Wednesday, January 28, 2009

My CFL Plug In doesn't work and I'm being told I have a ballast problem?

Compact Fluorescent Plug In Light Bulbs are not like normal light bulbs or even normal screw in compact fluorescent light bulbs. CFL light bulbs contain a gas that ignites which lights up. Screw in type cfls have a ballast on the end (the part that screws) that ignites this gas. Plug in cfl bulbs do not contain their own ballast. The ballast is build in to the lighting fixture.

Most often than not, it's the ballast on these that goes bad. And since plug in compact fluorescent bulbs don't have a ballast, you'll need to look at the ballast that is connected to your lighting fixture. Only 1 in several thousand plug in compact fluorescent plug in light bulbs do we see that it's the bulb that is the problem and that's because the bulb has concealed damage.

Holly Eddins

Monday, January 26, 2009

Sharper Image Ionic Breeze Air Purifier Light Bulbs

The Sharper Image Ionic Breeze Air Purifier uses a Philips Light Bulb. That light bulb is a TUV 15W G15 T8 Ultraviolet Fluorescent light bulb. Made by Philips Lighting.

We get many customers calling asking how long these bulbs are suppose to last. That is really not the question that is important. When you are using TUV light bulbs in air purifiers, the question is how long the manufacturer recommends that you use the light bulb. In this case, Sharper Image recommends that you should only use the bulbs for a period of a year. That means even though the bulb may still be working, you should dispose of it.
Why? Because Sharper Image does their own testing with these bulbs. They mark the acceptable effectiveness for the bulb in combination with their machine. When the purifier starts to not perform to their standards, that is the period of time they recommend changing the bulb and that time period is 1 year.

Holly Eddins

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

What does "ALU" mean in the Philips Ordering Code?

With Philips MR16 Halogen light bulbs, the energy advantage collection has some products that have an aluminum reflector. Thus the "ALU" designation.
Why do some of them have that designation in the ordering code? This reflector pushes all the heat generated by the bulb out the front of the bulb. With ones that don't have the reflector, heat will come through the back as well as the front of the bulb.

Holly Eddins

Sunday, January 18, 2009

What is the difference in the neck of the old Philips Twistline bulbs and the one now?

Philips Twistline Halogen light bulbs use to be made with a clear neck. Basically the glass used surrounding the filaments was continued down to very close to the power source. Now, the Philips twistline bulbs are made with a white ceramic insulator.

This insulator could just be a design change or a change made when changing the factory that produces the bulbs. The company does not confirm that the change was made to insulate the bulb from heat. The difference in the design does not change anything but the look of the bulb. It still produces just as much light and works in the same light fixture. The only difference is going to be that not as much light will be emitted through the neck of the bulb where before light did come through the entire length of the clear neck.

Holly Eddins

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

How much energy does a light bulb use?

The energy consumed by light bulbs is measured in wattages. When purchasing a light bulb they are all designated with a certain watt rating. This will effect many things but for our topic here, let's talk about the energy used.

An incancescent uses more energy than a halogen which uses more than a compact fluorescent then LED is next with the lowest amount of energy used for a particular amount of light.

So, let's say that you are using a 65 watt flood light in your home and it is an incandescent and is rated to last 2500 hours. Let's also say that your local utility charges .1645 per KW. Using these assumptions, this light bulb will use 162.50 KW over the life of the bulb and will cost you almost $27 in electric costs. If you'd like to figure the savings you might have by using more efficient bulbs, use our easy Energy Cavings Calculator to help.

Holly Eddins

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Is it true that 120 volt bulbs are brighter than 130 volt light bulbs?

Technically, both light bulbs are tested to be the same amount of lumens or brightness. But that is when the bulbs are tested at their respective voltages. So, the 120 volt light bulb is tested at 120 volts and the 130 volt light bulb is tested at 130 volts. When you look at it this way one is not brighter than the other.

Now, if you were to put both options in a socket in your home or office, you will notice at the 120 volt bulb is going to be a little brighter than the 130 volt bulb. Why? If your house happens to have 124 volts of energy at the outlet, the 120 volt will be working harder and will shine a bit brighter and the 130 volt bulbs will not be pushed to their limit and will not shine as bright.

It's also important to know the difference that this makes in the life of the bulb which you can read in a post below.

Holly Eddins

Thursday, January 8, 2009

How many Volts do Light Bulbs use?

Light Bulbs don't really use volts. They use watts. But light bulbs can operate at certain voltages based on the fixture you are using. Some use low voltage which is usually around 12 volts.

Most of your residential light bulbs are going to be 120 or 130 volts. Depending on how close your home is to a power station, will determine what voltage you should use. Some can use 120 volts with no problem and their bulbs will last that average amount of time the manufacturer advises. If your area gets many power surges or you are close to a power station you should be using 130 volt light bulbs.

Then other bulbs can go as high as 277 volts but these are more specialized bulbs.

Holly Eddins

Sunday, January 4, 2009

How long does a traditional light bulb last?

Periodically, I get this question and there is NO pat answer. It varies per bulb and per manufacturer. And I know that there are a great deal of off brands of light bulbs out there and brand DOES matter. If you want a light bulb to do what it touts on the box, choose one of the 3 major brands. Philips, GE or Osram-Sylvania.

Anyway, back to the question. For your general incandescent bulbs can last between 1000 and 2500 hours. Many companies will put a time period in years, but you must look at the small writing because this assumption is based on using so many hours per day. Halogen bulbs will last anywhere from 3000 to 6000 hours. Then compact fluorescent bulbs can last anywhere from 8000 to 15,000 hours.

Holly Eddins

Friday, January 2, 2009

How do I remove a broken Light Bulb?

First off, you screw in a light bulb clockwise and unscrew counter-clockwise. The last thing you want to do is to try and do this with your bare hand. You might try and unscrewing it with needle nose pliars. This should do the trick. I've also heard of folks using a potatoe. Simply cut it in half and depress over the broken bulb and twist. Not sure if this works or not. If you try it, let me know how it does!

I recently had someone tell me that white specs were coming from a broken bulb and wanted to know if it was asbestos. To my knowledge, light bulbs are not made with asbestos materials but if you have a concern like this, please contact the manufacturer of the bulb. They are the only ones that will be able to give you a straight up answer.

Holly Eddins