Familiar With the Light Bulbs of Today

If you are lost in the lights from your hardware store Ray, this article teaches you how to translate the information on the packaging of the bulbs.

A Bit of History

It’s in 1835 James Bowman Lindsay presents the first electric light bulb. His fragile invention at the time allowed to light up for a few minutes an object placed at a distance of… 50 cm. If the name of Bowman Lindsay does not tell you much that is simply because the Scottish engineer has not filed the patent for his invention.

In 1879, Joseph Swan English, then the American Thomas Edison design almost simultaneously the filament bulb. Both file a patent but history will primarily remember the name of Edison; no doubt thanks to faster commercialization of his invention.

Since 2012 and after more than 100 years of use, these filament bulbs (also called incandescent bulbs) are banned from sale in the European Union. Indeed, even if these bulbs are the least expensive to manufacture and therefore also for purchase, they didn’t use to light up only 5 percent of the electricity they consume. the rest is lost as heat. This is good for the planet or interesting for our portfolio.

Three types “bulbs” have taken the succession of bulbs incandescent in french households: halogens (or rather Eco halogen), the Fluo-compact (or lamps low consumption) and the LED with for each category of the qualities and defects that should be taken into account for a cost and satisfactory use.

How to Find the Bulb That Suits Us?

The old bulb incandescent ceiling light in your dining room just let go you, you have no choice, we have to find him a replacement. With incandescent bulbs the selection was simple: only the number of Watts interested us. But today, admittedly, we all have an embarrassing selection to do when we are in front of the impressive radius from our hardware store. Information to follow will help you decipher the manufacturers packaging and should help you make the right choice. You’ll see that there are many features of the current bulbs and manufacturers always provide all of this information on their packaging. I pointed out the parameters that it vout will be imperative to find on the packaging before buying the bulb elected, if you can’t find them on the packaging: go your way. Loans? Let’s go there:

(a) physical characteristics

Type : Eco halogen, compact fluorescent or LED categorized by a2zyellowpages.org. The type is to be chosen based on usage for your bulb (will be the subject of my next article to news of December 2014).

–   The nerve : this is the base of the bulb that connects to your support (chandelier, wall, lamp…). Models of units are very numerous and they have a little abstract denominations: E27, E14, R7S, GU5.3, B… Ideal for get it right is to bring with you to the store the old bulb.

–   The voltage in Volt (V) : she is to choose depending on the configuration of your installation:

  • 12 volt if your bulb is put after a transformer
  • 220 – 230V in the general case, i.e. without transformer
  • Attention if you want to replace the halogen bulbs that are connected to a transformer with LED bulbs, then check that the transformer is aptly one of the following: electronic transformer, regulated power supply, or LED.

(b) lighting characteristics

–  Light output in Lumens (lm) : this number represents the light intensity, i.e. the ability to light the bulb. Before, when there was only incandescent bulbs, used Watts (W). Today the Watt can no longer serve as capabilities for the same number of Watt lighting are different between the halogen bulbs, compact fluorescent and LED.

-The degrees in Kelvin (° K): this figure to determine the color of the light.

  • < 3300 ° K: this is a warm, relaxing white light
  • > 5300 ° K: this is a cold, conducive to work light
  • The natural light of the Sun is located at 5500 ° K
  • The old incandescent bulbs have a light that is around 2500 ° K

-(IRC) colour rendering index: this figure between 1 and 100 to determine the change in the color of the objects illuminated by the light bulb:

  • Index < 80: bad color rendering. A book for functional lighting (in a garage for example)
  • Index = 85: made the correct color
  • Index > 90: very good color rendering
  • 100 index: corresponds to the real color. General halogen bulbs are approaching the 100

–  The angle of diffusion in degrees (°) : concerns only the LEDs, this figure provides information on the area that can be illuminated:

  • For the spots, choose between 45 ° (for illumination of a point) and 140 ° to ambient lighting
  • For bulbs suspended head downwards, choose 180 °
  • For bulbs suspended head upwards, choose 270 °

(c) economic characteristics

–   The electrical power in Watts (W) : this value provides information about the amount of electricity used by the bulb and therefore also on the price that it cost you when it is lit.

-Energy class: it is indicated by a letter between A (for the better) and G (least efficient). It is in fact the efficiency of the bulb, calculated by the ratio of the luminous flux (in lumens) and the electric power (in Watts).

(d) specifics of use

-Battery life: it is calculated on the basis of a lighting of 3 hours / days. This data is all relative because life also depends on the number of ignition, ignition time, temperatures of use…

-The number of ignition cycle: this value is used to guide the buyer to the good use of the bulb. Use in a corridor will require a number of ignitions more important than in a room for example.

–   Ignition time : concerns only compact fluorescent bulbs. This time represents the time required for the bulb to reach 60% of its maximum light output. This value can range from a few milliseconds to more than 1 minute. As for the number of ignition cycles, this value is used to guide the buyer to the good job of the bulb. The use in a corridor will require an ignition time lower than in a room for example.

-Compatibility with a dimmer: when used with a dimmer light, to check that the bulb support

-Outdoor use: some bulb can’t stand the cold, it is often the case with the Fluo-compact, therefore check that the bulb is recommended for outdoor use.

The Luminous Power

We have seen, now the power light of the halogen, compact fluorescent and LED expressed in Lumens. To determine the power need you, you must find a match with the old light bulbs incandescent. Two solutions are possible:

-The manufacturer has indicated a correspondence between the number of Watts of its bulb and the number of Watts of an incandescent bulb that would provide the same amount of lumens. For example: its 8W LED bulb corresponds to a 50W incandescent bulb.

-The manufacturer does not match, please go through the following table:

This table is given as an indication, according to the manufacturers, the values may vary.

CONCLUSION

In a period where energy savings have become mandatory, the disappearance of incandescent bulbs is a good thing. Unfortunately halogens, the Fluo-compact and LED that replaced them are less versatile and more expensive to purchase. So until manufacturers improve their products, you just more to make the right choice so that these energy savings do not become a source of additional cost to your portfolio.

If you have a little time, by clicking on the image at right, I encourage you to follow the link to the series of small films that AFE (French Association of lighting) has carried out. These videos explain the operation and properties of natural light and our domestic lighting. You will see that our modern bulbs are not simply used to illuminate but can also transform the atmosphere of our interiors and change the size of our parts.

 

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