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Fluorescent Vs Incandescent Lighting?


Svenn

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I know fluorescent lighting is much more popular here because of the reduced costs, but is there any reason to ever choose incandescent? Does incandescent give a more 'natural' feel to the home at night? I'm also wondering whether there's any reason to do anything more than just a single fixture or two in the middle of the ceiling... does track lighting or some other multiple-bulb style make the tiles sparkle more by illuminating the room from different directions at different points? thanks

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To use dimmers would be one reason, to get rid of the hum the ballasts can make is another or am I too busy to change that noisy ballast.

They are less annoying in rooms like bathrooms where you want them on quick and only use for a short time, in this case they can actually use less power than a fluorescent as the start up is a burst of power them but they are cheap once they are on, someone once said, its cheaper to leave them on for 4 hours than turn them on and off twice in that time.

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As Baz says ^^^

Dimmers, but dimmable ballasts are available (not cheap).

Buzzy, but electronic ballasts (the most efficient) don't buzz.

My big reason for liking at least some tungsten lighting is that the light is easier on the eyes, I'd rather read by tungsten light than fluorescent although the warmer broad-spectrum colours available are a bit better.

Tungsten gives better colour rendition too, so if you're into art, tungsten rules.

By the way, it is a myth that it's cheaper to leave a fluorescent on than to turn it on and off. Yes there is a power surge on startup (there is with tungsten too) but its duration is so short that there is not a significant amount of energy used. Leaving the light on for a second will use more energy than the start surge.

I'll now have to go and find a citation for the above statement :o

EDIT here we are http://www.consumerenergycenter.org/myths/...ent_lights.html

Edited by Crossy
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use the energy saving bulbs - they are more expensive than fluorescent lighting, but much more natural. Thai do prefer those bulbs in white, which is OK for outside, but inside the yellow ones are much more pleasing and less tireing. Cost some 100 - 120 baht/piece and lasts up to 8-10 years.

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We buy CFLs in our local stores that have dropped the price to believe it or not 10 pence each.... :o whereas about 20 years ago when I first specified them on my housing programmes the were being flogged at about £15 quid a throw.....

We have taken suitcases full of them over to the Mai and given them out to our local Temples and villagers who dont seem to object to them... make sense....$$$$

Theres are some new advanced LEDs coming out soon under the titles of OLED (organic) that should really make big impressions on the markets...also cover/include ultra thin Computer screens and TV sets....and... verry energy effi... :D

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The reason you put multiple lights in a room is that they can be smaller and provide more uniform illumination (or deliberate highlights of something you want to accent). Aside from the energy the lights themselves consume, don't forget about the additional air conditioning energy you use up as well.

Personally I prefer to have a single light for general illumination in a room plus an accent light on a wall somewhere. All too often dimming is used because the space is overlit; it's best to try and figure out the right light level and work from there.

In places like a bathroom, multiple light sources help to alleviate shadows.

Try and look at the color temperature of lamps; I prefer 3500K as they are a little warmer. Always avoid a light fixture where you have direct view of the bulb.

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There was an academic on the radio in the UK last week (can't remember what university he was from) whose department has just developed a way of making high brightness domestic LED lights for a tenth of what they cost now. Should be on the market in 2-3 years.

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I've had so many problems with the fluoroscent threaded bulbs. They burn out so quick. Its not the bulb but I think with the internal ballast. I've had to replace so many of them. They barely last 8-10 months. The standard 30 watt long neon fluoroscent bulbs last forever. They do have a ballast humming sound but I think they are the best. I also like the white colors of fluoroscents.

Incandescent bulbs are really hot. I think thats where most of the energy is wasted as heat instead of light. I've also had a few bulbs burn out quick also. Must be the heat or cheap filaments.

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There was an academic on the radio in the UK last week (can't remember what university he was from) whose department has just developed a way of making high brightness domestic LED lights for a tenth of what they cost now. Should be on the market in 2-3 years.

advanced LEDs coming out soon under the titles of OLED (organic) :o

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Lightbulb associated thread here http://www.thaivisa.com/forum/Online-Forum...ml#entry2507318 :o

High failure rates of CFLs (compact Fluorescent Lamps) is often associated with poor power supply (low voltage, spikes etc.) and overheating of the electronic ballast from the use in unsuitable fixtures. If you're using a CFL make sure that the ballast has plenty of room for airflow.

Edited by Crossy
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Wait, so I don't understand a bunch of the terms you guys use... so what's the final conclusion? I read that incandescent is too hot and expensive, but fluorescent is hard on the eyes and buzzing/flickering.... did someone mention a happy medium that I didn't catch? some sort of 'natural spectrum' fluorescent or something?

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Lightbulb associated thread here http://www.thaivisa.com/forum/Online-Forum...ml#entry2507318 :o

High failure rates of CFLs (compact Fluorescent Lamps) is often associated with poor power supply (low voltage, spikes etc.) and overheating of the electronic ballast from the use in unsuitable fixtures. If you're using a CFL make sure that the ballast has plenty of room for airflow.

