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Do compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs) use less energy than incandescent bulbs when the energy required to make the bulbs is also considered? Follow

Yes. CFLs use substantially less energy (and cause fewer emissions of greenhouse gases) than an equivalent incandescent even when the energy necessary to manufacture the bulbs is considered. This is for several reasons: (1) a CFL uses substantially less energy when it is on than an incandescent bulb does, 75% less, (2) one CFL will last up to ten times longer than an incandescent, so an appropriate comparison includes 8 or more incandescents for every CFL, and (3) manufacturers tell us it takes much less energy to manufacture a CFL than the energy it will use over its lifetime. ENERGY STAR recognizes CFLs based on the energy used while the bulb is on, helping consumers choose the bulb with lowest overall energy use and green house gas emissions.

More on ENERGY STAR qualified CFLs.

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