Seniors, do you use energy saving light bulbs and, if so, do you turn them on and off?

just as you would have done with the older type or do you follow the advice often given and leave them on? We are told that the most electricity is used in switching them on and that it's wasteful to turn them off and on again later.

Maybe I'm a bit slow on this one but, surely, leaving a light on for long periods cannot be cost effective. If it uses one fifth the electricity of the older bulb equivalent but we leave it on for 5 (or more) times as long, where is the saving in energy?

If I'm missing something would someone please explain it to me.


So far, so good. We all seem of the opinion that it's O.K. to turn them on and off as needed. However, I disagree about the full kettle. It is certainly quicker to bring to the boil water which is already warm BUT that's not the point You have already paid once to bring it to boiling point, allowed it to cool somewhat and then pay AGAIN to bring it back to boiling. It is far cheaper to just put in the kettle the number of cups/mugs of water required and make the drinks. The kettle should then be empty ready for the next round.

Also you have to wait longer before being able to make the first drinks because you have to wait for the full kettle to boil rather than waiting for one or two cupfuls to boil.

15 Answers

  • Judee
    Lv 5
    7 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    The comment from Alfonso that we should turn off if not returning within 5 minutes makes far more sense that being told that it is cheaper leaving on than turning off (which I have also been told). It is nonsense. It cannot possibly take several hours worth of power to power up the bulb when we flick a switch. It is certainly the case that it takes a few minutes for the newer bulbs to glow brightly whereas the old ones come on at their maximum brightness immediately.

    I cannot read under one of the energy saver bulbs, even when it's been on for some time. I have re-replaced mine with a 100w oldie and it is lovely to read under that. I shall continue to do that until it is no longer possible to buy the older type bulbs. I have a few dozen stashed away and, when those are gone, I just hope that someone, somewhere has invented something far better than the present energy saver ones.

  • Anonymous
    7 years ago

    I simply treat the low energy bulbs in the way I did with

    the old type. Turn them on and off as required. I have

    used them for about 9 years now and never heard that

    they should be left on. In fact the initial bulbs came as

    a 'freebie' from the utility company EON with instructions

    for use, no mention being made as to leaving them on.

    My only gripe is that it can take a while before they reach

    full brightness. I turn on my outer porch light so that I can

    put rubbish in my wheelie bin, and find that I have usually

    completed the task before the bulb has achieved full

    brightness, so I now use a flashlight.

    The plus side of low energy bulbs is that they last a long


    As for the kettle I always have it about a third full.

  • RB
    Lv 7
    7 years ago


    The CFL bulbs suffer from repeated turning on and off for short periods of time and burn out more quickly. LED bulbs don't seem to have this problem. Older fluorescent (tube lamps) did suffer turning and off with shorter life, but I was just reading that this didn't make up for the wasted electricity.

    So turn them off when you will be away from them for say 15 minutes.

  • 7 years ago

    I haven't given up on the old bulbs (in fact they're still making them here) especially because they keep a car's motor warm in winter and ready to start up, and having the bulb on in the bedroom during the night in the winter keeps the room warm. On the other hand when it gets too warm I just don't use light bulbs at all and in fact let the sunlight in. I think we're spraying aluminum into the atmosphere already to keep humans cool since the sun is too hot for us so letting the sunlight into the room is my best bet.

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  • 7 years ago

    Yes have started using the new globes right from the start but I have noticed that as the years go by the quality of the globes isnt what it used to be so if they keep busting all the time Im going back to the cheapies.

    I live in Australia, where we pay very high electricity bills - I cant afford to use them let alone leave them on.

  • Anonymous
    7 years ago

    Hi, i am 60 that old enough.

    I use energy saving bulbs, and yes i turn them on and off.

    But i don't use the small halogen bulbs they really burn power.

    And i fill the kettle up when i want a brew.

    I don't get that heating up cold water every time is better than heating up warm water.

    It must be cheaper to heat up warm than cold tap water.

    And i heat the whole flat not just 1 room,========= sorry i am rambling,

  • 7 years ago

    Yes, we use mostly the new CFLs, though my wife prefers the light from the old incandescents, so we still have them in a few places, and have a supply of them squirreled away. It does not use more energy to turn them on & off; we do so for all our bulbs.

    We don't use LEDs, and I don't know if they use the most energy going on & off - could be, just don't know.

    For any type bulb, turning them on & off does reduce their life span, but leaving them on for long periods does so as well.

  • Anonymous
    7 years ago

    I am afraid that I don't follow the rules but chances are I leave them on anyway. It is so dark in the winter months at this latitude it seems like artificial light is the only thing that keeps one sane. We have left the Christmas tree up just to brighten up the dreary winter months. My husband suggested inventing a "seasonal tree" where you leave the tree up and just change the decorations depending on the season...haha, guess that it wouldn't work with a real tree though. Thanks to the respondent who mentioned the five minute rule as I wasn't aware of that.

  • 7 years ago

    The cost of turning on and off a fluorescent bulb is minimal, but it does shorten the life span of the bulb. And that is minimal also. So the recommended thing to do is...........If you're leaving the room for more than 5 minutes, turn it off.

    Source(s): Scientific American - magazine.
  • Anonymous
    7 years ago

    When you figure in the cost of the ES globes over what a regular globe costs you discover there it no savings. A regular 75 watt light globe only costs 1.2 cents per hour to run. The energy savings globes are a world class scam.

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