There is now a retail-available incandescent that has enough energy
efficiency to get around the upcoming 2012-2014 ban until 2020.
Thanks to Paul M. Eldridge for mentioning this in article
"candlelight thread" on April 19th!
These are truly incandescent lamps producing about 90-91% as much light
for 70% as much electricity, in comparison to the highest light output
grades of standard incandescents. Light output is fully on par with soft
white ones that have life expectancy extended to 1500 hours. These
improved incandescents have rated life expectancy of 3,000 hours.
They look like soft white incandescents, both while off and while on.
They actually are incandescent, specifically a variation of the halogen
lamp known as "HIR". They gain energy efficiency by using an
infrared-reflecting coating on the inner surface of the inner halogen
Despite being halogen, they are rated to be fully dimmable. Just don't
expect dimming to increase their life as much as dimming increases life of
non-halogen incandescents, since halogens have an extra aging mechanism
that is slowed to a lesser extent by dimming (filament end notching).
Their color, spectrum and color rendering properties are
incandescent-like. The color is more greenish than conventional
incandescent to an extent so small that I usually cannot see this, even
side-by-side against a conventional incandescent while looking for this.
The color difference is of a scale that I have seen between different
conventional incandescents of same color temperature but different
filament winding styles and maybe different tungsten grades. The HIR
lamps definitely *do not*
have anywhere near even halfway a "gas mantle"
extent of being greenish.
I just got some at Home Depot a couple hours ago. They are Philips
Halogena "energy saver".
The 70 watt one produces 1600 lumens (22.9 lumens/watt) and the 40 watt
one produces 800 lumens (20 lumens/watt).
Efficiency is improved over conventional incandescent, but is still only
around 35-40% of that of better compact fluorescents.
Since these are halogen lamps, they should have at least some regular
use with being on long enough to fully warm up to keep the "halogen cycle"
chemical process in the inner capsule working properly (as opposed to
being used only briefly). Because of this and their cost, I would rather
not use these in closet lights, refrigerator lights and motion sensor
lights - those applications are where conventional incandescent is plenty
Where I would recommend these: Other locations where compact
fluorescents are not acceptable due to warmup time, performance with
dimmers, temperature often being far from ideal for CFL, or in fixtures
where CFLs equal to 100 watt incandescent tend to overheat. These
should also be good where there is a critical color or color rendering
requirement that no CFL can meet (whether in fact or by fiat or in
someone's head), or for those who have big problems with disposable
built-in electronic ballasts or with lightbulbs having even 3 milligrams
Since these cost $5 per 2-pack and most ordinary spiral CFLs now cost no
more and also last longer and have at least twice the energy efficiency of
these improved incandescents, I still say use CFL where you can.
- Don Klipstein ( firstname.lastname@example.org)