If you or a friend are still waffling about CFLs, there's an excellent article over at our new favorite publication, Mother Earth News. Earlier this week, Steph blogged her sense of deja vu upon finding a stash of these magazines from the 1970's.
"Bright Ideas for Home Lighting" clearly explains why it's important to switch to CFLs, tackles the mercury issue head-on, explores LED lighting, and, amidst all this talk of artificial light, reminds us of the benefits of natural lighting.
The article answers a few tough questions, too.
For example: if you're leaving a room for ten minutes, is it better to leave your fluorescent lights on, or to turn them off?
The answer: if your goal is to save money, leave the lights on... provided you'll be back in less than 15 minutes. Every time you turn a fluorescent light on and off, you shorten its life, and fluorescent lights are fairly costly to replace. However, if your goal is to save energy, flip the switch.
When energy gets more expensive, these questions will be more clear cut. If you're ready to make the switch to CFLs, check out our tips before you go shopping.
An aside about LEDs: it seems they need a bit more time to be a practical and affordable source of light. According to this chart, which was published with the article, LEDs use 19% of the energy of a CFL... and produce 14% of the light. However, they do last a lot longer, which brings the overall cost down.
images via Mother Earth News article, as linked above