What are the advantages and disadvantages of energy saving lamps compared to traditional incandescent lamps?
It is impossible to imagine our life without artificial lighting. The constructions of apartments, houses, premises and office buildings assume the presence of artificial lighting. For life and work, people simply need lighting with lamps.
By tradition, we use ordinary incandescent bulbs to illuminate our apartments. Depending on the needs of the necessary lighting, we use different powers of these lamps – 40 W, 60 W, 100 W.
But from the school physics course it is known that the efficiency in traditional incandescent bulbs is very small, and at best reaches 50%. From which it follows that from the electricity consumed by incandescent lamps, for which we paid, only half went to the actual lighting of an apartment or room. The second half of the electricity consumed was spent on heating this incandescent light bulb.
Technological progress does not stand still, and modern inventors could not tolerate such waste of traditional incandescent lamps. The old incandescent lamp was replaced by a new lamp – a complex fluorescent lamp (KHL) or an energy-saving lamp.
What is the fundamental difference between an energy-saving lamp and an incandescent lamp?
Many are familiar with the device of an incandescent lamp. Under the action of an electric current, the tungsten filament in the light bulb is heated to a bright glow. But not everyone knows how an energy-saving lamp works.
Energy saving lamps consist of a bulb filled with pores of mercury and argon, and a ballast (starter). A special substance called a phosphor is applied to the inner surface of the flask. A phosphor is a substance that, when exposed to ultraviolet radiation, begins to emit visible light. When we turn on an energy-saving light bulb, under the influence of electromagnetic radiation, the pores of mercury contained in the lamp begin to create ultraviolet radiation, and ultraviolet radiation, in turn, passing through the phosphor deposited on the surface of the lamp, is converted into visible light.
The phosphor can have different shades, and as a result, it can create different colors of the luminous flux. The designs of existing energy saving lamps are made to fit the existing standard sizes of traditional incandescent lamps. The base diameter of such lamps is 14 or 27 mm. Thanks to this, you can use energy-saving lamps in any lamp, sconce or chandelier for which you used an incandescent lamp before.
Benefits of energy saving lamps
Energy saving. The efficiency of an energy-saving lamp is very high and the luminous efficiency is about 5 times that of a traditional incandescent light bulb. For example, a 20 W energy-saving light bulb produces a luminous flux equal to the luminous flux of a conventional 100 W incandescent lamp. Thanks to this ratio, energy-saving lamps allow you to save up to 80% without losing the illumination of the room you are used to. Moreover, in the process of long-term operation from a conventional incandescent light bulb, the luminous flux decreases over time due to the burnout of the tungsten filament, and it illuminates the room worse, while energy-saving lamps do not have such a drawback.
Long service life. Compared to traditional incandescent lamps, energy saving lamps last several times longer. Conventional incandescent light bulbs fail when the tungsten filament burns out. Energy-saving lamps, having a different design and a fundamentally different principle of operation, last much longer than incandescent lamps, on average 5-15 times. This is about 5 to 12 thousand hours of lamp operation (usually the lamp life is determined by the manufacturer and indicated on the packaging). Due to the fact that energy-saving lamps last for a long time and do not require frequent replacement, they are very convenient to use in places where the process of replacing bulbs is difficult, for example, in rooms with high ceilings or in chandeliers with complex structures, where you have to disassemble the body of the chandelier itself to replace the light bulb …
Low heat dissipation. Due to the high efficiency of energy-saving lamps, all consumed electricity is converted into a luminous flux, while energy-saving lamps generate very little heat. In some chandeliers and lighting fixtures, it is dangerous to use conventional incandescent bulbs, because they emit large amounts of heat can melt the plastic part of the socket, the adjacent wires or the housing itself, which in turn can lead to a fire. Therefore, energy-saving lamps simply need to be used in lamps, chandeliers and wall lamps with limited temperature levels.
Great light output. In a conventional incandescent lamp, light comes only from a tungsten coil. The energy-saving lamp glows over its entire area. Thanks to this, the light from the energy-saving lamp is soft and uniform, more pleasing to the eyes and better spread throughout the room.
