Lamps must shine for a long time…
In the nearest future, energy-saving lamps will become an inherent part of our everyday life. And nobody argues today with this fact. In a lot of countries energy-saving lamps take a worthy place in projects of hotels, restaurants, shopping centers, offices, parks and public places illumination.
How quickly will take place a mass transition to the use of economical light sources by average consumers depends on different factors: civilization of the society, level of people welfare and education, readiness of the legislation, ecological consciousness.
Some states have already now bound and, from a certain time, impose ban on production of conventional incandescent lamps. At the last summit of the European Union countries in 2006 a decision was taken about a complete transition to the use of energy-saving lamps from 2009.
Compact fluorescent lamps (CFL, energy-saving lamps) unite in themselves efficient energy consumption peculiar to fluorescent light sources as well as ease of utilization and popularity of universal incandescent lamps (UIL). CFL may substitute for UIL completely because they surpass UIL approximately 5 times in power, when saving at the same time about 80 % of electric energy. In spite of the fact that the value of CFL exceeds 3-10 times the value of incandescent lamps, their service life is 6-15 times longer (6000-15000 hours).
The principle of CFL operation is the same one that lies in the base of operation of a standard fluorescent lamp in the form of a lamp-tube that is well-known to everybody. Compact fluorescent lamp consist of two parts: a tube filled with gas and magnetic or electronic ballast (starting regulator). The gas in the tube emits ultra-violet lighting under influence of an electric charge. Luminophore, with which the internal surface of the bulb is coated, emits lighting in a visible range when absorbing an ultra-violet radiation. The luminophore composition determines a color hue of the visible radiation: from warm yellow to white-bluish. The color temperature is determined in Degrees Kelvin: warm yellow lighting of the lamp - approximately 2700 К, white daylight corresponds to 3500-4500 К range, light of he midday sun - 5000-6500 К.
Modern technologies allowed to diminish the fluorescent tube to tiny sizes. The lamps are prodiced that have U-type tubes, tubes in a form of a spiral, of lotus petals. These tubes can be housed into a majority of standard lighting fixtures calculated for incandescent lamps. Due to their unique forms, the lamps themselves have a decorative value. Sometimes they are placed into special mat bulbs imitating the form of an incandescent lamp.
A majority of up-to-date CFL are produced with a built-in electronic starter device (ESD). This helps to prolong their service life, increase convenience of use and to achieve significant economy of electric energy. Fluorescent lamps with electromagnetic ballast flicker a little at the moment of start. Moreover, they are more cumbersome then lamps with electronic ballast. This feature complicates their use in a majority of standard lighting fixtures. The lamps with electronic ballast are more expensive but they are switched on without flickering, humming, have less size and less weight, consume energy more economically.
While the first fluorescent lamps had significant limitations in temperature conditions, the modern CFL can be used both for interior illumination and for outdoor one. The biggest energy economy is provided by these lamps when they are used in such places where light is turned on not for short time but permanently. Due to an increased service life, replacement of such lamps takes place much rare, therefore it is convenient to use them in hard-to-reach places.
Compact fluorescent lamps have an excellent color gamut, high lighting efficiency, stable luminous flux within the whole service life and long operating period. New technologies allow to achieve a significant increase of lighting efficiency: a 24 Wt compact fluorescent lamp is created with a lighting equivalent to 150 Wt incandescent lamp. And that is not the limit...