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People often think that they should leave fluorescent lights on and that switching them on and off wastes electricity. This was only true for very old fluorescent lights with old magnetic ballasts. Even with these older lights, it makes sense to switch them off if you do not plan turn then back on for 30 minutes or longer.
With newer fluorescent lights, you can switch them on and off just like regular incandescent bulbs without driving up your electric bills. These lights and compact fluorescents use efficient electronic ballasts. Even though it does not use more electricity, switching them on and off does wear out the ballast faster. If you know you will turn the fluorescent light on again within five minute, just leave it on.
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