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CFL Light Bulbs

An ENERGY STAR qualified compact fluorescent light bulb (CFL) is a great alternative to an incandescent bulb.  By making the switch to CFL bulbs you will save approximately $30 over its lifetime and pay for itself in a matter of months. A CFL light bulb will use between 50% - 75% less energy then a traditional incandescent bulb and will last approximately 10X longer.  Even replacing just one light bulb in your house will be doing the earth a big favor. 
CFL light bulbs can be purchased at any home improvement store at a reasonable price.  They are still more expensive then an incandescent bulb but well worth it.  Keep in mind that if your light works on a dimmer or three-way switch you will need a special dimmable CFL or three-way CFL.  CFLs are available in a variety of styles and shapes. Some have two, four, or six tubes.  There are even decorative bulbs that can be used in light sockets such as ceiling fans.  Most CFL bulbs can be used both indoors and outdoors.  when using outdoors the CFL shoud be covered to avoid the elements.  Sometimes a CFLs light output can be degraded when used outdoors.  Always refer to the manufacturers packaging to ensure the CFL being purchased will fit your needs.
Disposal: CFL Light Bulbs do need some special handling when they have outlived their usefullness.  These bulbs should not be thrown directly in the trash.  They contain a small amount of Mercury so they will need to be recyclyed.  The Home depot has taken a very responsible stance and started CFL light bulb recycling programs.  Visit their stores and look for the bright orange disposal unit.  A link to the ECO section of their website has been placed in the relavent sites section below.
Note: LED's (Light Emitting Diodes) are becoming more and more realistic as time passes.  Right now LED's are very expensive but the life of the bulb is infinitely greater then that of incandescent and CFL bulbs.  Currently LEDs are commonly seen in christmas lights, electronic devices and brake lights for cars.   As technology develops LED lights should emerge as pratical green lighting options.  I would even be tempted to say that before long LED's will be the leader in green lighting.
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