Conventional incandescent light bulbs require more energy than a CFL (“swirly”) light bulb to produce the same amount of light. This means it costs more money to light your home with them, and emits more greenhouse gases.
This is because only some of the energy incandescent bulbs require to run is actually being used to produce light. If you’ve ever tried to change one immediately after it had been burning for awhile, I bet you noticed it was quite hot! That’s the extra energy being wasted as heat.
CFL bulbs use energy much more efficiently. If you were to touch one, you’d find it much cooler to the touch than an incandescent. Although I’m not recommending you run around poking light bulbs!
In addition to the energy savings you’ll get from using less electricity running to the lightbulb, CFLs help save on cooling costs in the summer because they run at much cooler temperatures than incandescent bulbs. When you use incandescent bulbs in the summer, they emit heat and increase the temperatures of the room they’re in. CFLs are much cooler, help keep the temperature in the room cooler, and will require less fan or AC power to keep your home comfortable.
Are you familiar with the lighting legislation act that will have impact on energy moving forward? Pretty interesting — beginning 1/1/2012 for the 100-watt incandescent bulb, will establish minimum efficiency standards that most standard incandescent bulbs will not meet. Since lighting accounts for about 22% of all electricity consumed in the U.S.†, a switch to more energy efficient lighting will help reduce the amount of greenhouse gases resulting from the production of electricity.
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