Which lamps are betterToday, these light sources are so widespread that they are not surprising to anyone. Nevertheless, the principle of their work and the properties are still not very familiar to the overwhelming majority of people, because of which their distribution is restrained in such a sphere, for example, as a household one.


  • 1 What are these lamps
  • 2 Energy Saving Lamps - Specifications
  • 3 The advantages and disadvantages of energy-saving lamps
  • 4 What characteristics to pay attention to
  • 5 Savings - an example of calculation
  • 6 A few comments from practice

What are these lamps

Meanwhile, their device is similar to the fluorescent illuminators known to all - the same glass tube, the walls of which are covered with phosphor from the inside, while it itself filled with mercury vapor and argon. At the ends of the tube there is a pair of electrodes, which are heated to 900-1000 ° C and no longer able to hold electrons, "evaporating" under the influence of the applied voltage.

In the course of their movement, electrons collide with neutral atoms of mercury and argon, which leads to the formation of a low-temperature plasma emitting ultraviolet waves. The phosphor irradiated by them generates visible light emitted outside.

Since the electrodes are connected to an alternating voltage source with a frequency of tens of kilohertz, the functions of the anode and cathode are performed by them alternately and with the same frequency. Due to this, as well as the inertia of our vision, there is no flicker for the human eye.

Externally, these light sources may have different formsFor example, in the form of a pear or a ball, a cylinder or a candle. They differ from ordinary fluorescent lamps in a slightly enlarged base. The fact is that the manufacturers were able to build in a starter combined with a high-voltage by generator high-frequency voltage, thanks to which instruments familiar to everyone long ago acquired new remarkable properties.

Energy Saving Lamps - Specifications

Power - unit - watts (W, W). With increasing power, the brightness and power consumption increase. On the package it is usually indicated what power it is necessary to take an ordinary incandescent bulb in order to receive from it the same amount of light.

Light flow - unit of measure - lumens (lm, lm). This characteristic shows the efficiency of conversion of electricity into light, that is, the greater the luminous flux, the lighter. Usually this parameter decreases as the light source is used.

Colour temperature -Energy saving lampthe unit is Kelvin degrees (K). The temperature of the heated filament of an ordinary light bulb is about 2700 K (2427 ° C), and the color of its glow is yellow. Energy-saving devices emit visible light through a phosphor, by changing the chemical composition of which, you can change the color of the glow. The fact that these lamps have such a property is a great advantage of them, since it makes it possible to choose the most appropriate lighting for specific conditions. For these light sources, the color temperature may lie in the range from 2500 to 6500 K. It is customary to distinguish the following types by this parameter:

  • from 2700 K to 3200 K - emit light of warm white color (the proportion of red in the spectrum of white is increased), well suited as a light source for residential premises;
  • from 4000 K to 4200 K - give a neutral white light, recommended for work and office space, as well as for public places;
  • from 6000 K to 6500 K - emit a cool white color, used in non-residential premises, street lamps, theater systems.

Color rendering ratio - relative unit that characterizes the color rendition of a real light source compared to an ideal source, for which this parameter is conventionally taken equal to 100. The minimum value, as practice shows, should be 82, since for smaller values ​​an illusion of fog appears, the shadows in this light look blurry, and white objects look unnaturally sharp with greenish-blue shades.

Light return - unit of measure - lumen per watt (lm / W, Lm / W). This characteristic shows the efficiency of the radiator and is defined as the ratio of the amount of light produced by it in lumens to the energy consumed for this in watts. This parameter is based on the system used today for the classification of lighting devices for their energy efficiency. In accordance with it, they are all divided into 7 classes, denoted by Latin letters from A to G. Incandescent bulbs in this system belong to classes E and F, and energy-saving lighting devices belong to classes A and B.

The advantages and disadvantages of energy-saving lamps

Some of the benefits are:

  • What are the disadvantages of lampsservice life is 5-8 times higher than that for incandescent lamps;
  • energy consumption is 4-5 times lower than that of incandescent devices of equal power;
  • these light sources are distinguished by the stability of the light flux during the entire service life;
  • the flask of an energy-saving device during operation is heated to a temperature not exceeding 65 ° C;
  • principle of operation energy-saving devices allows you to produce them with a variety of spectral characteristics;
  • the load on the electrical network of apartments, houses, cities is significantly reduced.

Some of the disadvantages are:

  • smooth adjustment of the brightness of the glow is associated with great technical difficulties;
  • energy-saving light sources with a capacity of more than a few hundred watts are very difficult to find, if not impossible;
  • energy-saving devices are rather inertial and do not allow frequent switching on and off;
  • Flasks of energy-saving light sources contain highly toxic mercury, which requires special measures for their disposal after the end of their service life.

What characteristics to pay attention to

If you are going to make a purchase, pay attention to the following characteristics - it may be useful.

Physical dimensions

Advantages of lampsEnergy-saving devices have, in comparison with incandescent bulbs, several large dimensions. In this regard, when purchasing them, it is necessary to check whether they are suitable in size for those lamps in which you plan to install them. This issue is particularly relevant for various closed-type luminaires.

Size and type of cap

Similar to incandescent devices, these lamps are also available with various types of sockets. Therefore, be careful when choosing the light source you need.

