The fluorescent lighting industry has seen many changes over the last few years.
First: CFL fluorescent technology has improved ten fold. The biggest improvements have been realized in candelabra bulbs, spiral bulbs, globe bulbs, and reflector bulbs.
Second: All CFL bulb prices are falling rapidly as competition increases.
Do do not be put off by statements that CFL bulbs contain mercury. Yes they do, but the mercury is sealed within the bulbs glass tube and is of no danger at all. The amount is less than four milligrams, about that required to cover the tip of a ball-point pen. Given the amount of fossil fuels incandescent bulbs waste, your CFL's will be saving both mercury and many other toxic chemicals required to produce the excess energy.
We do suggest that you dispose of the bulbs in a responsible way at one of the supporting disposal facilities.
Do not be put off by statements that CFL bulbs flicker, buzz or give of a poor quality of light. This is NOT true! CFL's are available in; Warm White, Cool White and Daylight White. Energy Star labeled CFL's will specify the "light temperature" which best matches each of the light qualities described.
The underlying spiral fluorescent tube which goes into the candelabra light bulb has been greatly reduced in size. This reduction in the size has been achieved without any sacrifice to the performance of the spiral fluorescent technology. Fast start times, high lumens per watt and long life have been maintained in these new tiny energy saver light bulbs.
Now they actually fit into candelabra bulb fixtures and look GREAT. The spiral fluorescent tube is hidden behind the candelabra bulbs frosted outer shell so you can’t even tell that the candelabra bulbs is actually a fluorescent bulb!
The greatest application is for the replacement of outdoor security and landscape light bulbs. Most outdoor security and landscape light bulbs use candelabra bulbs today. When a consumer uses incandescent or halogen candelabra bulbs in these applications they are throwing money away.
Bulbs that need to be turned on and off regularly are not a good application for CFL bulbs. They do work, but you wil get superior results, and bulb life from an LED Light bulb.
In the area of spiral fluorescent bulbs similar advancements have been realized. The size of the internal spiral fluorescent CFL tube has been reduced by 2X while lumen per watt output has been maintained. This is called T-2 technology. This new T-2 spiral fluorescent technology also has the added benefit of being 100% lead free AND having 50% less mercury then the current T-3 spiral fluorescent technology. The new T-2 spiral fluorescent technology has a new amalgam technology which enables these fluorescent light bulbs to operate at 30% lower temperatures which further reduces the power required to drive these T-2 energy saver light bulbs.
Finally the new compact fluorescent PAR bulb or reflector light bulb that is now available to us offers longer life (10,000 hours instead of 8,000 hours), flicker free performance and faster time to full lumen output (rapid start).
My thanks to Lou at WholeSale Bulbs (before they were sold) for having us republish this article on CFL technology trends.
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