Let There Be Light

Most of us are still using much the same style bulb Edison invented. But energy-efficient fluorescents are getting better--and taking over

Once derided for their harsh glow and odd shape, CFLS now come in a range of designs and lighting styles.

[This article contains a table. Please see hardcopy of magazine.]

INCANDESCENT BULB VS. COMPACT FLUORESCENT LIGHTBULBS (CFL)

Power use

INCANDESCENT BULB

60 watts

Amount of electricity used to light a common incandescent bulb

COMPACT FLUORESCENT LIGHTBULBS (CFL)

15 watts

Amount of power needed to light a CFL of equal brightness

Average price

25¢-$1

INCANDESCENT BULB

per 60-watt bulb

COMPACT FLUORESCENT LIGHTBULBS (CFL)

$2

per equivalent 15-watt bulb

Life span

INCANDESCENT BULB

1,000

hours, approximately

COMPACT FLUORESCENT LIGHTBULBS (CFL)

10,000

hours, approximately

Cost for five years of light (at 10¢ per kW)

INCANDESCENT BULB

$262.80

COMPACT FLUORESCENT LIGHTBULBS (CFL)

$65.70

CFLs were...

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