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Pin-base vs. screw-base or whatever?

Discussion in 'Lighting' started by Victor Roberts, Apr 14, 2007.

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  1. I've been working on a project for the past week or so and
    have not have time until today to get back to
    www.cflfacts.com, but a recent discussion here has made me
    rethink one of the answers on the site.

    The issue is, what is the best way to distinguish between
    CFLs that use external ballasts and CFLs with integral
    ballasts?

    Unfortunately, the basic term "CFL lamp" is used for both.
    (Putting aside for the moment the fact that people outside
    the lamp industry would refer to each as a "CFL bulb." )

    When I was at GE we used the term "CFL" to refer to the
    version without a ballast and "integral CFL" to refer to the
    one with. I don't think I ever used the terms "screw-base"
    and "pin-base" to distinguish between the two types until I
    started working at the LRC.

    However, as our European friends have pointed out,
    integral CFLs used outside the US can have a non-screw base
    so the use of "pin-base" and "screw-base" to distinguish the
    two types is not sufficient. The naming issue has also
    become complicated even inside the US since the GU24 base
    used on integral CFLs uses pins, though large pins. Also,
    as I say on the site, Energy Star even refers to these lamps
    as "self-ballasts pin base lamps."

    I can use "self-ballasted" or "integral" or
    "integrally-ballasted" to refer to those with a built-in
    ballast, but what name can I then use for those without a
    ballast other than "non-ballasted CFL? This will certainly
    not go over with consumers.


    --
    Vic Roberts
    http://www.RobertsResearchInc.com
    To reply via e-mail:
    replace xxx with vdr in the Reply to: address
    or use e-mail address listed at the Web site.

    This information is provided for educational purposes only.
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    site without written permission.
     
  2. Guest

    Maybe looking at it from the other end would help - what happens when
    the lamp burns out?

    (Note: free interchanging of the common and technical meanings of
    lamp, tube, etc follows)

    With your garden variety "3/$8 at Wal-Mart" CFL, you unscrew the whole
    thing and toss it. With a fluorescent fixture whose tube is bent into
    a funny shape instead of being linear or circular, you take out the old
    tube, toss it, and put in a new one. The ballast (inside the fixture)
    stays put.

    If you don't like the 3/$8 kind, that would make them a "disposable
    ballast CFL" and the other kind a "retained ballast CFL" or "fixed
    ballast CFL" or something like that. (The idea being that the word
    "disposable" is bad; it might imply that you're throwing away something
    that you might be able to use further.)

    Maybe a more neutral way to say it would be something like
    "ballast-in-lamp CFL" vs "ballast-in-fixture CFL", or "base-ballast CFL"
    vs "fixture-ballast CFL". The idea is that there has to be a ballast
    somewhere, so the term should specify where it is.

    Matt Roberds
     
  3. Well, Energy Star uses "self-ballasted" so that might be the
    way to go, at least for that variety.
    Here is the serious problem. The new GU24 base, used on
    self-ballasted CFLs, is a pin-base, though the pins are
    much larger than those used in "normal" pin-base CFLs, /and/
    Energy Star has started to call these lamps "self-ballasted
    pin base lamps."
    I can deal with the B22 bayonet base more easily than the
    GU24 "pin base."

    --
    Vic Roberts
    http://www.RobertsResearchInc.com
    To reply via e-mail:
    replace xxx with vdr in the Reply to: address
    or use e-mail address listed at the Web site.

    This information is provided for educational purposes only.
    It may not be used in any publication or posted on any Web
    site without written permission.
     
  4. Good thoughts, but I would like to avoid creating more
    confusion by making up a whole new set of names.

    I plan to use either "self-ballasted," "integral" or
    "screw-base" for those with a ballast. I'm really stuck
    on a name other than pin-base, for those without.

    --
    Vic Roberts
    http://www.RobertsResearchInc.com
    To reply via e-mail:
    replace xxx with vdr in the Reply to: address
    or use e-mail address listed at the Web site.

