Energy saving lamp, for or against

Many have switched to energy-saving lamps, and what they are made of, how they work, we will weigh the pros or cons ...


Energy saving lamp
Our time dictates new rules in energy saving, and one of the directions in energy saving is lighting in everyday life and at work. Incandescent lamps have been replaced by the so-called energy-saving lamps, or what is more correct to call them (low pressure mercury lamp). Let's see what an energy-saving lamp is.

The energy-saving lamp is a gas-discharge light source, its structure can be decomposed into three main components: a base, a fluorescent lamp and an electronic module. Base - (no different from a conventional incandescent lamp) serves to screw the lamp into a socket, which is connected to the network.

Plinths differ in size and thread, there are generally accepted designations for the size of the plinth:

  • E14 - the smallest also has the old name "minion"
  • E27 is the most common size
  • E40 - used in street and industrial lighting

The energy-saving lamp is based on the principle of a long-known fluorescent lamp. What has changed: of course, the shape, and most importantly, bulky chokes and starters have been replaced by a small improved electronic unit, thanks to which the lamp does not blink and ignites without flickering, the electronic unit fits in the base of the lamp.

An energy-saving lamp consists of one or several gas-discharge tubes filled with inert gas and mercury vapors, the tube walls are covered with a special coating (phosphor). The shape of the lamp can be different, look like an ordinary lamp with hidden tubes inside the outer bulb, spiral, etc. When electricity is supplied to the lamp, an electric discharge occurs between the electrodes located in the gas discharge tube, and electrons begin to move from the discharge.

When electrons move, they collide with mercury atoms, as a result of which ultraviolet radiation is formed that is not visible to the human eye. The phosphor applied to the walls of the tubes absorbs ultraviolet radiation and, under the influence of this process, begins to emit ordinary light visible to the human eye. The composition of the phosphor coating affects the color spectrum and characteristics of the light emitted by the lamp.

Pros and cons of energy saving lamps Pros: when replacing conventional incandescent lamps with energy-saving ones, real energy savings are possible, since an energy-saving light bulb consumes 2-3 times less electricity. Long service life up to 10,000 thousand hours, when using a light bulb 6 hours a day should work for about 4.5 years. It heats up less in comparison with the same incandescent lamp, which allows it to be used in closed luminaires.

An interesting lamp design can be noted. Cons: the high cost is 10-15 times more expensive than a conventional incandescent lamp, the impossibility of working together with a light intensity regulator (dimmer), they do not like frequent switching on and off, they are sensitive to voltage fluctuations in the mains, there are mercury vapors in the light bulb, which can be dangerous when damage to the glass bulb or tube, require special disposal.

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