The fluorescent lamps so common in commercial buildings have not been very popular in homes. In fact, their use has been limited to kitchens, bathrooms and some work Areas. This is unfortunate, because fluorescent lamps last 10-to-20 times longer than incandescents, give off very little heat, and cost less than 1/3 as much to operate.
Today, improvements in fluorescent tube lighting make it nearly indistinguishable from incandescent lights in quality, color, and its ability to create a warm-light atmosphere. Look for lamps with high-color-rendering indexes. They may cost a little more, but produce a warmer, more pleasant light. New electronic ballasts totally eliminate the irritating hum and unpleasant flicker associated with older fluorescents and can reduce energy use by 35%. These newer tube fluorescent lights work well as indirect lighting around a room perimeter or a bathroom mirror. They also fit in most any fixture these days. The new spiral designs will fit in almost any table lamp, recessed, or even decorative fixture.