Should I Turn Off Fluorescent Lighting When Leaving A Room?

There are some misconceptions about fluorescent lighting that keep too many people from turning off lights and saving energy. One misconception is that it takes more energy to turn on a fluorescent light than it takes to keep it on.

In reality, when you turn on a fluorescent lamp there is a very brief increase in current as the ballast charges the cathodes and causes the lamp to start. This jump in current can be many times greater than the normal operating current of the lamp. However, the high current draw normally lasts no longer than 1/10th of a second, and draws the equivalent current of about 5 seconds of normal operation. Thus, turning on a fluorescent lamp has an insignificant effect on your energy bill. Even so, you should use lights only when needed to keep energy usage and costs to a minimum.