CFL's revisited


rather than completely threadjack the ongoing thread about "best" CFLs...
I decided to take a systematic approach to attempting to find acceptable CFL lighting for each room in my house. I have collected the following:
- GE "soft white" nominally 2700K - Sylvania "soft white" 3000K - GE "cool white" 4100K - GE "daylight" 6500K - Ott-lite "HD natural lighing" (color temp? Seems pretty freakin' high.) - GE "soft white" incandescent - GE "reveal" incandescent
all CFLs are 13 or 15W, incandescents are 60W, to make light output comparable
What I'd like to see is if a color temp somewhere between the Sylvania soft white and the GE cool white might not be preferable in some locations, but I'm not aware of anything commonly available, does anyone make a standard Edison base CFL that fills that gap?
Unfortunately my color preference in most places out of the above seems to be either one of the two incandescents or else the Sylvania CFLs, and I really, really hate that little delay when you turn the Sylvania CFLs on cold. I guess I will have to learn to live with it though, or else become an energy wasting pig and use incandescents.
Also, are there any GOOD globe style CFLs available preferably somewhere around the 4000K range? (looking at the selection at Tarjay, they have GE ones, no color temp or even hint thereof, but the packaging appears similar to the "soft white" bulbs, which I am not sure I'd like in the bathroom.) I have some n:vision ones and also some "bright effects" ones and they're both garbage, take waaaaay too long to warm up. Also the n:vision ones do not last, one is dead and since I bought them in 2-packs and have a 3 light fixture, I had a spare, the spare is noticeably brighter than the two that have been in use. Can't be more than two years old. Why are the non-spiral format bulbs so much crappier than the spirals? Haven't had any trouble with the spirals, even the grab bag that came with the house.
nate
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Nate Nagel wrote:

I bought a two pack of the 6500K bulbs. Much too blue. In one room, it is not so bad, but in the other room that has pale blue walls to begin with, it is not so good at all. Like you, I'd like to see something int he 3500K to 3800K range. I've gotten used to the 4100's though and will probably buy more of them.
In any case, they are far superior than the old dingy green lights of the past. A couple of them are on timers so I don't see the lag at start up.
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What is this K value? Does it refer to peak wavelength, which should be in angstroms? I had one pair of bulbs - do not remember brand - that were so blue that I had to relegate them to the front porch as they were unusable inside.
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http://www.homedepot.ca/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/DisplayTemplate?display=buying_cfl&langId=-15&storeId 051
HD has good reference. Kelvin is a temperature reference but bulbs obviously cannot reach these temperatures so it must be reference to light from source at this temperature.
Myself, I go for the lower rating. Also pleases wife when I go for 75 watt equivalent in replacing 60 watt incandescent as she will tolerate the delay for the reward of brighter light.
I don't use for bathroom fixtures where usage will be brief.
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On Wed, 06 Jan 2010 08:36:18 -0500, Frank

    I believe they are perfect when used mixed with incandescent lamps.
    With both types on you get a good color mix. Also when you first turn them on they are dimmer than their full brighness so you don't get that spotlight in the eyes effect in the morning.
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On Wed, 6 Jan 2010 04:46:19 -0800 (PST), Frank

K= temperature in Kelvin.
The new Sylvania 3000K bulbs are closer to incandescent warmth.
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No.K = kelvins (formerly degrees Kelvin) - a means of measuring the light emitted by an object as compared to a black body radiator. See the lighting section here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Color_temperature
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Frank wrote:
<SNIP previously quoted material>

That is the temperature in Kelvin that an ideal incandescent radiator would have to be in order to glow with closest-match in color to the lamp in question.
- Don Klipstein ( snipped-for-privacy@misty.com)
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Nate Nagel wrote:

Have you run any CFLs for a decent amount of time? The color temp settles a bit warmer and the turn on delay reduces after a month or so of normal operation.
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The latest Sylvania micro minis are 2700K. Very close to traditional incandescent color temps (warm).
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yes, of the above, the Sylvania and GE "soft white" have been in use in my house for some time - I don't recall replacing any bulbs in the past year or more save for one hallway. The delay with the Sylvania is still present e.g. in the master bedroom and it annoyed me even before I correlated it to a particular brand of CFL. It only seems to happen if the "bulb" has had a chance to completely cool down however. if you turn it off and then back on again it is much better (but how often do you do that?) It's really noticeable if you're doing comparisons with an incandescent in another fixture on the same switch...
Granted, that also means that the Sylvania are likely at least two year old production, so if someone can tell me that current production has improved in this respect I'd be willing to give them a try, especially given that they seem to have the nicest color of all the CFLs.
nate
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CFLs with outer bulbs around them have their tubing achieving higher temperature than is the case with bare tubing. The mercury amalgam formulation has to be adjusted to give the optimum concentration of mercury vapor at this higher temperature.
(Both too much and too little mercury vapor concentration reduces its performance in producing the shortwave UV that makes the phosphor coating glow.)
So the bulb-enclosed CFL has more need for warmup than a bare-tubing CFL has. In addition, that higher temperature takes more time to achieve.
- Don Klipstein ( snipped-for-privacy@misty.com)
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