when you are not using it. Every time a fluorescent bulb is turned on, it burns off tiny amounts of electrode’s coating (most 4 foot 32 watt bulbs have a projected lifespan of 20,000 hours). To find a balance between the energy used to “ignite” the bulb and maintaining an optimum number of switches within the lifetime of the bulb, it is recommended that if you are leaving the room for longer than 15 minutes, you should turn the fluorescent light off.

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