Energy saving bulbs have been around for a couple of years. But they only got popular in 2007 after the Australian government decided to ban standard bulbs and replace them with energy saving bulbs. This reduces carbon dioxide emissions, which is enviromentally friendly. US and European governments liked this idea. Energy saving bulbs are said to be 5 times more efficient than standard bulbs. I find this to be exaggerated. When I compare a 12 Watt energy saving bulb with a 60 Watt standard bulb, I find that the latter is brighter. So, even if the energy saving bulbs are not really 5 times more efficient, as claimed by the industry, you still save a lot of energy compared to standard bulbs.