How Long Do These Light Bulbs REALLY Last?
Incandescent bulbs that have higher voltage, for example 130 volts instead of 120 volts, will last much longer. However, there is a trade off. A bulb made for 130 volts gives off less light than a counterpart who is 120 volts. Therefore, you are getting less light for your money. On the left, you can see the 130V stamped on top of the 100 watt incandescent bulb.
(ie.: commercial security application), the lamp life doubled to 20,000 hours. The ten thousand hour lamp life was based on three turn-ons and three turn-offs a day because this reduced the lamp life of the bulb. The bulb shown on the left is the first energy saving bulb made in Lynn Massachusetts by Philips Lighting and sold in the United States. The year was 1982 and Lynn Mass. with a "Westinghouse" history was making the first energy saving bulb called the SL-18. The selling price for 5 years would be $24.95 and the savings on the electric bill gave an excellent Payback on your investment. The bulb later became to be know as the EARTH bulb in the late 1980's.
Then over the years corners started to be cut and everybody was making these bulbs. The cost to buy these bulbs was dropping like a rock, but lower prices isn't always a good thing. The bulbs would give off poor light color, they weren't as bright per watt, defective rates went way up, and the lamp life went way down. Instead of 15,000 hours, these cheaper bulbs will burnout in 8,000 or 6,000 hours. The new Long-Life Incandescent bulbs will last 2,000 hours, so 6,000 hours was a big disappointment from 15,000 hours.
1.) Light Level - What wattage is the new bulb equal to in old light bulb watts. A/K/A light output or Lumens. Very important to know that you are correctly replacing bulbs that give you necessary and save light levels.
2.) Lamp Life - How long will the new bulb last before burning out. Only accept less the 10,000 hours for energy saving bulbs with special "technical benefits", such as a 3 - way energy saving bulb, yes they exist!
3.) Features - Will the bulb meet your needs? Such as work on a Dimmer Switch, in the cold, or can it get wet.
Updated Blog Post - Article on Lightbulb Hotline to EnergyHotwire.com to GoingTrueGreen.com Blog
Bill Lauto, at GoingTrueGreen.com
International Sustainability and Energy Consultant
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