compact, fluorescent bulbs offer significant energy savings as compared
to regular incandescent bulbs. They also produce less heat for an
equivalent amount of light and are therefore safer to use against
combustible walls. On the negative side, they do not offer full spectrum
light, but various color indexes are generally available. They also
suffer from diminishing light output over time. The more they are turned
on and off, the shorter their life. Be on the lookout for new
technologies coming which will exceed the performance of even these
efficient lighting components.
|LED bulbs are becoming
available, finally. In most respects, they are no better than the CFL in
terms of energy efficiency, but that will probably change in the years
Here is a view of the current best of the LEDs
available. Click on the photo for more information. They are
useable in most of our lighting designs.
While fluorescent bulbs have come a long
way in the past few years, they are not without problems. First is color
rendition. Some bulbs will appear quite white, others pink or yellow.
Some bulbs tell you their color temperature, some don't. Sometimes
these color variations are only a problem if you mix different bulbs
from different manufacturers. Even so, the spectrum from these bulbs is
not a smooth continuum as from an incandescent bulb. Some colors will be
missing which means that objects seen under this light may appear
different than they do in daylight or under incandescent bulbs.
This can be more or less objectionable depending on your requirements.
Generally speaking, a temperature of 3000k will give colors truest to
daylight. But remember, the eye adapts to the yellow-orange of regular
incandescent quite easily and sees it as near white, so introducing
fluorescent into a room with standard incandescent can be a strange
experience to most people.
Also, fluorescents will darken with age
and give a diminished output. Most fluorescents cannot be dimmed,
although there are some on the market now which have a dimming
note on halogen bulbs: If you want halogen light, which is a very white
form of incandescent bulb, we recommend the use of double encapsulated
halogen bulbs usually available in hardware stores. These bulbs have a
thick glass shell and look like normal incandescent bulbs, but inside is
another, smaller halogen bulb, with powers usually from 60 to 100 watts.
This is one type of double
envelope halogen bulb. It may be used just about anywhere an ordinary
incandescent bulb is used. The benefits are longer life and a whiter
light than ordinary incandescents, but they cost more.