The question of "Is it better turn them off or let them burn" is often asked. The answer is, "if you are not using them, turn them off." Lights only use electricity when they are on.
Some folks believe that it takes more power to turn a fluorescent lamp on than to leave it on. Modern fluorescent lamps use very little starting energy. Turning them off actually helps them last longer and saves energy.
A fluorescent lamp’s "starting surge" lasts only 1/120 of a second. Turning the lights off for one second saves the energy required to turn them back on.
A standard fluorescent lamp can shine for 34,000 hours if left on 24 hours a day. This equals about 4 years of round-the-clock use. Turning the lamp off for 12 hours a day increases the overall life of the lamp to about 8 years. Turning lights off reduces lamp maintenance cost and reduces electric bills.
For example turning off a one-tube light for half an hour a day can save about $3 in energy over the life of the lamp. The money saved by this is typically more than the price of a new lamp. In short, you should turn off lights in your home, office or workstation when you leave, even if it is for just a few minutes.
Getting in the habit of switching lights off at home and at work will reduce the electric bill.
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