Image Credit: Newark / element14 | Allied Electronics, Inc. | Digi-Key Corporation   Fluorescent lamps are high-efficiency lamps that use electrical discharge through low-pressure mercury vapor to produce ultraviolet (UV) energy, which is then transformed into visible light. The UV excites phosphor materials applied as a thin layer on the inside of a glass tube, which makes up the structure of the lamp. The phosphors transform the UV to visible...
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Q & A on Fluorescent Lamps

We asked our users for their input on Fluorescent Lamps. Here are the results of 82 users familiar with Fluorescent Lamps.

Who Took Our Poll? | Design Trends | Applications and Use | Features | Buying Advice

Who Took Our Poll?Top

Design TrendsTop

Q:
What new technologies are influencing fluorescent lamp design?
14 answers
Answers:
High intensity discharge lamps are going beyond what we typically consider to be fluorescent lamps. New gases and voltages, etc... I think LEDs will take the place of fluorescent lamps in many applications.
~Engineer, Manhasset, NY
Electronic oscillators employing resonance to create initial strike voltage spike and much lower operating voltage level.
~Robert J, Retired R&D Engineer, South Holland, IL
The ever greater demand on efficiency and the drive for all products to become smaller, good or bad.
~Arno J, Design Engineer, Brakpan, South Africa
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Q:
From your perspective, which companies are creating the most innovative fluorescent lamps?
9 answers
Answers:
Have only had experience with Sylvania and GE. The GE spiral CFL design produces brighter output than Sylvania, but lacks surge protection for the power switching transistors in the oscillator circuit.
~Robert J, Retired R&D Engineer, South Holland, IL
I can't pick anyone in particular, as I use a lot of different brands, especially the CFL's. I will say that I use mostly electronic ballasts from "Advance".
~Richard N, Chief Electrician MRO, www.uss-hornet.org, Alameda, CA
Ge, Philips, Sylvania, Technical Consumer Products
~Marketing/Sales, Wisconsin, WI
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Applications and UseTop

Q:
What are some of the applications you have used fluorescent lamps for?
19 answers
Answers:
Replace HID and incandescent lamps in all types of facilities. Warehouses, offices, casinos, residences.
~Marketing/Sales, Wisconsin, WI
Was researching UV fluorescent lamps to be used in a sanitizing application.
~Engineer, Manhasset, NY
Home and home garage workshop lighting, home bath and kitchen lighting, home conversion of incandescent fixture lighting to CFL lighting.
~Robert J, Retired R&D Engineer, South Holland, IL
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Q:
Please share with us any “non-standard” applications that fluorescent lamps have been used for.
8 answers
Answers:
Not clear what is meant by non-standard. We see these used in office lighting, LCD backlighting, UV lights (for sanitizing), grow lights for indoor farming. All of these are at risk of being replaced by LEDs.
~Engineer, Manhasset, NY
I have retrofitted halogen flood lights with CFL's. I find the cheaper constructed fixtures' sockets quickly burn out. These I retrofit with the CFL's which work out quite well.
~Richard N, Chief Electrician MRO, www.uss-hornet.org, Alameda, CA
Design studio for animation.
~S.Chow Y, General Management, Singapore
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Q:
Do you know of any disastrous mistakes that occurred due to the incorrect usage of fluorescent lamps?
4 answers
Answers:
At the time of fitting, Never hold CFL from glass tubes area, always hold it from plastic housing.
~Rajiv Sharma, Project Manager, Chandigarh, India
Any bad design is a disastrous mistake.
~Arno J, Design Engineer, Brakpan, South Africa
So far I have had no disastrous mistakes. It all goes back to educating yourself on proper use/applications..
~Richard N, Chief Electrician MRO, www.uss-hornet.org, Alameda, CA

FeaturesTop

Q:
What would your design or feature "wish list" be for this product?
13 answers
Answers:
CFL bulbs that produce bright output and are designed with adequate spike protection from external power quality fluctuations and adequate manufacturing oversight, so that circuit components are assembled with proper polarity observation so as to maximize product life.
~Robert J, Retired R&D Engineer, South Holland, IL
More lamps with internal reflectors. Less amalgam and a higher percentage of mercury gas in lamps. Better education in regards to recycling and discarding of lamps.
~Arno J, Design Engineer, Brakpan, South Africa
Self ballasted dimming of compact fluorescent with integral remote dimming.
~Marketing/Sales, Wisconsin, WI
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Q:
Is there any advice you want to share with users to help them avoid common errors in selection or usage of fluorescent lamps?
8 answers
Answers:
Forget lumens per watt, as invariably people are fooled to think this is the only criteria that matters. Also look at the ambient conditions - T5 lamps are not the solution. I guess another three to 5 years before they have sorted their issues. Lets hope it is soon enough as LED's might just have overtaken fluorescent lamps by then.
~Arno J, Design Engineer, Brakpan, South Africa
I think people should be aware of "Color Temperature" and what it means. For example, a light source a 6500K temperature produces an overcast day effect. This may not be suitable for what you're trying to illuminate. On the ship, I get the best results with temperatures of 2700K, 3500K and 4100K.
~Richard N, Chief Electrician MRO, www.uss-hornet.org, Alameda, CA
Choose rapid start CFL lamps, but beware of potential shorter life expectancy or design flaws.
~Robert J, Retired R&D Engineer, South Holland, IL
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Buying AdviceTop

Q:
Do you have any advice for people relative to buying or using fluorescent lamps?
7 answers
Answers:
Educate yourself on the theory and science of these lamps, especially CFL's. You can always refer to manufacturers' catalogs which have valuable knowledge about lamps. Another source for educating yourself is the Internet. Be aware of the claim of rated hours especially CFL's. These are usually based on 4 hours a day burn time. More than 4 hours a day reduces the longevity in a non linear way. However, CFL's still have a long life span and much better than incandescent lamps.
~Richard N, Chief Electrician MRO, www.uss-hornet.org, Alameda, CA
Research lamps better and demand better color from suppliers. Cool white is not cool for the average house or office. Be aware that all lamps, even from the same manufacturer, are not equal and problem areas can often be improved by using better lamps with higher output.
~Arno J, Design Engineer, Brakpan, South Africa
If possible to discern, select CFL lamps that incorporate input power line spike protection.
~Robert J, Retired R&D Engineer, South Holland, IL
If you're unsure of what you require, make sure to contact people who do.
~Michael H, Lighting quotes and spec., Brea, CA
Use CFL, replace incandescent lamps and save energy.
~Rajiv Sharma, Project Manager, Chandigarh, India
Consider LEDs as an alternative.
~Engineer, Manhasset, NY
Check color temperature.
~Design Engineer, Stow, OH


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