    This information is provided for educational purposes only.
    It may not be used in any publication or posted on any Web
    site without written permission.
     
  5. To throw in another one, remote-ballasted, as in remote
    from the lamp? Externally-ballasted might be another.
     
  6. James Hooker

    James Hooker Guest

    Within Sylvania we just have two very simple terms:
    CFL-NI Non-Integrated
    CFL-I Integrated

    We used to have the same problem, referring to them as Pin-Ended or Retrofit
    lamps. But this term also became confusing when we introduced the GX53 and
    GU10 bases for CFLs with integrated ballast.

    The CFL-I and CFL-NI terminology makes things a lot clearer now. Philips
    and GE use the same classification in their new catalogues, but still write
    it the long way without abbreviation.

    James.
     
  7. Both Energy Star and the State of California require that
    fixtures designed for self-ballasted CFLs and that are to be
    certified as "energy efficient" NOT use the normal Edison
    (screw) socket. They do not want these fixtures certified
    with a self-ballasted CFL and the used with incandescent
    lamps.

    The GU24 base is allowed, and even recommended, for these
    fixtures, and is currently the most popular. However, note
    that there is no law that prohibits anyone from making
    incandescent lamps with a GU24 base, or even a GU24 to
    Edison base adapter.


    --
    Vic Roberts
    http://www.RobertsResearchInc.com
    To reply via e-mail:
    replace xxx with vdr in the Reply to: address
    or use e-mail address listed at the Web site.

    This information is provided for educational purposes only.
    It may not be used in any publication or posted on any Web
    site without written permission.
     

  8. Thanks.

    --
    Vic Roberts
    http://www.RobertsResearchInc.com
    To reply via e-mail:
    replace xxx with vdr in the Reply to: address
    or use e-mail address listed at the Web site.

    This information is provided for educational purposes only.
    It may not be used in any publication or posted on any Web
    site without written permission.
     
  9. The GE Lighting web site uses "self-ballasted" and "plug-in"
    though these are not orthogonal. I now think we used these
    same set of terms while I was at GE, though I had said
    earlier that I thought we just used "CFL" for the
    non-ballasted types. GE also uses "bulbs" as in "CFLs are
    compact fluorescent bulbs." ugh!

    The Sylvania web site list only plug-in types under
    fluorescent. The self-ballasted CFLs are listed under
    "general purpose" lamps along with the incandescent lamps.

    I haven't quite figured out Philips yet :) In one place
    they refer to self-ballasted CFLs as CFLi's, in other places
    as "table lamps."

    So - I'm most definitely going to switch from screw-base to
    self-ballasted for that type, and perhaps use both "plug-in"
    and "pin-base" to describe the non-ballasted type, using
    lots of pictures to describe the difference. (I think the
    normal user will be too confused by "non-ballasted" or
    "non-integrated."

    --
    Vic Roberts
    http://www.RobertsResearchInc.com
    To reply via e-mail:
    replace xxx with vdr in the Reply to: address
    or use e-mail address listed at the Web site.

    This information is provided for educational purposes only.
    It may not be used in any publication or posted on any Web
    site without written permission.
     
  10. TKM

    TKM Guest

    Correct. There is no law preventing a GU24-to-screw-base adapter (some
    samples have, in fact, been made); but UL has said that they will not list
    such an adapter due to potential overheating and fire safety issues.
    Also, the GU24 itself is (or will be) wattage limited. There seems to be
    enough industry momentum to limit the GU24 to "high efficiency" products for
    the moment; but the industry will have to continue to self-police the issue.
    There was talk of using the GU24 for LED lighting products too, but I
    haven't seen any products yet.

    I wish we could have kept the "CFL" term for non-ballasted lamps and then
    added "self-ballasted" or "integrally-ballasted" for the combination
    products; but it's probably too late for that.

    Terry McGowan
     
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