CFLs (Compact Fluorescent Lamps) are energy-saving bulbs consisting of a fluorescent tube that has been made into a shape the same size as a traditional incandescent light bulb.
How does a CFL work?
CFL Bulbs contain gases that are given an electric current, generating UV light which then excites the gasses. A phosphorous layer is then produced on the inside which glows, giving off light. There is very little heating involved.
What shape are CFLs?
Compact fluorescent light bulbs come in various shapes, such as:
- Candle bulbs represent the shape of a flame, with a pointed tip, and are often used in decorative fixtures, especially slimmer designs that can't accommodate a globe or spiral bulb.
- Globe bulbs are spherical shaped and are often used in vanity mirrors and bathroom pendants. They may take longer to reach full brightness but will become as bright as other CFLs.
- Spiral bulbs have a fluorescent tube that is shaped into a spiral curve. This is the most common CFL bulb shape, producing the same amount of light as an incandescent bulb.
- Stick or tube bulbs usually consist of multiple tubes which are straight. Like candle bulbs, they are commonly used in slimmer lighting fixtures.
What colour are CFL bulbs?
CFL light bulbs come in many variations of white. They are most commonly classed as "Cool White" or "Warm White", which describes the colour temperature of the light that the bulb emits. Colour temperature is a measurement of the light output, given in Kelvin (K). The higher the value, the cooler the white. For example, 5000K would be cool white lighting.
The base of the bulb depicts what fitting it pairs with. CFL lamps usually have a push and twist bayonet or Edison screw base, both of which are available in various sizes.
Why choose a CFL bulb?
Fluorescent bulbs are designed to be more energy-efficient than incandescent or halogen bulbs. They have a very low energy consumption which also saves money on electricity bills, over time. CFL bulbs have a much longer lifetime too, of up to approximately 10 years. The lifetime of the light bulb will be stated in hours.
What is CFL Equivalent Wattage?
Although CFLs do not use the same technology as incandescent bulbs, they are often given a comparable wattage value, providing an easy comparison to the equivalent wattage.