Reasons Why Your Fluorescent Lamps Aren't Living Up To Their Claims


Also known as energy-saving bulbs, CFLs or Compact Fluorescent Lamps are known for their long-lasting life and the ability to account for only a minor portion of your lighting bills. Though CFLs fare better than traditional lighting systems in the durability department, they don't necessarily shine for several thousand hours together, contrary to the over-optimistic claims of their manufacturers. Here are some reasons why:

Frequent Mechanical Usage

If you are among those who switch CFLs on or off regularly, you'd be shocked to discover that such repeated power shifting can decrease the life of the lamp by close to 85%. This is because the ballast electronics in CFLs require some time to reach complete potential -- any process interception would only hurt the components.

Users are advised to not subject these tubes to erratic switching tendencies, and adopt a more stabilised approach instead. For instance, don't switch off the bulb within a few minutes of usage. Keep the lamp on for a good 10 to 15 minutes even if you don't need the artificial brightness anymore. This may not necessarily stretch the lamp's life, but certainly prevent early damage.

To get the rated life, you'll have to use the lamp continuously for at least three to four hours. While this may sound impossible to achieve, the numbers are attainable if these bulbs are used as primary lighting solutions and not as alternatives. In other words, don't use fluorescent tubes in bathrooms or for vanity purposes, as the tubes may then become quite susceptible to frequent switching.

Varying Quality

Not all CFLs house top-notch components. In fact, to ensure compliance with the "energy-saving" industry image of these lights, some manufacturers don't mind fitting in poorer quality innards to attain the desired number of hours from the lamp. These lights are comparatively cheaper and don't carry the "energy-star" ratings. Instead, buy CFLs from reputed brands and don't fall in for the low-cost options.     

However, don't just shy away CFLs before properly testing them out. Fluorescent lamps are known to be of the "laggard" type since they take time to hit their complete potential or brightness levels. So, if you're CFL doesn't exhibit beaming luminescence right at the onset, don't wrongly accuse of it being low-quality or subpar. Give it some time and you'll learn more.

Rated Life Are Based On Averages

The lifespan numbers derived for CFLs are average figures. Those aren't representative of all the fluorescent tubes that head out of production. This means many units can die well before their estimated lifespans and the premature demise won't be considered abnormal or end up tagging the CFL unit as defective.  


Fluorescent lamps don't come cheap and their relatively superior performance than incandescent light bulbs justify their higher pricing. However, these modern lighting solutions will be worth the money and will help make up for the higher initial costs if they are used sensibly. Your electrical maintenance contractor can provide more information to help you get the most out of your CFLs.


5 February 2015

Repairing Broken Buildings

Welcome to my blog! My name is Richard and my big passion in life is looking for old buildings to restore. My love of old buildings started when I was seven years old and I visited my grandparent's house in Alice Springs. It was a large Victorian building which looked magnificent even though it was in a bad state of repair. Once I grew up and made some money, I decided I would like to invest in old buildings to bring them back to life. I hire a range of different contractors to complete the work on my behalf but I take a keen interest and I have learnt a lot of things.