Tips when buying energy-efficient light bulbs

2011-06-21 00:00

• Before you buy an energy-efficient bulb, check the wattage you will need. If you need a bright light, then you will need the equivalent of a 100-watt bulb. (100 divided by 5 = 20 W) which means you will be looking for a 20 W CFL.

• Check whether you will need a screw fitting or a pin fitting, and also estimate the length of the bulb. CFLs are usually bulkier than the old incandescent bulbs, and sometimes they do not fit into the light fitting.

• CFL bulbs do have different shapes — not just the two parallel-bars variant. If the bulb does not fit, look for more suitable shapes — the twirly shape and the three-bars bulb.

• The CFLs come in two colours — bright white and soft white. Usually the soft white is used for social rooms, where a warm and inviting environment is preferable. The bright white is better for rooms like the kitchen and bathroom.

• The CFLs are supposed to last a lot longer than an incandescent light bulb, but this depends on which brand you buy. Examine the small print on the side of the box for a realistic idea of what to expect. The longevity of the CFL can be affected by power surges and the amount of time they are used continuously.

• If the quality of the CFL light bothers you, then you can invest in an energy-efficient halogen globe. This will fit easily into any fitting, and offers a brighter light.

• CFL lights are not yet compatible with dimmer switches.

• Energy-efficient LED lights (downlighters) are hugely expensive and not yet an option for the average person.

• Most photocells, motion sensors and electronic timers are not designed to work with CFLs.

Information supplied by Zebbies Lighting, Victoria Street, PMB

 

• The mercury in them could cause poisoning if released into the air. The mercury will contaminate the environment.

• EMF radiation from them is so high it can cause electro-sensitivity or, at the very least, will cause our immune system to overwork, leading to insomnia, headaches, depression and irritability.

• They can suddenly ignite and are a potential fire hazard.

• The light they emit is not powerful enough to read by, and can cause eyesight to deteriorate.

• If used in hallways, their light is insufficient to ensure safety.

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