Fluorescent light bulbs are 4 to 6 times more energy efficient than standard light bulbs. This is due to the fact that with standard bulbs, most of the energy is used to heat the filament. Fluorescent light bulbs use a combination of gas and mercury to create light, which requires far less electricity.
Studies indicate that if every household in the United States were to replace just one standard bulb with a fluorescent bulb, greenhouse emissions from power plants would reduce dramatically. The monetary savings are also obvious: fluorescent bulbs can outlast a standard light bulb by up to 10 times longer.