Lighting up your world!

What kind of energy-saving site would this be if we didn’t mention CFLs? Compact fluorescent bulbs, with their soft-serve swirl, can use as little as a quarter of the energy of standard incandescent bulbs. They’re the unofficial mascot of home energy efficiency for a reason—in addition to saving energy, CFLs can last up to 10 times longer as standard bulbs, helping you save money (and time hauling out the ladder). Energy Star says you could save $30 in energy costs over the life of a CFL bulb by replacing a 100-watt incandescent with a 32-watt CFL.
New CFLs are much cheaper, start more quickly without flickering, and cast warmer, more appealing light than the CFLs of yesteryear. Worried about mercury? “If a CFL breaks,” says Seattle City Light, “your greatest risk is getting cut from glass shards, and not from the very small amount of mercury.” To put it in perspective, old thermometers had 100 times as much mercury as a CFL does, according to the National Institute of Environmental Health Science. (Here’s how to dispose of CFLs properly.)
LED bulbs (light emitting diodes) can save more energy and last even longer than CFLs—plus, they contain no mercury and don’t need time to warm up. LED lights are more expensive than CFLs, but LED technology is improving quickly. No matter what kind of energy efficient lighting you get, turn lights off when you leave a room to save energy.

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