Philips LED Lamps: A Decorative Way to Save Energy

Energy-efficient bulbs have come a long way from the flickering lights which are far too reminiscent of scenes from a Hollywood horror film. Lighting that saves energy can be found in a variety of colors, shapes, and for a number of fixtures as well. Among the most decorative of energy-efficient lighting are the Philips LED candelabra bulbs. These energy saving lights beautify the room where they are placed as well as the amount due on your monthly energy bill.

Philips LED Lamps
Philips LED Lamps

Candelabra style Philips LED Lamps use almost 13 watts of energy less than the standard incandescent candle. Also, these Philips LED bulbs can last as long as 15,000 hours, not requiring a replacement as often as their incandescent counterparts. In addition to all of this, the Philips LED lamps for candles emit almost no UV/IR light in its beam, and contain no mercury. If you still cannot see the point in switching from incandescent to energy-efficient lighting, consider the fact that with the reduction in energy use will also come a reduction in the energy bill. Savings of approximately $375 every year have been reported with the use of these bulbs instead of incandescent lights.

Philips LED lamps for candle lighting are not only perfect for a dining room setting, but ideal for lighting designers, as they give off light in all directions.


Daylight Bulbs: What Are They?

Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFL) come in a variety of colors. The color of the light emitted, as discussed in a previous blog, depends on the temperature as is measured in units of Kelvins. The higher the temperature of the light, the bluer the light appears. CFLs range from temperatures below 3,000K to above 5,000K. The brightest compact fluorescent lights are at least 5000K. The manufacturers name these bulbs as they see fit based on the light a CFL emits. While some refer to these bulbs as “full spectrum”, they are more commonly called daylight bulbs.

Daylight Light Bulbs
Daylight Light Bulbs

The light that comes from daylight light bulbs has been compared to the light coming from the sun around noon. This bulb is used mainly for tasks, such as painting, reading, and photography, where a bright-colored bulb is needed. The blue-white light radiating from the daylight bulb only makes it appear brighter than the cool white and soft white CFLs, with the brightness of a bulb being measured in lumens. Like all color CFLs, daylight bulbs

are energy-efficient, and can replace an incandescent bulb.


What Is CFL Color Temperature or CRI?

Every year we see an increase in the interest people have in energy efficient products. Among such products is the CFL (Compact Fluorescent Lamp), which is produced to replace, and uses less energy than, the standard incandescent light bulb. Some might worry that as a result of the CFL not consuming as much energy as the incandescent bulb, the options in brightness as well as color would be fewer. Once an understanding of the CFL color spectrum is gained, you will realize this is far from the truth.

CFL Color Spectrum
Orange CFL

Unlike an incandescent bulb, the quality of light emitted from CFLs depends on how they are built, with the majority of CFLs having the color temperature marked on it in measurements of kelvins. For example, a 5000k fluorescent bulbs would give off a cool white daylight color as opposed to one with a temperature of 2700K, which would emit a warm glow. This means the higher the measure in kelvins, the bluer in shade the light coming from the CFL. Different manufacturers have varying names for bulbs of the same temperature, so it is important to base the color you chose on the temperature as opposed to a title of “cool” or “daylight.”

In addition to the temperature in Kelvins, some companies also include a 3-digit code specifying the color rendering index (CFL CRI). The first number stands for the CRI calculated in percents of ten, with the following two digits are taken from the temperature in kelvins. For instance, if a CFL has a CRI of 83 and color temperature measuring 2700K, the 3-digit code would be 827. Bulbs with a color rendering index of about 80 are of good quality for the average consumer, appearing “white” in color. Fluorescent Colored Bulbs come in all kinds of colors: from red, orange and yellow to pink, blue and green. Choosing the right lamp for your fixture should be no problem now that you know where to start, as well as where to finish.


GU24 Lamps: What are their Advantages?

gu24 lamps
gu24 lamps

GU24 is rapidly gaining popularity with energy efficient fixtures. You can find them just about anywhere: in outdoor fixtures, downlights, pendants, ceiling fixtures and more.

