CFLs produce light differently than incandescent bulbs. In an incandescent, electric current runs through a wire filament and heats the filament until it starts to glow. In a CFL, an electric current is driven through a tube containing argon and a small amount of mercury vapor. This generates invisible ultraviolet light that excites a fluorescent coating (called phosphor) on the inside of the tube, which then emits visible light.
CFLs need a little more energy when they are first turned on, but once the electricity starts moving, use about 75 percent less energy than incandescent bulbs. A CFL’s ballast helps “kick start” the CFL and then regulates the current once the electricity starts flowing.
Basically, because they use totally different methods to produce light. Incandescent bulbs pass energy through a filament to produce light, basically vibrating (haeting) the filament until the vibration reaches an intensity that is so high that the filament gives off light. This process also creates a great deal of heat. A florescent bulb produces light by passing electrons across the length of the bulb through mercury gas. When the electrons interact with the mercury they excite electrons to higher energy levels. When these electrons return to their lower energy levels they release ultraviolet photons which then react with the phosphor coating of the bulb producing visible light, and very little heat.
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