The color of the emitted light

It has already been pointed out above that lamps of this type can be produced with different white light - from “cold” to “warm”. In this regard, pay attention to where the lamp is supposed to be used and to the desired shade of its light.


To determine this parameter, it is necessary to remember that energy-saving lamps consume in 4 (and high quality - 5) times less electricity than incandescent lamps, with the same stream of light.

Life time

It was already mentioned above that this parameter for energy-saving lamps is much higher than that for incandescent lamps. Considering this parameter, as well as in the case of power, it is necessary to pay attention to the quality of the lamp - the “branded” lamps usually have a longer service life, but they are also more expensive.

Light efficiency

One of the most important parameters from the point of view of the consumer. The ideal lamp converts all the electricity consumed into a light of a given wavelength. In this case, the light output would be 683 lm / W. However, in reality, real lamps consume electricity not only on the useful light, but also on heat, on the emission of light in the ultraviolet and infrared parts of the spectrum. The light output is usually not given on the packaging of the lamp, but it is easy to calculate it by dividing the luminous flux of the lamp by its power.

Light flow

How to burn energy-saving lampsPart of the emitted light of any energy-saving lamp accounts for the ultraviolet and infrared parts of the spectrum, although they are useless, but also require energy. In this regard, acquiring such a lamp, it is necessary to pay attention to such a parameter as the amount of luminous flux. Different manufacturers may well offer the same lamp power, but with a different luminous flux. In this case, if all the other parameters are identical, it is necessary to buy a lamp from the manufacturer with whom this parameter has a greater value.

Construction and details

Any energy-saving lamp has a plastic case between the glass bulb and the base, inside of which there is a special electronic circuit. This scheme also costs money, and the higher the quality of its components, the higher its cost.

In addition, the cost is also influenced by such a parameter as the safety factor — for expensive lamps, some parts of the scheme work with “underload”, and for cheap lamps - with “overload”. Accordingly, in the second case, the parts will warm up stronger and they are much closer to failure than the parts from the first case. The second case becomes clear pretty quickly - when you turn on such a lamp, smells appear from under its base quickly (a sign of overheating!), Which should not be.

Heat dissipation

Since part of the electricity is always spent on heating, the issue of its removal has always been and remains. In expensive lamps, this issue is solved by the use of parts with a margin of power, so that they work without being loaded "to the eyeballs". Also in them, the construction itself is very carefully developed, and the materials are applied efficient from the point of view of heat dissipation, that is, the technical level of the design as a whole is very high.

If the lamp is chosen from those that are far from the branded ones, then in this case the choice of a lamp with a not the smallest body looks more practical. (such a characteristic as compactness is the enemy of an effective heat sink), as well as with ventilation openings in its case, if any are available.

Savings - an example of calculation

Power savingTake for example an incandescent lamp with a service life of 1000 hours and an energy-saving lamp like “Navigator” with a service life of 8000 hours.

The cost of these lamps with their power of 100 and 20 W, respectively, is about 0.2 and 4.0.

Suppose that the current cost of electricity is 0.1 per 1 kW * hour.

  • To shine 8000 hours, it will take 8 incandescent lamps, that is, the cost of lighting devices will be 0.2 x 8 = 1.6.
  • These lamps during this time will consume 100 x 8000 = 800000 W * hour or 800 kW * hour of electricity.
  • At the agreed price, the total cost of electricity will be 0.1 * 800 = 80.
  • Total, therefore, the costs will be 1.6 + 80 = 81.6 $.
  • For the case of an energy-saving lamp, electricity will require 20 * 8000 = 160000 W * hour or 160 kW * hour.
  • Its cost will be 0.1 * 160 = 16.
  • Total for this case, the costs will be 4.0 + 16.0 = 20.0 $.
  • That is, given the parameters, the savings will be 81.6 – 20.0 = 61.6 $.

Threefold savings, and this despite the fact that no special measures were taken to select the most economical solution!

A few comments from practice

Practice will showThe service life depends, first of all, on the manufacturer, that is, on the quality of production. So, for example, the typical service life of the lamps belonging to the "brand" (and costing respectively more expensive) is not less than 12-15 thousand hours. The same devices, but from the category of "simpler", are cheaper, but their service life does not usually exceed 6-10 thousand hours. Cheapest, sometimes with an unknown manufacturer, lamps supposedly 3-4 thousand hours, but often fail much earlier due to poor quality of their production. A frank marriage among them, alas, is not uncommon, since it appears quite often due to their imperfect production.

Energy-saving devices with a soft-start technology built into them are most preferable for demanding customer, because this technology provides them with at least several thousand "Extra" hours of life. Such lamps at the time of inclusion, while they are not warmed up (and cold, respectively), automatically they do not turn on at full capacity - they switch to it after one or two minutes after inclusions.

The life time of energy-saving lamps is also highly dependent on how often they are turned on or off, that is, change the mode of operation. The less often this happens, the longer the lamp will serve. General Electric specialists recommend turning off energy-saving lamps not earlier than 5-10 minutes after switching on.

And one more practical advice - in no case is it recommended to connect energy-efficient devices to the power supply network through various soft-start devices or overvoltage protection blocks. Technical devices of this kind can "save" the incandescent lamp, but they can lead an energy-saving lamp to a quick "demise" due to fundamentally different algorithms of operation of these lamps.