Energy Efficient Lighting: Lamp Life of New Energy Efficient Bulbs

Posted by Dave VanTol on Thu, Dec 15, 2011 @ 07:12 AM

Fluorescent lamp life:

All lamps are not created equal, and while there are hundreds of different configurations I want to touch base on the common non-specialized lamps that we see every day.

Types Of Fluorescent Lamps

T12 Fluorescent:

Todays 4' T12 lamps have a lamp life of around 20,00 hrs. Extended life T12 lamps are available but even then they only give you 24,000 hrs. All the lamps listed below are figured on a 12 hour per day burn cycle.

T8 Fluorescent:T12, T8, and T5 lamps

4' T8 lamps which are what you will usually see today are set up basically the same way but the lamp life is significantly better

Standard is 36,000 hrs.

Extra life is 42-45,000 hrs.

There are even Super long life lamps that will go an astounding 60,000 hrs!

T5 Fluorescent:

T5 fluorescents last a little less, but keep in mind they are considered a "high output" lamp.

Average life expectancy is between 30-36,000 hrs.

Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFL):

There are many different CFL designs. From the 2 and 4 pin style that are typical of can lights in a commercial setting, to the curly style you probably have burning in your homes. I will give a range of hours they each have.

2 and 4 pin lamps:Types of CFL

Single and double tubed CFL's fall into the 10 - 20,000 hr range. While this may not seem like much you must compare them to incandescents which have a life of 1 - 3,000 hrs.

The triple tube version fares a bit better and falls into the 20,000 hr category.

Self-Ballasted CFL:

Many of you know these as the curly looking lamps, however today they make them to resemble the typical light bulb in appearance. These have a lamp life range from 8,000 to 12,000 hrs. Which is impressive when you consider the average life of a Incandescent bulb is 1 - 2,000 hrs.

Inductive Fluorescent :Lamp-life-inductive-fluorescent-technology

These, like LED are newer tech in the lighting world. Just like LED the majority of what  you see in the commercial world all boast a 70 - 100,000 hr lamp life so again, once a lamp burns out you will  probably just replace the fixture.

I have seen Inductive lamping for residential style lighting. However, at this time everything I have seen in this application is small off brand manufacturers I have never heard of.

I have a hard time recommending anything that isn't from a reputable company such as GE or Sylvania.

Light Emitting Diode (LED) :

There are a lot of different options for LED hitting the market. From the newer residential styled replacements and cove lights, to heavy commercial and industrial fixtures. Most fixtures for commercial or industrial that are LED have life ratings from 70 - 100,000 hours.

Once a fixture get's that far along you more than likely will replace the whole fixture.

Decorative LED:Lamp-life-led-energy-efficient-products

These are the smaller lamps that you find in candelabra style fixtures with smaller light socket bases. These fall into the 12-15,000 hour range. It's actually very good when you consider the lamps they replace are around 1-2,000 hrs.

A19 (standard light bulb):

Starting to see these pop into the market more and more. The lamp life is right around 25,000 hours for these. They are reletively expensive when compared to CFL lighting, but I expect to see these prices come down fairly quickly as the tech progresses.

Par Lamps (your spots and floods)

Par lamps are your par 16, 20, and par 30 lamps that you see in can lights or in spot lights. They boast a 25,000 hr lamp life and are even available in dimming options. One nice thing about the dimmable LED is the tech has gotten to the point where they dim like an incandescent. 

Why Should You Use Energy Efficient Bulbs?

My hope is that this round up will give you a feel of how superior the new energy efficient options are over what we currently use. If you would like to learn more about the benefits of energy efficiency download our free e-book!

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Topics: energy efficient lamps, energy efficient lighting