Domestic Lighting

Domestic Lighting Options. Some folks equate watts with the brightness of a bulb or lamp. Wattage is a measurement of power consumption, not brightness. Lumen is the correct term for lighting intensity.For example, the 100-watt bulb emits about 1750 lumens and the 60-watt bulb’s intensity is around 840 lumens.

If you can reduce the wattage needed for the desired intensity, you’ll save money on your electric bill. There are three primary options to keep the same intensity while saving wattage: halogen incandescent bulbs, compact fluorescent lamps and light emitting diodes or LEDs, in order of energy savings and lamp longevity.

Older incandescent bulbs are argon- or nitrogen-filled glass globes with a tungsten filament. As electricity is applied, the filament heats up until it glows. Most of the power is used to produce the heat necessary to make the filament glow.

<A halogen incandescent bulb uses a tungsten filament encased in a small quartz tube that is filled with halogen glass. This is surrounded by a larger glass globe. Halogen bulbs are about 28 percent more efficient than the older incandescent bulb. They are often used in table lamps, can lights and other indoor fixtures.

Compact fluorescent bulbs are more energy efficient than either incandescent bulb. Instead of using heat to make a filament glow, the compact fluorescent lamp, or CFL, is an argon and mercury gas-filled tube, coated with a phosphor. When electricity passes through the gas-filled tube, it excites the gas mixture, creating an ultraviolet light.

This UV light causes the phosphor coating to glow, producing the light output. Since less heat is generated, less wattage is used to produce the same lumen rating more efficiently.

These lamps can be used almost anywhere that incandescent bulbs are used; however, they don’t work as well outdoors in cold temperatures and they must have a special ballast for dimming applications. People’s dislike of CFLs often stems from the dull, yellowish light put off by the first CFLs. However, new lamps can emit light that ranges from a warm, red-yellow glow to a cool color temperature that mimics daylight.

LEDs are the most energy efficient lamps of the group. They’re more expensive to buy, but last longer than other bulbs. This introduces the concept of the cost of ownership, an idea many folks don’t consider. Cost of ownership factors the initial purchase cost, the power consumption over a predetermined time (usually one year) and the cost of replacement during that time.

While LEDs cost more initially, they use far less power and have a much longer life. They can be used almost everywhere the other bulbs are used, even outdoors.
For further information contact Mark Brown on 1300 72 7798.

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