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Thursday, May 10th, 2001

fun with lumens

I’ve been upgrading my incandescent light fixtures to compact fluorescent (CF), to take advantage of the huge energy savings. (70+% savings is typical. That is, you can replace a 100-watt incandescent bulb with a 25-watt CF, which produces a roughly equivalent amount of light.)

The first CFs I purchased were Feit Mini-Twist Ecobulbs from Costco. They’re not wonderful; the bulb is very long, so it doesn’t fit in most fixtures, and the color temperature of the light is probably 2600° K, so the light seems overly yellow/orange and somewhat dingy. Standard household bulbs range from 2800° to 3000° K, depending on wattage, so these CFs weren’t far out of range but do cast a sickly light.

The second set is radically different. I purchased three 15-watt full-spectrum bulbs from for a tiny, dark bathroom. These bulbs have a color temp of 5500° K, or about the same as midday sun. The result is fantastic; from outside the bathroom, it now looks as if the room has a large window above the sink. Inside the bathroom the light is almost unnaturally white (which is ironic, in that it mimics perhaps the most natural light there is). This light is definitely different, but it appeals to me, possibly for the same reasons full-spectrum bulbs are used to treat Seasonal Affective Disorder. (Full-spectrum light stimulates the endocrine system, and who wouldn’t want their endocrine system stimulated? Certainly not me. I’m always up for a solid jolt to the endocrine system; in fact I have a pituitary massage scheduled for Tuesday.)

If you’re researching compact fluorescents, here’s an interesting article: Compact Fluorescent Lamps: What You Should Know.

posted to channel: Conservation
updated: 2006-01-28 07:31:14

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