Energy saving lights Watch
Does it waste more energy turning it on and off than turning it off?
I'm not completely certain what you are asking. However, as far as I know the current drawn by a lighttube (most energy-saving bulbs are just curled up light tubes ) is only moderately affected by its temperature. Thus it consumes a small initial spark of energy when you turn it on, then it consumes more or less the same amount of energy as you leave it on ( I think ). Thus the amount of energy it consumes is just proportional to the time you leave it on ( if you ignore the initial spark ).
So thus the 'small spark of energy' is a lot of electricity being used to ionize the entire content of the tube. In fact every fluorescent tube must have a large capacitor attached to them to start them, as they charge up the cap then ionize the gas with the energy. As to how much energy is used in this process I do not have the foggiest.