Choose a bulb is far from neglecting to ensure good visual comfort while limiting the energy expenditure, even if the scheduled elimination of incandescent models changes the offer on the shelf.
Difficult to see clearly between traditional bulbs, the halogen big energy consumers and the “CFL” efficient but often considered little decorative – not to mention forms and almost endless colors. If we add to this the power, voltage, the shape of the nerve, or even light efficiency, we’re not far from having to follow engineering studies to navigate. Some informed explanations are needed.
Traditional incandescent bulbs contain a tungsten filament that heats up as soon as an electric current travels. They have the advantage to offer good quality light and very affordable to purchase (1.50 to 2 euros). Only, they are main drawback to produce too much heat, so spending a lot of electricity and increase the risk of burns. In addition, their life expectancy is short (1,000 hours) and their low luminous efficiency (about 12 lumens/watt). Better book them in hard to reach places where they will be switched on for short periods of time (cellar, staircase, closet…).
Halogens are also made up of a long filament in tungsten, but it is surrounded by an inert gas mixed with compounds halogen (fluorine and chrome, for example), all covered with a protection made of quartz-based. Most often in the form of “pencil”, they provide a white light close to natural light for a purchase price of affordable (from 4 euros). However, their insufficient brightness (of the order of 18 lumens/watt), their strong heat development and their important electricity consumption are drawbacks. One precaution: the bulb should never be touched with the fingers, at the risk of weakening the quartz directly. There also are halogen bulbs low-voltage (12 or 24 V), ideal for an e-reader.
The “Economic” Bulbs Deserve Their Name
The most recent family of bulbs is the CFLs. They contain a mixture of vapors of mercury and rare gases which, thanks to the creation of an electric field, emits ultraviolet a light powder turns into visible light. With its long tubes that rush in a plastic base, the first generation was relatively unattractive. Since then, models and forms have been multiplied and miniaturized; There are CFLs for all types of chandeliers. Their main appeal comes from their low energy expenditure, five times lower than that of their competitors. In addition, they heat up much less than halogens or classics, and their duration of life of 6000 hours minimum, often of 8,000 hours and more, as well as their excellent luminous efficiency (40-80 LM/w), are serious assets. Their purchase price remains higher (from 4 to 16 euros) but the investment pays for itself because of their life. Their flaws: they do not instantly, light which can annoy; they are unsuitable for dimmers unless specified in the package. Finally, due to the fumes of mercury they contain, they should be reported once used store. Free recovery is required when buying a new one, they can also be deposited in the bins provided at the entrance of some points of sale.
Choose the Power According to the Use
At the time of the purchase, remember to choose the good nerve: bayonet (reference B22) for some, large screw (E27 reference) or narrow screw (reference E14) for others. Also look at the packaging carefully. Several indications include: effective energy (from A to G) – obviously prefer the classified models A to save energy-, brightness (in lumens), life (in hours) and the power (in watts). The choice of the latter depends on the use you want to make your bulb. To watch TV or create an atmosphere in a room, it must be between 40 and 60 watts for a conventional bulb, 20 and 35 W for a light bulb halogen and 5 and 11 W for a CFL. However, for reading or working, the power must remain between 75 and 100 W for a conventional bulb, 60 and 100 W for a halogen bulb 15 W for a CFL. Except for timers and power dimmer lights, better kitted out in CFL bulbs, they are energy efficient and relieve the electric bill.