You can't really tell how much energy is being consumed by flipping a switch to turn on a light bulb. So how do you really know you are using less energy when you swap out a regular, incandescent light bulb for an energy efficient CFL bulb? I'm glad you asked! Last week I had the Human Powered Generator out in the schools so students could try their hand at generating the energy it takes to illuminate both types of light bulbs. The students discovered it was a lot harder and took way more energy to light up a regular bulb compared to the CFL bulb. They worked really hard to get the incandescent bulb going and found it was pretty easy to generate the power needed for the "swirly, twisty" CFL bulb.
|Using a lot of energy to barely illuminate an incandescent lightbulb.|
|Barely using any energy to fully illuminate a CFL bulb.|
|It's hard work to get this bulb going and it hardly lights up!|