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Energy saving globes

Discussion in 'Hobby Electronics' started by Minty, Feb 7, 2004.

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  1. Minty

    Minty Guest

    I've been using energy saving globes mainly in the hallways where I switch
    them on in the evening and turn them off several hours later. I leave one
    switched on overnight above the stairway. They last a few years as claimed.

    I've just replaced a normal bathroom globe with an energy saving globe and I
    wonder whether the more frequent on-off use in there would shorten its life.
  2. amstereo

    amstereo Guest

    i've decked the whole house out with CF's and I notice the one in the toilet
    seems to suffer the worst. its only the baby 8watt job, i use it in there
    cause of the fade up on turn on, very usefull when you go in there after
    waking up, it doesn't stun the eyes like a normal light, and also gives
    adiquate light.

    I find the best thing for them, is to rotate the hevily used one with other
    ones that are less used (used = turn on then turn off)

    I perfer them for one other reason, and thats heat. this house during summer
    is a bastered with heat caused by lighting. having the CF's installed reduce
    this alot. there is only 2 permanent light fitings that don't have a CF, My
    room - case i have a hpm touch dimmer, andthe carport (which i can't reach).

    I also found that, ising the big 19 watt units out side, light the yard up
    enough to see around it very well. Daylight white in the kitchen gives the
    effect of a normal fluro
  3. Bob M

    Bob M Guest

    Hi there

    I have replaced all the lights in my house with CFs. After
    experimenting with a few different types, I discovered a few
    interesting things that helped me decide which units to use and which
    to avoid.

    There seem to be 2 general types, those with magnetic series ballasts
    and traditional starters (they go blink blink when they start) and
    those with electronic ballasts (usually instant start).

    The magnetic ballast units, generally costing the least amount,
    usually do not have replaceable lamps, thus when the end of the bulb's
    life is reached, the entire unit is discarded. These lamps also
    exhibit the symptom that when they start, they are dim and require
    some time to reach operating temperature (i.e low on resistance) and
    thus maximum brightness. They may take several seconds to initially
    light, the time getting longer and longer near the end of its life.

    Of the electronic units, I found several different units each with
    several features. They all have instant start (something I like).
    Other things:

    1) Some have replaceable lamps while others do not. The more expensive
    units have replaceable lamps.

    2) Lamp colour- cool white to daylight, i.e. yellowish to bluish)

    3) Lamp efficiency (lumens output for a given power consumption)

    4) Some are dimmable with regular dimmers while others are not
    dimmable at all- they will suffer permanent damage and so will the
    dimmer. The lamp by my bed is a circular tri-light with 3 levels low,
    medium and high.

    5) Many different shapes and sizes- everything from linear to circular
    to compact.

    6) Power factors approaching unity. This is a more recent issue.

    Additionally, one neat feature is that the better ones have a highly
    regulated power supply that maintains a constant power output
    regardless of the physical temperature of the bulb, i.e. instant full
    brightness when initially turned on, without ever overdriving the

    Most of the lights I am currently using have the regulated power
    supplies with replaceable lamps- i.e. the more expensive ones. As far
    as noticing whether life expectancy is diminished due to frequent
    turning on and off, I haven't really noticed any trends. I suspect the
    regulated power supply can compensate for changes in the bulb as it

    My house has been equipped with these lamps for more than 10 years
    now. My first "investments" were units that were made in California by
    a company called Lights of America ( Since
    then, I have found locally available "equivalents".

    Hope this is of some help to you.

    Cheers from Canada!

    Bob Morgoch
  4. Minty

    Minty Guest

    Thanks amstereo and Bob for your very helpful replies.

    The ones I have are the magnetic series ballast type, taking a minute or two
    to fully brighten up. I don't know if there're any electronic ballast type
    available here in Australia. They would be useful in frequent on-off area
    like the bathroom.

    I remember earlier Philips CF lights produced huge electrical noise causing
    bad A.M. radio reception. Thankfully, the cheapest CF lights in the market
    these days produce no detectable noise.
  5. Gnuthad

    Gnuthad Guest

    I've used a number of brands of CF globes around my house for the past 3
    years, ranging in power draw from 9W right up to 48W and usually the cheaper
    brands (sub $8 a globe). I've noticed little difference between brands and
    wattages and even between switching patterns when referring to life of the
    globes and I generally get at least a couple of years out of each globe.

    The only real difference I have noticed between the globes is the fact that
    some of the cheaper brands tend to heat up a lot more than some of the more
    expensive brands, Philips for instance. I can say that my power usage has
    dropped a reasonable amount for my lighting based purely on the act that I've
    gone from using over 1000W in lighting to around 180W, albeit not all at once.

    I have had a number of friends ask me why I'm using CF globes rather than the
    "better" downlights and I find it amazing that some people can be so ignorant
    of the sheer waste of energy that is required just to decently light a large
    room such as a loungeroom using downlights. My loungeroom has 2 fixtures of
    42W each (3x11W + 1x9W) and the room is nicely bright, certainly bright enough
    to read easily even if you're sitting near a corner. To get the same effect
    using downlights I would be looking at close on 300W in globes, another 10W or
    so wasted in transformers and then the light wouldn't be as diffuse as with my
    current arrangemrent.

    I will never go back to using filament globes unless I really have to use
    them, the benefits of CF globes just outweigh the slightly cheaper costs of
    normal globes too much.

  6. In theory, yes, and that is what some makers claim. In practice, it
    ranges from no difference to a substantial difference. Simply try it
    and see.
    Heat seems to be a killer though. I had one in a very tightly enclosed
    light shade which got pretty hot, and it blew 2-3 times a year at
    least. After a while I started putting a little sticker with the date
    inside to track it. All of my other ones of the same type/brand last
    for many years under similar on/off conditions.
    I also have CFs in the bathroom and other places which have many
    on/off cylces per day and they last for years too, I haven't really
    noticed a difference with varying on/off cycles.

    Dave :)
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