So here we are. Unless you have been living in a very dark cave, you have no doubt heard about CFL’s (or compact fluorescent lights). If you are a little in the dark on this subject, or if your just interested in how the li’l buggers work, I enjoy the above video. Indoor lighting use is highest from 9 AM – 5 PM, despite the fact that light bulbs were invented so we could see in the dark. While natural light is best, CFL’s use 75% less energy and last up to 10 times longer than a regular bulb. So, what is the problem you may ask. Well, I am so glad you asked that question. There has been a lot of ink spilled lately on the fact that CFL’s contain mercury. This is nasty stuff. I would not recommend bathing in it. However, very few people mention how much mercury is actually in a CFL. Please look closely —> . That’s it – about the size of a tip of a pen. This is about 100 times less mercury than in your run-of-the-mill thermometer. It’s also interesting to keep in mind that methylmercury is a byproduct of burning coal. Ergo – the more energy you use, the more coal you burn, the more mercury you release into the atmosphere. Because CFL’s use so much less electricity, the overall mercury released into the environment is less, especially if you properly dispose of your CFL by taking it to a responsible hardware store that would recycle them or to a Hazardous Waste drop-off site. another common complaint is that they take too long to turn on. Personally, I have never noticed this as a problem. However, the most important lights to switch are the ones you leave on for long periods of time. Last but not least, light bulbs are like many products, you get what you pay for. Some CFL’s are very cheap while others are more expensive. Like any purchase, research your purchase to make sure you are getting the best deal.