U.S. Department of Energy - Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
Roofus' Solar and Efficient Home
Lights use a lot of energy. You can save energy in your house by turning off the lights when you leave a room. Your parents can also save energy by buying energy-saving light bulbs. I use these light bulbs to save energy in my solar house!
Most people have incandescent (IN-CAN-DE-SENT) light bulbs in their house. If you look closely at these light bulbs when they are turned off, you can sometimes see a little coil of wire inside (if the light bulb is white or colored on the outside, the wire is hard to see). When the light is turned on, the wire gets very hot and glows brightly. The whole light bulb gets very hot, because it uses a lot of energy. Don't touch these light bulbs when they are on!
These compact fluorescent bulbs save energy and last for a long time.
The newer energy-saving light bulbs are called compact fluorescents (FLOR-ES-SENTS). These light bulbs work by making a gas inside them glow. Because they don't use a glowing hot wire, they are cooler when they are turned on. They get warm, but they don't get hot. So they use less energy to make the same amount of light as an incandescent light bulb.
Your parents might think compact fluorescents cost too much, but compact fluorescents last a lot longer than incandescent light bulbs. Your parents would have to buy 13 incandescent light bulbs in the time it takes for one compact fluorescent to burn out. And because the compact fluorescents use less energy, they save money on your parents' electric bill. So your parents will spend a lot less money if they buy compact fluorescents!