More people today are enjoying the energy-saving benefits of compact fluorescent lamps than ever before. Because compact fluorescent lamps lower energy costs and reduce pollution, multiple countries and groups promote them around the world. Publicity campaigns have promoted public awareness as well, and in some areas, the use of compact fluorescent lamps has been subsidized by utility companies or government agencies. Some countries have even considered enacting legislation that would require energy-saving lamps to be used, eliminating the use of traditional incandescent bulbs entirely.
In the U.S., compact fluorescent lamps have an “Energy Star” label to let customers know that the lamps have met requirements for starting time, life expectancy and performance. This label is meant to alleviate customer concerns that compact fluorescent lamps do not start up quickly or that they hum and flicker. Overall, however, it is hard to determine how effective all of these programs have been in directly increasing the popularity of compact fluorescent lamps.
Compact fluorescent lamps have numerous advantages, and chief among them is their longevity. The lifespan of a compact fluorescent lamp can be up to fifteen times that of an incandescent bulb. Thus, measured in usage hours, if an incandescent lamp burns out after 1,000 hours, its compact fluorescent alternative will last for 15,000 hours.
In addition to its lifespan, the energy efficiency of a compact fluorescent lamp is remarkable. On average, compact fluorescent bulbs use three to four times less power than comparable incandescent bulbs. Worldwide energy usage is measured in terawatt hours, with a terawatt being equal to one trillion watts, or 1012 watts, and it is estimated that if all forms of inefficient lighting in the world were replaced with compact fluorescent lighting, 409 terawatt hours could be saved each year.
Whether it is due to incentive programs or because consumers have realized the advantages of compact fluorescent lamps, their popularity is on the rise. Countless homes and businesses are switching to compact fluorescent lamps for their lighting needs, and in the process, they are saving money and becoming more energy-efficient.