How energy efficient are fluorescent lightbulbs?
Energy efficient compact florescent light bulbs (CFLs) are low voltage and therefore require less power. By using a CFL you can use up to 75% less energy than standard incandescent (SI) bulbs and generally depending on certain factors including quality can last up to 10 times longer than SIs
It is important to choose the appropriate CFL depending on the light fixture. The CFLs give their best performance in open fixtures that allow airflow. Use the charts available at your local bulb provider to determine which bulb is best for your particular light fixture that way you can maximize their energy efficiency. CFLs are available in different colours, warm soft white light being the most common for your home. Check also the lumen rating the higher the lumen rating the greater the light output see which one best suits your space.
SIs generate high levels of heat energy in comparison to CFLs. In this regard SIs, when used in an air cooled space would increase the temperature of that space thereby increasing the heat load of the air conditioning compressors and the inevitable use of more power to cool the same space. CFLs would be a much better choice in this case.
SIs also produce carbon dioxide (CO2) in quantities which contribute to the depletion of the ozone layer and increase in global warming. Overall CFLs are cost effective, energy efficient and environmentally friendly as compared to incandescent technology.