* Prices may differ from that shown
Let me explain, we live on the south coast of Spain in a nice apartment overlooking the sea. Lucky so and so I can hear you cry, well yes I am but it not always quite as it seems. When you buy a property in Spain you become part of the community of owners. You then have to pay community fees for the upkeep of the community. These costs include, maintenance of gardens and green spaces, rubbish collection, roads, any other repairs, electricity and street lighting. The burden of overseeing these duties falls to a paid Administrator and a committee of people who volunteer, the idiots, to help run the community efficiently and keep it out of debt. This review is being written by the "lighting monitor" of the committee of owners of La Paloma de Manilva, that is, me. And yes my name is Jean so lets get that out of the way.
Times are hard all over Spain but particularly hard in the south where the building boom has collapsed with a great thud, The result of this is that many people cannot pay their community fees and debts to the community have been mounting up alarmingly. Our trusty little band on the committee are struggling hard against the tide, battling the do it tomorrow syndrome along with the ostrich, nepotism, back hander culture, half the Mayors being in jail, and anything else in between.
We have cut wages, raised fees and generally become very unpopular but we are beginning to see results. It was at one of our multi-lingual bunfights that the head of maintenance said he would like to spend time and money painting the edge of the pavements blue and white, (the colours of our local area) all 3kilometres of it, instead of doing something useful. He is the Administrator's husband by the way. This was shouted down by all and he went into a sulk. He then said well he wanted 500euros to replace 30 light bulbs in the streetlights, which works out at around 16euros a bulb! "Are these made of gold?" we all cried in various languages. "No" grumped Louis "Are these energy saving?" came a small voice (me) "No" grumped Louis again. Well to cut a long story short I got the job of replacing ALL the 135 light bulbs of the communit with energy efficent bulbs, saving 80% of our energy costs including the replacement of the bulbs which will save us about 4,000euros a year. Operation "Bombilla " (being the Spanish word for bulb) was born!
Shine a little light.
First we checked with the local authority that there were no regulations for street lighting. As they have shut down the street lights in many parts of our area to save money,we were more or less told to do what we liked.
Then we made a map and marked every streetlight and what kind of bulb it had in it. This varied from none, broken, orange sodium , white , warm, ancient U.S. with transformer, and complete head of lamp missing. We decided to change the lot to energy saving bulbs and chose the warm version as opposed to the cold white bulbs as this would match well with our old-fashioned Victorian type street lamp posts. The existing bulbs were mainly 145watts so you see the huge saving we would make by substituting with low energy bulbs We chose a mix of 18watt ( equivalent of 85 watts) for stretches of roads, and 25 watt ( the equivalent of 125watts ) for the road junctions. We tested each type of bulb to make sure that there was sufficient light in different areas before buying.
The Bombilla Hunt.
We checked around for the best prices and found that Philips were on the whole more expensive than the brand sold by Le Roy Merlin, the equivalent of Band Q in Spain but they do have a longer rated lifetime of 10,000hours or 10 years which is a long time! The price we got from our local supplier was 6.89 euros. around 4.80pounds. The end fitting is E27 which is wider than the E32 and so fitted into most of the lamps although we did have to buy a few adaptors to change down from E32 to E27 but this has not caused a problem. Bayonet fittings do not exist in Spain so that was one problem less for me. In the end we bought a mix of makes Philips having the longest life and being the most expensive and I can honestly say that I cannot tell the difference between the different brands when the lights are on, time will only tell if the cheaper ones go "pop" first.
The bulbs themselves have four stick elements and are much less fragile than the old traditional bulbous lamp and less attractive to throw stones at!. They are also suitable for our high voltage supply of 230watt to 240 watts which can spike alarmingly causing electrical goods to blow. In the last two weeks the bulbs have survived lashing rain and gales and there will certainly be more to come. We are very pleased with the gentle but effective light which they shed and there is enough light for me to feel safe to walk the dog by, and no one now complains that they are kept awake by a glaring light shining into their bedroom. And, they all match and they are saving us money.!!!
Underneath the Lamplight.
Our Philips bulbs are A rated for energy saving and connect by screwing them into the fitting so that they hang downwards like a bat in the lamp head of the street light. They are very easy to fit and the fact that they take a little time to warm up is not important for this use but bear this in mind if you want an instant light. They start a buttery yellow and then become a gentle creamy glow when warmed up. The measurements are 135.00mm long The top measures 41.00mm and the widest part of the bulb base measures 48.40mm.
I think you can tell that I am very happy with them. It was worth all the trouble, in a few years time I'll tell you if the cheaper ones have burnt out and we are left with the Philips!
4 stars from the light bulb monitor, as they are more expensive but are still saving us money.
The Philips bulbs do contain 1.5mg of mercury so in 10years time (hopefully!), they will be disposed of safely.
More technical information from www.philips.com
Thanks for reading my review which may aslo be posted on Ciao under splishsplash
Philips GENIE ESaver 18W /827 E27