Choice of the desired color. Due to the different shades of the phosphor covering the lamp body, energy saving lamps have different colors of luminous flux, it can be soft white light, cool white light, daylight, etc .;
Disadvantages of energy saving lamps
The only and significant disadvantage of energy-saving lamps compared to traditional incandescent lamps is their high price. The price of an energy-saving light bulb is 10-20 times more than a conventional incandescent light bulb. But the energy-saving light bulb is called energy-saving for a reason. Considering the energy savings when using these lamps and their service life, in total, the use of energy-saving lamps will be more profitable for you and your budget.
There is one more feature of the use of energy-saving lamps, which must be attributed to their disadvantage. The energy saving lamp is filled with mercury vapor inside. Mercury is considered a dangerous poison. Therefore, it is very dangerous to break such lamps in an apartment and room. You should be very careful when handling them. For the same reason, energy-saving lamps can be classified as environmentally harmful, and therefore they require special disposal, and throwing such lamps, in fact, is prohibited. But for some reason, when selling energy-saving lamps in a store, the sellers do not explain where to put them later.
What to look for when buying energy saving lamps
Power. Energy saving lamps are manufactured with different wattage. The power range ranges from 3W to 90W. It should be borne in mind that the efficiency of an energy-saving lamp is very high and the luminous efficiency is about 5 times higher than that of a traditional incandescent light bulb. Therefore, when choosing an energy-saving lamp, you must adhere to the rule – divide the power of a conventional incandescent lamp by five. If you used a conventional 100 W incandescent light bulb in your chandelier or lamp, it will be enough for you to purchase an energy saving 20 W light bulb.
Light color. Energy saving lamps are capable of emitting different colors. This characteristic is determined by the color temperature of the energy saving lamp.
- 2700 K – warm white light.
- 4200 K – daylight.
- 6400 K – cold white light.
The lower the color temperature characteristic of the energy-saving lamp, the more the color spectrum shifts to red, the higher the color spectrum shifts to blue. In such a situation, it is better to experiment with the selection of the color you need before replacing all the bulbs in the apartment with one color. Choose the color you need, based not only on the features of the interior of your apartment or office, but also on the peculiarities of your vision and the vision of people around you. It’s just that the color created by an energy-saving light bulb differs from the usual light from an incandescent light bulb, and many people cannot immediately get used to it if the color is chosen incorrectly. It is recommended to use warmer colors for the house and apartment – soft white color (warm glow).
The size. Energy saving lamps are produced in two main shapes: U-shaped and spiral. There is no difference in the principle of operation of these types of lamps, the differences are only in size. U-shaped lamps are easy to manufacture, cheaper than spiral lamps, but slightly larger. When purchasing such lamps, you should determine in advance whether the selected U-like energy-saving lamp will fit your chandelier, wall lamp or lamp. Spiral lamps are more difficult to manufacture, slightly more expensive than U-lamps, but have the traditional dimensions of incandescent bulbs, and as a result are suitable for all fixtures where incandescent bulbs were previously used.
Base type. Energy saving lamps, like traditional incandescent light bulbs, have a different base type. Most of the lighting fixtures are designed for an E27 base. But there are also devices that have an E14 base. If a large incandescent light bulb was screwed into your chandelier, then this is an E27 base. If you have a luminaire with a small or medium incandescent light bulb, then perhaps this is an E14 base.
All these characteristics of energy-saving lamps, manufacturers write on the packaging. For example, the inscription ESS-02A 20W E27 6400K on the packaging of a DeLux light bulb means that the lamp has a power of 20 W, with a large base (E27), and emits cold white light (6400K).
As a conclusion, the following main advantages of energy-saving lamps can be identified – very low power consumption and long service life. Thanks to these two advantages, energy saving lamps bring great savings in their use. Today, energy saving lamps are presented in a wide range in all specialized stores and are in great demand among customers.