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Old 11-29-07, 02:17 PM   #1
Tracer Bullet
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Light Bulb Talk: Halogen vs. Compact Fluorescent

More specifically, which one is better? I had a light burn out last night in my kitchen and decided to pick up a non-incandecsent bulb to replace it. The store I went to only had halogens, so I got a couple. Now these are only rated for 2000 hours when CFs are rated for something approaching the half-life of the universe, but I figured the halogens might give off better light.

I don't see a lot of talk about halogen bulbs, so maybe I should have found a store with CFs. Thoughts?
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Old 11-29-07, 02:22 PM   #2
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in the wintertime halogens are a great source of heat
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Old 11-29-07, 02:24 PM   #3
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I have slowly been turning over my bulbs to FLs when they bust. They provide more of a "white" light (as opposed to a yellow light). Things seem brighter and not as straining on the eyes.
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Old 11-29-07, 02:29 PM   #4
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Look at the rated lumens (amount of light) and watts (amount of electricity). Divide to get lumens per watt, this measures efficiency as a power source; more is better. I suspect you will find
CF > halogen > incandescent

"Quality of light" is subjective. YMMV.

Life of light bulb is not too important unless it is just a bitch to change. It will eat many more $ of electricity than it cost, so focus on efficiency and whether you like the light.
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Old 11-29-07, 02:30 PM   #5
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From my experience, CFEs take a half second to power up. They also give off a weird light. I had one in my living room and it made the blinds have a purple hue, but it was fine. They also don't work with dimmers, not sure what the previous homeowners were thinking at my place
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Old 11-29-07, 02:45 PM   #6
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I'm told there are now some CF that work with a dimmer but they cost more (I haven't used any of these).

Incandescents on dimmers drop light output much faster than they drop power consumption as dimmed. So their efficiency goes from bad to abysmal when dimmed.
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Old 11-29-07, 02:48 PM   #7
Brian Shannon
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The CLF bulbs don't seem to like timers either.

I have tried to use them and tried to like them but I don't. The light output seems weak even with the highest wattage ones. I'll stick to light bulbs that produce good light and find other ways to save energy.

Last edited by Brian Shannon; 12-20-07 at 09:38 AM.
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Old 11-29-07, 02:59 PM   #8
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CF bulbs also take some time to warm up before they become as bright as they should be.
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Old 11-29-07, 03:54 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Shannon
The CLF bulbs don't see to like timers either.

I have tried to use them and tried to like them but I don't. The light output seems weak even with the highest wattage ones. I'll stick to light bulbs that produce good light and find other ways to save energy.

I disagree. I used CF bulbs in my LR fixture and its brighter then before. Maybe you just didn't buy the right wattage. The neat thing about CF bulbs is you can put a bigger bulb in your fixture and actually get more light.

For instance your fixture might say use a 75 watt incadescent and the CF equivalent would be 25watts lets say... That means you could use a 50 watt CF bulb for even more light output. This might be equivalent to a 150watt incadescent.


(not sure my numbers are right, but you get the idea...)
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Old 11-29-07, 04:44 PM   #10
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The only con to CF is the warm up requirement for maximum brightness. Some are instantaneous but most take a few seconds.
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Old 11-29-07, 07:01 PM   #11
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I still don't like the type of "light" CF's put out. I only have them on my front and back porch and closets. I was in a restaurant last week and after a few minutes thought to myself that the surroundings looked different than a normal restaurant. I looked up and the light had a CF installed. Looked at others and the whole restaurant had them. I can see from a business perspective for sure, but it's just not for me.
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Old 11-29-07, 07:50 PM   #12
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Well I ended up going to another store and getting a couple of CFs. I put them in my kitchen, and now my kitchen feels like my office. I think I'm going to replace them.
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Old 11-29-07, 08:22 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tracer Bullet
Well I ended up going to another store and getting a couple of CFs. I put them in my kitchen, and now my kitchen feels like my office. I think I'm going to replace them.

But you're saving the environment. Put aside you personal preferences and needs for the world's greater good. Otherwise your'e no better than an SUV Driver.



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Old 11-29-07, 08:31 PM   #14
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And one CF bulb can save you $44 on your electric bill over its 8000 hour life, while helping to save the world.

(I'll be honest; I'm cheap. I do it for the $44, not the world.)
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Old 11-29-07, 09:18 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Giantrobo
But you're saving the environment. Put aside you personal preferences and needs for the world's greater good. Otherwise your'e no better than an SUV Driver.



I'll save the environment by having more sex.

