Why Are Fluorescent Lights More Efficient?

Compact fluorescent light bulbs last longer and function more efficiently than traditional incandescent lighting.

Why Are Fluorescent Lights More Efficient?
www.morguefile.com/Alvimann
Overview
Compact fluorescent light bulbs, also known as CFLs, are becoming increasingly popular as the cost of energy goes up and the environmental impacts of energy consumption come to light. Indeed, these bulbs outshine their incandescent predecessors, demonstrating an efficiency that is four to six times higher.
Two-Step Design
Fluorescent bulbs use argon tubes that produce ultraviolet light that, in turn, activates a phosphorous coating on the inside of the tube that creates visible light. Incandescent bulbs, on the other hand, use energy straight from the power line to heat a filament and produce visible light.
Wasted Ultraviolet
When heated, incandescent bulbs produce not only visible light but also a good deal of ultraviolet light. Therefore, while all of the light made by a fluorescent bulb is put to use, much energy is lost through the wasted ultraviolet light of the incandescent bulb.
More Light for the Buck
Consequently, although fluorescent bulbs need more energy to get going, once started, they use 75 percent less energy than incandescent bulbs. This means that a fluorescent bulb will pay for itself in 6 months and save around $30 in energy costs over its lifetime.
Longer Life
The fact that fluorescent light bulbs also last 10 times longer than incandescent ones adds to their amazing efficiency. Buying a fluorescent bulb not only saves on energy bills, it saves the cost of buying 10 incandescent bulbs.
Keep Them Going
You can ensure the efficiency of fluorescent bulbs by leaving them on for at least 15 minutes at a time, protecting outdoor bulbs, keeping indoor bulbs open, and making sure that three-way outlets and dimmer outlets have the proper bulbs.
Resources
reference
Detailed Explanation of Fluorescent Bulbs
resource
Energy Star Program