Does Turning Fluorescent Lights Off Use More Energy Than Leaving Them On?

So you bought a compact fluorescent lightbulb in a bid to be green. Such bulbs are vastly more energy-efficient than traditional incandescents and screw into standard sockets. Should you treat them like their older cousins?

After all, four- and eight-foot- (1.2- and 2.4-meter-) long tubular bulbs common in more institutional settings are sometimes left on permanently, perhaps due to their slow, flickering start-ups. The thinking is that the boost of energy such bulbs require to power up means that it might be best to keep them on when leaving a room, rather than subjecting them to the stress of a restart on your return.

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