Most of the fixtures for the CFLs are recessed or enclosed. I rarely see any that are out in the open. You know homeowners, looks are much more important than practicality. As for low voltage and spikes. There's not much one can do unless make a big and tedious investement in making sure the wires gauges are big enough and install surge protection circuitry in every fixture. Then practicality looses to expense, so most homeowners won't do that.

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If you are looking for energy saving lamps either fluorescent tubes or the compact screw-in but don't like the harsh white light go for the "Warm White" not the "Daylight"

I read or heard somewhere that the CFL lamps should me mounted upright with the screw end at the bottom so the electronics don't get too hot from the lamp itself.

:o

Edited by Daffy D
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I read or heard somewhere that the CFL lamps should me mounted upright with the screw end at the bottom so the electronics don't get too hot from the lamp itself.

Yup, many are rated only to burn cap down or horizontal, putting them cap up can seriously shorten the life :o

Check on the box if you want to put one cap up. Watch for enclosed fixtures that don't allow air movement, CFLs get nowhere near as hot as a tungsten lamp but the electronics is very sensitive to cooking.

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There was an academic on the radio in the UK last week (can't remember what university he was from) whose department has just developed a way of making high brightness domestic LED lights for a tenth of what they cost now. Should be on the market in 2-3 years.

advanced LEDs coming out soon under the titles of OLED (organic) :o

No, they aren't OLEDS - they're high brightness domestic LED lights the same as you can buy now but they'll be much cheaper in the same way that CFLs are a lot cheaper than they used to be.

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My in laws house has 10 to 12 of the 4 foot long fixtures with a transformer.

Would it save much on the power bill if I was to change them over to the CFL's??

Not really, the difference in consumption between CFLs and regular fluorescent tubes is much less than between tungsten and CFL.

You will certainly save something if you replace all those inductive ballasts (transformer thingies) with electronic units (still using the same tubes, which will last longer) but payback is likely to be in the years (depends upon how long the lights are on each night).

Edited by Crossy
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  • 2 weeks later...
My in laws house has 10 to 12 of the 4 foot long fixtures with a transformer.

Would it save much on the power bill if I was to change them over to the CFL's??

Not really, the difference in consumption between CFLs and regular fluorescent tubes is much less than between tungsten and CFL.

You will certainly save something if you replace all those inductive ballasts (transformer thingies) with electronic units (still using the same tubes, which will last longer) but payback is likely to be in the years (depends upon how long the lights are on each night).

Hello Crossy,

What is the difference between the ballasts, are the electronic ones marked in a different way? Are they a lot more expensive?

We have 2 lights on all night (18 Watts), so each light would use approx 1KWH in 4 days, maybe 7 or 8 units per month. Therefore each light would cost about 25 Baht per month to run. I would think that there would have to be a substantial % consumption drop to make it worthwhile.

Or is the only saving because the tubes will last longer?

Edited by loong
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Hello Crossy,

What is the difference between the ballasts, are the electronic ones marked in a different way? Are they a lot more expensive?

We have 2 lights on all night (18 Watts), so each light would use approx 1KWH in 4 days, maybe 7 or 8 units per month. Therefore each light would cost about 25 Baht per month to run. I would think that there would have to be a substantial % consumption drop to make it worthwhile.

Or is the only saving because the tubes will last longer?

Electronic ballasts have more connections than the 2 normally found on a magnetic ballast. They also tend to say "Electronic Ballast" on then (Duh :o ).

post-14979-1234667332_thumb.jpg

They look something like this (this is a 4 lamp ballast so it has a lot of connections). Cost is about 5-10 times of a magnetic, say 600 Baht. Price list here http://www.seven-a.com/download/files/PriceECG7A.pdf.

If you do replace with electronic you will have to do some internal re-wiring of the fixture.

Simplistic calculations, YMMV:-

A regular magnetic fixture is about 75% efficient (pretty good compared with incandescent). An electronic ballast will head for 95% or better efficiency.

So, your 18W fittings, with magnetic ballasts will use about 22.5W (18W + 25%). Two will use about 540 Watt-Hours in a 12 hour night, or 16.2 units per month.

Similar 18W fittings with high efficiency electronic ballasts will use about 19W (18W + 5%). Two will use about 456 Watt-Hours in a 12 hour night, or 13.6 units per month.

You save 2.6 units per month. You can work out the payback period yourself :D

Edited by Crossy
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  • 2 months later...

I've started to replace the lights in the house now - I'm sick of fiddling with the starters on the tubes, lights not coming on of flickering for a minute before they reluctantly give some light. Also, I seem to have to change the tubes regularly.

I'm not sure if they are new, but I've never noticed them before.

Electronic tube units made by Philips and Panasonic. They are much smaller than the regular fluorescent tubes and 199 Baht for 14 Watt unit. 14 Watt seems to be no different or maybe even gives out more light than the 18 Watt regular fluorescent. Only drawback is that you cannot just replace the tube, you have to replace the whole unit.

