Product Type: Philips gadgets
Newest Review: ... of eight years and you are comfortably recouping the outlay. You might want to look at more powerful bulbs. Philips' 18w bulb gives... more
Mr Bright side
Philips Energy Saver
Member Name: Danscomp
Philips Energy Saver
Advantages: D'uh - Energy savings
Disadvantages: Initial outlay higher than an old style bulb
A 600 mile light bulb!
Electricity is increasingly expensive. One reason for this is the decision to privatise what should clearly be a government owned concern. But money talks, particularly to politicians. They told us that competitiveness would price fair prices. Unfortunately it drove price fixing. Now, my electricity supplier is not only a for-profit company, it is a French for-profit company.
I have nothing against the French, particularly non-Parisians, but it demonstrates quite how useless politicians of whatever stripe tend to be. What is in my control is how efficiently I run my home in order to reduce as much as possible the money I fork over to the fellas on bikes wearing striped shirts and black berets.
I remember a time when energy saving light bulbs were a thing of expensive curiosity. For some strange reason, they tended to look like a crystalline Mr Whippy. Well, now prices have come down. Wherever I can, I will always use an energy efficient bulb of the florescent persuasion.
The Science bit
Energy bulbs such as the Philips 20w I typically buy from Sainsbury for under a fiver promise savings of up to 80% and a life of up to six years. It seems like magic of the highest order, but like most things there is a simple reason at the heart of it all.
Your typical light bulb is incandescent. This means 80% (there's that figure again!) of the energy going into it is converted to heat, not light. Energy saving bulbs are Fluorescent instead. The design produces far less heat. Go home and try it out. Leave each light on for half an hour, then put your hand near the bulb. Bingo and Yahtzee, my friend.
Does this mean in the winter that your old-style inefficient light bulb helps warm your home while the new hotness does not? Yep. But you are paying for that extra energy either way. So why are they shaped like they are? Because they contain a gas, and are coated within with phosphor. When electricity passes through this gas, it makes the phosphor coating glow.
I've been using these bulbs for the last few years. The light they produce may only be 20 watts, but it is by no means dim. They light a hallway or a room with a friendlier, less harsh glow and they certainly seem to last, if not quite six years, certainly a couple.
They are just as easy to fit, though longer than a standard bulb. This can look a little odd at first, particularly if they jut slightly out of a small lamp, but you quickly get used to it.
While not strictly relevant to this review, I recently had some glass shelving put in with some LED strip lighting behind it. This is even more energy efficient and looks beautiful in an otherwise darkened room.
Summary: Why would you not use them?
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