I can still remember in the mid-nineties, when we Overunity Generator Guide were one of the first US distributors to start introducing and promoting CFLs (Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs). The public at large were unaware of the fluorescent technology being modified to present smaller, more versatile bulb. We spent most of our time educating the public on how this type of light bulb could save them on energy costs (CFLs use only 25% of the energy consumption that regular incandescent bulbs use) as well as time being consumed in replacement costs for their older, less-efficient incandescent style bulbs. The response was quite phenomenal, even considering the bulky appearance and somewhat escalated prices that were the norm back then. Homes and businesses were able to take control of their lighting scenario and save money while improving the environment. The initial triple-tube style was soon replaced with the twist style of compact fluorescent that we have all become accustomed to. Since then, nearly every lighting manufacturer has dug in deep and provided solid varieties of these CFLs, from floods, globes, bullets to bug lights, circlines and even decorative style applications.
It is hard to find any household NOT using these bulbs. Quality, significant price reduction and variety has created a great atmosphere for these bulbs. As a company, we have sold countless millions of these bulbs over the past 10 years. However, CFLs are more bulky due to requiring a ballast. They also contain very small amounts of mercury. These small elements keep the CFLs from completely dominating the future of the market.
These are some of the reasons why LED (Light Emitting Diode) bulbs are now starting to hit the market hard. LEDs are completely safe, primarily electrical, and they use only about 10% of the energy that incandescents typically use. The energy savings are amazing, and these LEDs last an incredibly long time -- even 5-10 times longer than CFLs! The biggest drawback currently is that they are incredibly expensive. They are still a new technology, and the price point hasn't exactly come down yet.