Specification

Philips Easyforlife T5 electronic commercial lighting system

Type 14 Watt

Voltage/frequency 220 - 240 Volt, 50/60 Hz

Power factor 0.6

Colour Temp 6500K/4000K/3000K

Nominated Life Time 8000 hours

Dimensions (mm) 570L x 27 W x 37 H

I don't know what Power factor is can someone explain please?

Phillips also do another electronic unit (no starter) that takes a standard 18 Watt tube, Philips essential T8. It looks neater than the standard flouro unit, but not as small as the Easyforlife. This is sold in a triangular box and is about 290 Baht.

States has Smart Bipolar HF ballast, claiming 12% energy saving over electro-magnetic gear.

If you use the slider mounting brackets, rub some candle wax on first - very tight fit and I gashed my thumb on the sharp plastic. Also the end cover caps are difficult to get of, you're supposed to be able to slide them off, but I had to spread the a bit first. Also there is no cut out in the cap for where the cable enters, so cap will not go back on properly unless the cable is buried in the wall or you will have to saw a hole for it.

Both units come on instantly with no flicker whatsoever.

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If you do a google search on T5 lighting you will see this is a great light. We have them in our attics and hidden in "two step" ceilings. They are a great value to buy, and even better value to keep. I've been very happy with those Philips Easy for Life all in one fixtures.

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If you do a google search on T5 lighting you will see this is a great light. We have them in our attics and hidden in "two step" ceilings. They are a great value to buy, and even better value to keep. I've been very happy with those Philips Easy for Life all in one fixtures.

That's good to hear. I'm just happy that I no longer have to go the bathroom in total darkness apart from the strobing only to find that the light comes on when I leave. Also they are so small and neat. The only thing that I don't like about them is that there are no screw connectors for the wiring, so have to have a chocolate connection on show.

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Flourescent lighting combined with the Thais favorite shiny tiles hurts my head. Give me incandescent lighting anyday -- lots of it.

I've been in mom and pop shops after dark that are lit by one flourescent bulb.

I know these folks are cheap bashtards, but come on, Somchai, how bout some lights!

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I know fluorescent lighting is much more popular here because of the reduced costs, but is there any reason to ever choose incandescent? yes, but it's up to the owner, see my response below

Does incandescent give a more 'natural' feel to the home at night? Yes (IMO)

I'm also wondering whether there's any reason to do anything more than just a single fixture or two in the middle of the ceiling... does track lighting or some other multiple-bulb style make the tiles sparkle more by illuminating the room from different directions at different points? thanks

Yes (by 'sparkle' I'm assuming you mean in a good way)

IMO, Lighting can make or break any environment - especially a home. You can have the most beautiful of home furnishings, etc... but if you have a buzzing circular god-awful fluorescent light above you lighting up the room, it's ruined IMO.

Actually, to me, lighting is probably the single most important factor in creating a 'warm' home environment (aesthetically speaking).

I use halogen lights, all on dimmers - and tungsten for art (as crossy mentioned above). Dim the lights, make some love...

It may not be "Green" of me to do so, but this is one part of my life that I cannot sacrifice for the 'greater good' - I've already sacrificed that in the form of taxes :o

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Power Factor is the ratio of Watts to Volts x Amps (VA).

For your bulb, the 18 Watts is 30 VA or 0.13Amps at 220 V. A "high power factor" (0.9-0.95) would only draw 19-20 VA or 0.09 Amps. The lower current means that you won't have as much voltage drop. It's best to go for high power factor units.

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Power Factor is the ratio of Watts to Volts x Amps (VA).

For your bulb, the 18 Watts is 30 VA or 0.13Amps at 220 V. A "high power factor" (0.9-0.95) would only draw 19-20 VA or 0.09 Amps. The lower current means that you won't have as much voltage drop. It's best to go for high power factor units.

Yup ^^^

I was very surprised at the poor Power Factor (0.5-0.6) displayed by cheap CFLs. The measured PF of the CFLs I have around the house confirms these quoted numbers.

Whilst not normally an issue at these low powers it does mean that I must oversize the UPS needed to keep the lights on during our frequent but short power outages :)

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With my limited knowledge of electricity, I didn't know that one unit of the same wattage could draw more amps than another.

I just thought that amps=watts/voltage

So an 18W unit would draw 18/220 = 0.082 amps

So that would be if it had a power factor of 1

PF of 0.6 would draw 0.082/0.6, right?

Does it make any difference to the brightness?

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With my limited knowledge of electricity, I didn't know that one unit of the same wattage could draw more amps than another.

I just thought that amps=watts/voltage

So an 18W unit would draw 18/220 = 0.082 amps

So that would be if it had a power factor of 1

PF of 0.6 would draw 0.082/0.6, right?

Does it make any difference to the brightness?

Power consumption is calculated based on wattage, but this does not tell you how much of that power is converted to light and the rest to heat.

Choice of light bulb or tube also depends on desired colour quality. Worst is cool daylight fluorescent and best is halogen (as measured in producing natural human skin tone).

Good lighting of interior space also depends on type and location of light fixtures.

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