This makes sense somehow.
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Old 11-29-07, 09:31 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OldDude
I'm told there are now some CF that work with a dimmer but they cost more (I haven't used any of these).

Incandescents on dimmers drop light output much faster than they drop power consumption as dimmed. So their efficiency goes from bad to abysmal when dimmed.
No matter what a CFE bulb claims, there is not a single one on the market that can be dimmed well. The quality of light output ranges from abysmal to mediocre. There are spectacular dimmable compact fluorescents, just not in bulb form - you must currently have a stand alone ballast to dim a fluorescent bulb well.

Also, at 50% light output, a quality dimmer will reduce energy consumption by no less than 40%. Yes, that is a drop in efficiency, but not a tremendous one. The bulb life is also increased 20x.
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Last edited by BigPete; 11-29-07 at 10:00 PM.
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Old 11-29-07, 09:31 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tracer Bullet
I'll save the environment by having more sex.

This makes sense somehow.
It made sense to this guy too.

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Old 11-29-07, 09:55 PM   #18
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Incandescent light bulbs are the only way to go in my opinion.
They are the only bulbs that put out light which is soothing and
pleasant, rather than grating and annoying.
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Old 11-29-07, 11:11 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OldDude
"Quality of light" is subjective. YMMV.
No, there is a quantifiable difference. Fluorescents (and LEDs) don't put out true white light -- that is, they don't emit radiation across the visible spectrum the way incandescents do.
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Old 11-29-07, 11:27 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OldDude
And one CF bulb can save you $44 on your electric bill over its 8000 hour life, while helping to save the world.

(I'll be honest; I'm cheap. I do it for the $44, not the world.)
Save the light bulb, save the world. Next week on Heroes.
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Old 11-30-07, 06:37 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sean O'Hara
No, there is a quantifiable difference. Fluorescents (and LEDs) don't put out true white light -- that is, they don't emit radiation across the visible spectrum the way incandescents do.
Technically true, but perhaps not practically true. The electrical arc puts out mostly a very few discrete UV wavelengths (which don't escape the bulb). These excite phosphors which put out MANY discrete wavelengths. In fact, so many, that they are more closely spaced than the human eye can resolve. Thus it is quasi-continuous. But it clearly has a balance more shifted towards the blue than incandescent, and variation vs wavelength doesn't match a "black body" at some well defined temperature. Usually, if you define a color temperature that approximates the red/blue ratio (usually close to daylight), there is excess green, but photographic matching will depend on both the particular bulbs and the film or sensor.
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Old 11-30-07, 08:41 AM   #22
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They also have out different kelvin cfl bulbs, 10k is a truer white balance while a 6500k is more yellow.
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Old 11-30-07, 03:11 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pyro383
They also have out different kelvin cfl bulbs, 10k is a truer white balance while a 6500k is more yellow.
If you accept (mid day) sun as "true white," it is about 5500 K, so 6500 K is slightly blue and 10,000 K is a LOT blue. Incandescent is about 2800 K, with photofloods about 3200 K. "Warm" CF is about 4500 K.
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Old 12-19-07, 05:44 PM   #24
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Compact fluorescent: Love it, or curse the darkness.

Congress' new Energy Bill apparently phases out incandescent by 2012, requiring 3X the efficiency of present incandescent bulbs (I assume they measure lumens per watt, but I have no idea where to find the text of the bill and wouldn't read an 800+ page document if I did.) Hopefully, some reporters will dig out more info and spoonfeed it to us.

Edit: Found a little info,
http://www.greenbaypressgazette.com/...712190540/1247
Quote:
Under terms of the energy bill provision, all light bulbs must use 25 percent to 30 percent less energy by 2012 to 2014. The phase-in begins with 100-watt bulbs in January 2012 and ends with 40-watt bulbs in January 2014. By 2020, bulbs must be 70 percent more efficient.
Halogen might meet the 2012-2014 requirements, but no way it can meet 2020. Lighting will be CF or maybe LED.
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Last edited by OldDude; 12-19-07 at 06:14 PM.
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Old 12-19-07, 06:35 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OldDude
Congress' new Energy Bill apparently phases out incandescent by 2012, requiring 3X the efficiency of present incandescent bulbs (I assume they measure lumens per watt, but I have no idea where to find the text of the bill and wouldn't read an 800+ page document if I did.) Hopefully, some reporters will dig out more info and spoonfeed it to us.

Edit: Found a little info,
http://www.greenbaypressgazette.com/...712190540/1247


Halogen might meet the 2012-2014 requirements, but no way it can meet 2020. Lighting will be CF or maybe LED.

But will diamonds still sparkle?
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