Make us your home page
Instagram
Stuff | Lightbulbs

Know the differences in lightbulbs

Thank you, Thomas Edison, for inventing the lightbulb. We all benefit every day from this source. Despite the importance of lightbulbs, consumers need more information.

Common types

The two most common types are incandescent and fluorescent. Incandescent bulbs glow when electric current passes through a filament. All lamps with a filament are considered incandescent even when they are modified with gasses such as halogen, krypton and xenon.

Fluorescent bulbs produce light when an electric arc passes between cathodes and excites mercury and other gases, producing radiant energy. Phosphor coatings convert energy into visible light. The compact fluorescent has been promoted as energy-saving, low heat and long-lasting. The ballast for the CFL is below the lamp and above the threaded base, increasing heat, which shortens the lamp life. Remember that fluorescent bulbs cannot start in cold weather.

All fluorescent lamps contain mercury and need to be thoughtfully discarded. If they break, open the windows and pick up the residue with tape. Do not contaminate your vacuum cleaner!

Kelvin rating

Fluorescent lighting color is described by the Kelvin rating. This is based on our perception of how cool or warm the light appears.

Use 2700 kelvins, or warm white, in homes, counseling offices and restaurants.

Use 3000 kelvins, or soft white, a peachy source almost like incandescent, in home furnishing stores and waiting rooms.

Use 3500 kelvins in the midlevel of warm to cool in commercial, retail stores and offices. This color temperature is terrific, especially when used with a silver parabolic lens that brightens the flatness of fluorescent light.

Use 4100 kelvins, or cool white, only if you want the feeling of an ice palace. This is the color temperature that is duplicated on an overcast day in the winter.

Use 5000 kelvins in hospitals, laboratories and doctors offices where a crisp light is needed.

Use 6500 kelvins, the bluest, in jewelry and accessory stores.

Accent lighting

Torcheres and task lighting use halogen bulbs that provide high contrast, a brilliant color that duplicates sunlight. They provide more light than a typical incandescent. To preserve their longer life, protect the quartz casing from the skin oil on your hands, which will change the tension and cause a shorter lamp life. During installation, use a glove or a thin foam pad.

The tungsten redeposits onto the filament and is considered a self-cleaning bulb when the bulb is burned at full power. If the bulb is dimmed often, operate at full power occasionally to extend lamp life.

Halogen bulbs usually cost more but give more light per watt of energy used, last longer and enhance color. They are a bargain. But I do not use halogen reflectors in walkways; they seem like interrogation lights and cast shadows on your face. Halogen bulbs are wonderful over work surfaces, coffee tables, dining tables and to directionally light artwork.

Xenon gas lamps burn cooler than halogen but the light they produce tends to be blue. The blue-tinted auto headlights you see at night are xenon. They have an average lamp life of 2,000 hours like halogen.

Know the differences in lightbulbs 01/23/11 [Last modified: Monday, November 7, 2011 1:16pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Tribune News Service.
    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Trump shuts down CEO advisory councils as main group acts to disband

    Business

    President Donald Trump's main council of top corporate leaders disbanded on Wednesday following the president's controversial remarks in which he equated white nationalist hate groups with the protesters opposing them. Soon after, the president announced on Twitter that he would end his executive councils, "rather than …

    President Donald Trump meets with Merck's chief executive, Kenneth Frazier, second from left, and other leaders of the pharmaceutical industry in the Roosevelt Room of the White House last January. On Wednesday, Trump's main council of top corporate leaders disbanded following the president's controversial remarks in which he equated white nationalist hate groups with the protesters opposing them.
[New York Times file photo]
  2. A long-awaited vision for Tampa's Westshore Marina District

    Real Estate

    TAMPA —Eleven years after plans to develop a waterfront tract on the Tampa side of the Gandy Bridge were first announced, a new rendering gives a hint of what Westshore Marina District ultimately will look like.

    Rendering of Marina Pointe, a condo project overlooking Tampa Bay as part of the Westshore Marina District. [Courtesy of Masterfile Corp.}
  3. Buddy Brew Coffee to open downtown Tampa location

    Business

    TAMPA — Buddy Brew Coffee plans to open a new location in downtown Tampa at Park Tower in early 2018. The specialty coffee craft roaster, which was founded in 2010, has five other locations throughout Tampa including the Oxford Exchange, Sarasota, Hyde Park Village and Terminal F inside the Tampa International …

    A cappuccino is displayed at Buddy Brew in Tampa in January 2017. [CHARLIE KAIJO | Times]
  4. Where to pig out for National Bacon Lovers Day

    Food & Dining

    That's right: Sunday is the national day devoted to all things bacon, National Bacon Lovers Day. Which, really, isn't too different from the other 364 days of the year. But here's a little roundup of some special places to celebrate everyone's favorite meat snack (seriously, even vegans have a grudging respect …

    A creme-filled doughnut topped with maple frosting and bacon at Dough on MacDill Avenue in Tampa.
  5. The Penny Hoarder tops 79 fastest growing Tampa Bay companies on Inc. 5000

    Business

    ST. PETERSBURG — The Penny Hoarder on Wednesday further cemented its reputation as one of the country's fastest growing companies. The personal finance web site business ranks 25th nationwide and tops in the Tampa Bay market for growth on the 2017 Inc. 5000 list of fastest growing businesses.

    Vishal Mahtani (left), vice president of business development, Alexis Grant (center), executive editor, and Kyle Taylor, CEO and founder of The Penny Hoarder, celebrate the news with their staff  Wednesday of making the new Inc. 5000 ranking of fastest growing companies in the country. They enjoyed champagne during a catered lunch at their office in downtown St. Petersburg after ranking 25th nationwide and tops in the Tampa Bay market for growth on the just released 2017 Inc. 5000. [DIRK SHADD   |   Times ]