I am writing about daily use products ie compact fluorescent lamps which we use in our house for lighting. It is a replacement for incandescent bulb or Halogen lamp.
what is compact fluorescent lamps or CFL?
This compact fluorescent lamp or compact fluorescent light is energy saving light. Compact fluorescent tube is a fluorescent lamp designed to replace an incandescent light.
This lamp uses a tube which is curved or folded to fit into the space of an incandescent bulb. It lasts eight to fifteen times longer than incandescent bulb and saves one third or one fifth power. Although it is costlier than incandescent bulb it saves five times purchase price in electric costs.
It contains highly toxic mercury so it has been banned in many countries for disposal with regular garbage. special collection systems for CFL and hazarduous waste are setup.
CFL radiate spectral power distribution. It is cooler than incandescent bulb so it can replace use of airconditioners in warm climate.
Improved phosphorus formulation have perceived color of light emitted by CFL. The best soft white CFL is similar in colour to standard incandescent bulb.
general Electric was the first company to produce circular, U shaped lamps and thereafter spiral CFL . Helical CFL manufactured in China by Shanghai Xiangshan became commercially available. So CFL sales inceased in China. CFL was dominant to residential section.
There are two types of CFL integrated (screwed type ) and Non integrated ( Plug in type).
Integrated lamps combine the tube and the ballast in a single unit. So incandescent bulb can be replaced by CFL easily because
- It works well in any incandescent light fixtures.
- cost of converting to fluorescent is reduced.
Non integrated CFL have the ballast permanently installed in the luminaire and only fluorescent tube is changed at its end of life. They are larger, last longer compared to integrated ones. THEY DON’T NEED TOBE REPLACED WHEN THE TUBE REACHES ITS END OF LIFE. Non integrated CFL housing can be more expensive and sophisticated.
how does it work
They are gas discharge lamps.
They use electricity emitted from cathode to excite mercury vapour contained within the glass envelope. The process used here is called inelastic scatter.
Phosphorus and noble gas argon is contained in this glass envelope.
The mercury atoms produce Ultra violet light which cover the phosphorus in the lamp to fluoresce or glow producing visible lights.