What are GU24 Lamps
GU24 Base bulbs are a different base than the standard screw base CFL bulbs. GU24 lamps have 2 pins protruding from the base instead of the usual screw in base. The pins insert into the fixture and they twist and lock into place. GU24 base bulbs are self ballasted i.e. the ballast portion of the bulb is already attached to the bulb and is easy to replace.

Benefits of GU24 Lamps

  1. These bulbs are not wattage dependent so you can easily change the wattage of the bulb, unlike pin base bulbs which require the socket to be changed for different wattages of bulbs.
  2. Standard GU24 Bulbs are interchangeable between manufacturers unlinke pin base bulbs. So you are not tied to a particular manufacturer.
  3. GU24 bulbs are self ballasted i.e. the ballast portion of the bulb is already attached to the bulb and is easy to replace.
  4. The overall length of the bulb is shorter since the ballast and the bulb are in one unit
  5. These bulbs are very energy efficient. The majority of fixtures they go into are Energy Star. With all these advantages, GU24 Lamps are definitely going to become more prevalent in homes and offices.

General Tips for Increasing CFL Life

CFLs come with a pretty long rated life, especially if you are buying a good brand. For instance, Sylvania, GE Lighting, TCP often come with an 8000+ hours rated life. That’s no guarantee however that the bulbs will last that long. However, you should get pretty close to the rated life if you:

  • Use the bulb with the right type of switch. If it’s an on-off bulb, you should only use it in an on-off fixture
  • You don’t flip the bulb on and off rapidly and continuously.
  • You choose a good quality bulb. As mentioned, a with good brand the rated hours will be higher.

Can you get CFL Three Way Bulbs?

The answer is yes! These were not available a few years ago but with the advancement of compact fluorescent bulb technology – pretty much all the the incandescent bulb functions are available in the Compact Fluorescent variety. There are lot of brands of three way CFLs available in the market such as GE, Philips , Feit Electric, Earthmate to name a few. Most of these are Energy Star qualified bulbs.

Three way CFL bulbs, offer three levels of light when used in conjunction with a 3-way lamp socket switch. Take for example the Earthmate T3 Three Way 33W ES3362AN.
This bulb at it’s lowest level uses just 12 W which is the equivalent of a 50W incandescent. At the next level it uses 22W, a 75-100W equivalent. At the highest setting it uses 33W which is a 100-150w incandescent equivalent.

So if your lamp calls for a 3 way bulb, consider a CFL 3 way bulb. It is not advisable to use a regular CFL in a 3 way fixture.


Don’t settle for just a CFL Spiral in your Bathroom Light fixtures

I recently went to a friends house and noticed in her bathroom that she had CFL spirals in her wall light fixtures in her bathroom. While this is energy efficient and kudos to her for that, it looked, how shall I say, ‘aesthetically displeasing’.
Maybe she wasn’t aware, that you don’t have to settle for spirals when choosing a Compact Fluorescent Bulb. Nowadays, there is a lot of variety out there.

You can put a normal round bulb CFL, also known more technically as an CFL A-Lamp in bathroom light fixtures. Or if you’ve got one of those big round bulbs, technically known as Globes, you can get CFL Globes to replace the incandescent ones.
If you have a decorative candle style incandescent bulb, you can replace those with a CFL Candle bulb.

Our bathroom has a large panel of 8 Globe bulbs. When we first moved in the house, there were 8 40W incandescent bulbs in there. That place was sizzling, literally!

You didn’t need the heat on in the winter time in the bathroom, the bulbs provided all the warmth you needed. I felt I needed sunblock and sunglasses from all that glare. We have since swapped those bulbs out for 3 CFL (some of the sockets are empty). We get enough light and the room is a lot cooler.

So, unless you really like the shape and look of a spiral, try a more natural fit CFL in your bathroom light fixtures.


Using Dimmable CFLs

Because Dimmable CFLs need a certain amount of energy to initially light up, you should always start with the dimmer switch at it’s highest setting before turning on the light. Once it’s lit, you can then adjust the setting to the proper lighting level. It is recommended that you use standard rotary or slider dimmer switches with Dimmable Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs. Switches that start dim and ramp up to full brightness won’t work as well. Also, make sure the switch is off before installing a Dimmable CFL.