Compact Fluorescent Lamps - CFLs
Energy saving light bulbs are also well known as compact fluorescent lamps or “CFL” for short. There are two groups of energy saving light bulbs. The first are those that you would normally associate with replacement for standard household light bulbs, these have an electronic ballast unit and starter already built into the lamp base and this allows the lamps to create light. The second are those that require to be plugged into a light fitting that contains the ballast unit or starter as the lamp does not contain one on its own.
With utility costs rising and European legislation changing which will outlaw high wattage incandescent light bulbs, low energy light bulbs are becoming more popular than ever. These energy saving light bulbs can match the shapes and sizes of conventional light bulbs and are even possible to buy in dimmable versions. On average low energy light bulbs use 20 percent less energy and last on average up to 15 times longer than conventional lamps.
Low energy light bulbs have been around the industry for around 20 years, and they have changed immensely in this time. 20 Years ago a low energy light bulbs resembled a large milk bottle shaped object that was costly to purchase and they were quite heavy to hold.
Today’s low energy light bulbs are comparable with conventional light bulbs in shape, size light output and out perform their rival in life cycle costs by over 10 times the saving. The market place is filled with low energy replacements light bulbs that can now directly replace, GU10, Spot Lamps, Standard Light Bulbs, Candle Light Bulbs and many more shapes and sizes.
Dimmable Light Bulbs
Dimmable versions are available generally in two types. Firstly what is called a smooth dimming light bulb which can be reduced in output in steps of 1 percent at a time, and a stepped dimming light bulb that can be turned down in large steps up to 20 percent at a time. These dimmable low energy lamps are available in most shapes and sizes to suit any requirement. Apart from domestic replacement low energy light bulbs, there is also another type of low energy lamp which is generally associated with the commercial lighting market. These light bulbs are called compact fluorescent light bulbs or CFL for short. It is easier to think of these as fluorescent tubes that are shaped and twisted to fit different light fittings. A CFL light bulb unlike a domestic low energy light bulb requires the aid of a ballast unit and starter that is external from the lamp and is housed in the fitting into which the lamp is fitted. Domestic replacement low energy light bulbs have a compact electronic ballast and starter contained within the lamps body itself and there for can be plugged directly in to a lamp holder and turned on.
Coloured Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs
Just like a fluorescent tube both energy saving light bulbs and compact fluorescent lamps are available in various colour renderings from standard White finish through the colour spectrum to Daylight finish. Therefore both energy saving and compact fluorescent light bulbs can be used for variety of applications including but not restricted to conditions such as Seasonal Affective Disorder and Bad Building Syndrome. And just light fluorescent tubes both compact fluorescent and low energy light bulbs are available in a variety of primary colours such Reds, Greens and Blues, which can be used for decorative use or entertainment uses.
Advantages of Compact Fluorescent Lamps - CFL
Commercially however both Compact fluorescent and Energy saving Light Bulbs save up to 80 percent of the energy consumption but also reduce the costs of maintenance in commercial properties as the light bulbs last up to 15 times longer whilst reproducing accurately, colour rendering, light output whilst being flicker free unlike the original low energy light bulbs made some 20 years ago.