Advantages Energy efficient
Disadvantages Unattractive for open light fittings, can still be expensive
|Level of Energy Saving|
|Ease of Use|
|Value for Money|
Some years back when energy saving bulbs were relatively new (and expensive!), we received some for free through the mail (as I'm sure a lot of households in the UK did) and we started using them straight away. They were these Philips ones. There have since been a lot of excellent offers in shops over the years and you can now get this style of energy saving bulb for mere pennies (though I see this particular one is in Sainsburys currently for over £4! Crazy).These 20 watt Philips energy savers emit light equivalent to a 100 watt incandescent bulb, but while using 80% less electricity. This is because no energy is wasted by being released as heat and these bulbs remain pretty cool while in use. What's not to love? They come in a recyclable cardboard box with a picture of the bulb on the front, showing what type of fitting it is (Edison screw (E27) in this case), the wattage, what wattage incandescent it is equivalent to and the lifespan - for these bulbs, 6 years. They have an energy efficiency rating of A, not surprisingly, and the box tells us these cannot be used in dimming or electronic switches.
When fitting these bulbs, care must be taken to hold the bulb by the base, and not by the glass parts; the bases are large enough that this is not usually difficult. I remember reading that if these types of bulbs break you are supposed to leave the room for a certain amount of time before going back in to clean it up, since they contain mercury, but the packaging states nothing about this. There were also numerous stories about them causing headaches doing the rounds. I have never experienced any problems such as these, and in fact my last puppy pulled one off the worktop once, smashing it. After shooing her out the room I cleaned it up straight away with no ill effects. I had to, as I couldn't keep her away from it.I now have these bulbs in every light fitting in the house, and am delighted with them. They can take a few minutes to reach their full brightness, but this isn't a problem and when they do they are great. Really bright just like a regular incandescent. One thing, is that they are an unattractive shape if you have light fittings in which they would not be concealed; I don't have any open light fittings so this isn't a concern of mine, but my mum is bothered by this as all her light fittings have exposed bulbs and currently, the energy saving spots and candles are exceptionally expensive. If they do not drop in price by the time incandescent bulbs are completely phased out there will be a LOT of unhappy people I would imagine.
I certainly would not pay over £4 for this bulb as alternatives of the very same style and wattage can be had for a tiny fraction of that price (for example, I got a 6 pack of Morrisons brand bulbs for 20p about a year ago!). In these cases, the value is out of this world given how long they last for. To date, I have not had to replace any due to them stopping working. Philips are a known and trusted quality brand, which goes some way to explaining the price. Given their longevity even £4 is good value, it's just a lot to put out at once if you want to buy them for all your lights!(((( Just a little extra thought which someone may find useful - I also use these to brighten up dark areas of larger reptile enclosures. Reptiles react to light levels as well as temperatures, and these bulbs allow you to light up without interfering with the desired temperatures, since they do not emit heat. ))))
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