You may be used to your standard watt light bulb.
But nowadays it seems that fluorescent lightings are really gaining popularity.
Unfortunately, over the years fluorescent lightings have carried the negative stigma that they provide flickering, sickly, green-tinted, institutional-like, headache-inducing, noisy light.
But, those lights that used to be favored only for lighting the garage are making their way into other rooms.
Today, the way of fluorescent lighting has changed.
It is not only one of the most efficient options offered, giving the longest-lasting bulb, but it also comes in a variety of colors, types, and sizes.
And, best of all, thanks to the new electronic ballasts, they are very quiet.
But you may wonder what exactly makes a fluorescent light a fluorescent light.
Fluorescent lightings are phosphor-coated, glass tubes that are filled with an inert gas and also a small amount of mercury.
Since different brands also can have different mixes of the gases that are inside, fluorescents produce a wide assortment of color light that can easily match the warm glow often given off by incandescent.
In order to operate correctly, all fluorescent lightings need a controlling ballast.
The ballast alters the electric current that flows through the fluorescent tube, activating the gas that is inside, causing it to glow.
Newly developed electronic ballasts have the ability to eliminate the once annoying flicker and buzz that was so commonly associated with old magnetic ballasts, which were also quite a bit heavier and less efficient.
Now there are even more impressive improvements to the design of fluorescent lightings.
In order to create the same amount of light that is created by an incandescent bulb, a fluorescent tube uses only ¼ to 1/3 of the energy.
In addition, fluorescent lights last 10 to 15 times longer, about 10,000 hours or even more.
When these new designs were introduced in the early 1980s, they definitely revolutionized lighting.
Compact fluorescents, a variation on the fluorescent tube, works the same way.
The only difference is the tube has been made smaller and is folded over in a way that it makes them fit into spaces that are designed for incandescent bulbs, with even a screw base that fits a normal light bulb socket.
In addition, they operate on a quarter of the energy that is used by incandescent, also lasting ten times longer.
Since fluorescent lightings last so much longer and use less energy, they can really help you to reduce your monthly energy bill.
By replacing just 25 percent of your highly-used lights with fluorescents, you can cut your energy bill nearly in half.
There are also environmental benefits of fluorescent lights, too.
A single, 20-watt compact fluorescent lamp that is used in place of a 75-watt incandescent will save you about 550 kilowatt-hours over its lifetime.
So, if your electricity is produced in a coal-fired plant, much like many areas are, that savings represents nearly 500 pounds of coal that doesnt have to be burned.
That means that 1,300 pound of carbon dioxide and 20 pounds of sulfur dioxide will not be emitted into the atmosphere.