Posted by & filed under CFL, Energy Saving, Green Living, In The News, Tips and Advice .

Compact Fluorescent Lamps Myths vs Reality

By now, pretty much everyone has heard about compact fluorescent lights (CFLs). Consuming roughly 30 percent of the power required for a similar incandescent bulb, CFLs are a no-brainer way to reduce home energy bills and slash greenhouse gas emissions. Unfortunately allot of incorrect, outdated information has given CFLs a bad rap.

Norburn Lighting has put together a quick guide to help dispel some of the misinformation that is swirling around CFLs.

The Myths

Myth 1: Fluorescent lights flicker.
Quality CFLs, with their electronic ballasts, do not flicker.

Myth 2: Fluorescent lights are slow to start.
While CFLs don’t start at full intensity like incandescent bulbs, nearly all CFLs turn on (without flicker) instantly and reach full illumination very quickly. CFL’s manufactured by reputable suppliers such as Standard™ Lighting come on instantly at close to full illumination. Only the flood light styles start at noticeably less than full illumination, but within 20 to 30 seconds they are at over 80% illumination. Interestingly, we’ve come to prefer softer initial illumination when using these type of bulbs. When we enter a room the slightly softer initial illumination is more welcoming, and the CFL is easily at full illumination by the time we begin any light-dependent tasks.

Myth 3: Fluorescent lights are always cold-feeling and remind us of office lighting.
Good quality CFLs are available from Norburn  that produce exactly the same warm white light (2,700 to 3,000 Kelvin) as the traditional Edison incandescent bulbs and with a C.R.I (colour rendering index) of 80+

Myth 4: Fluorescent lights won’t fit in my fixtures, candelabra, three way or recessed lights and cannot be dimmed. A CFL is often not an exact size substitute for an existing incandescent bulb, but a far greater range of sizes is available than is generally realized. At Norburn we stock a large variety of standard, globe, flood, candelabra, three-way and yes dimmable CFL’s.

Buy quality bulbs

You get what you pay for. CFLs are not all created equal, and the no-name bargain units sold at big box stores, dollar stores and furniture giants are cheap for a reason. The difference is usually in the quality of the ballast — the bulky part between the CFL’s light tube and the screw base. Junky ballasts can mean flicker, buzz, and a short service life.

Choose a quality brand like Standard™ Lighting CFL’s.

Opt for enough bulb

One of the biggest complaints made by new CFL users is that the light “looks dingy.” How could this be, given that CFLs produce the same amount of lumens (light energy) as their incandescent equivalents?

When under a lamp shade, less light travels down to your task; for instance when you are reading or knitting. More lumens go up from the shade. Suppose you’re accustomed to 100-watt incandescent bulb in that table lamp by the couch. A traditional bulb of this type produces about 1200 lumens. CFLs of 20 watts will do the same. But there’s a catch: the lamp fixture is designed for a traditional bulb. CFLs and incandescent lamps lumens radiate differently. So while they’re producing an equal number of lumens, the CFL may not be delivering the same amount of light to a given workspace.

In some cases, it might be a better idea to replace a 100-watt incandescent with a 23 watt CFL that’s roughly equivalent to a traditional 125-watt bulb (about 1600 lumens). You’ll take a 3-watt penalty, but that beats squinting at the newspaper.

Consider CFL-specific fixtures

Screws in CFLs are what we like to call a “transitional technology.” These bulbs contain their own ballasts, and are intended to screw into the same sort of light fixtures we’ve been using for over 120 years. As we’ve seen, this arrangement is something of a compromise.

Light fixtures designed for CFLs take into consideration their particular illuminating properties. They also have their own ballasts, which mean the bulbs can be much simpler. They plug into their fixtures with a two- or four-pronged base.

Pronged CFL bulbs won’t work in incandescent fixtures, but their simplicity will eventually make them much cheaper and easier to recycle than screw-in CFLs.

You might not have the luxury of replacing your ceiling-mounted fixtures, but keep an eye out for CFL-specific table and desk lamps. When it makes sense, retire incandescent fixtures and enjoy the improved efficiency of true CFL lighting.

Properly dispose of worn-out or broken CFLs

CFLs require a tiny amount of mercury to function. Mercury is poisonous, and since it tends to accumulate in the human body, there’s no acceptable level of exposure.

An intact CFL will never emit mercury. But CFLs can be broken through accident or improper disposal. That makes it important to dispose of spent or damaged CFLs in a responsible manner.

There’s no need to panic if you break a CFL. Most bulbs are damaged when they’re cold, and the mercury is likely to adhere to the bulb’s debris. To be safe, ventilate the area. Using rubber or latex cloves — the kitchen variety should be fine — carefully gather up the ballast and broken glass with disposable paper towels. Wipe the floor carefully with more paper towelling and then double bag everything in Ziploc bags. Dispose as hazardous waste.

As a point of interest, CFLs can actually reduce the amount of mercury released each year into the environment. While most of B.C.’s power comes from hydro, we often must buy extra power to meet winter loads and this power may come from coal. Coal-fired power plants release the elemental mercury that naturally exists in coal into the air when coal is burned to make electricity. Because of its superior efficiency, a CFL is actually responsible for putting less mercury into the wild than its incandescent equivalent.


Posted by & filed under CFL, Energy Saving, In The News, LED, Regulation And Bylaws .

Contrary to popular thought it is Not Lights Out for the Incandescent Bulb

Incandescent bulbs will be around for a long time regardless of recent legislation by government that prohibits the sale of certain types. The vast majority of incandescent bulbs will not be impacted by this legislation. The obvious and most common bulbs that are affected are the 75 watt and 100-watt bulbs in various shapes. The fact is that many of these bulbs will be replaced with energy saving alternatives like halogen. You do not necessarily have to choose a Compact Fluorescent or LED.

As much as there has been a lot of talk in the past about these legislative changes, it still has come as a shock to the general population as can be witnessed in British Columbia where rules have gone into effect in January 2011. People are confused and upset at the notion that they can no longer buy what they have always bought and are comfortable with. There has been a lot of bad press (much of it not warranted) about the CFL and the generally misunderstood LED bulb.

The idea to legislate inefficient products is a great one, and we fully support it as long as the alternative products are readily available, provide similar light quality and performance, and sell at a reasonable price.

Norburn is one of the most recognized names for lighting education and a top lamp distributor in the Canadian market and we have been hard at work sourcing energy saving alternatives to incandescent. We are excited by the products we have to offer to date primarily in the halogen and LED category.

There are many incandescent bulbs for which the only alternative is to change the shape or reduce the wattage to something accepted by law (i.e. drop from 60-watt to 40-watt). Virtually all incandescent bulbs are dimmable while most CFL & LED lamps are not and even if they claim they are, they do not dim as nicely as an incandescent bulb.

The legislation does not ban incandescent technology; it sets minimum efficiency requirements for lamps. Many halogen incandescent  lamps are available today that pass EISA.
The Myth of The Incandescent Light Bulb Ban

The Myth of The Incandescent Light Bulb Ban


As the lighting market is changing towards newer technologies, buying behaviors need to change. Consumers need to consider key questions when making choices as listed below:

–       What is the necessary wattage to replace your existing incandescent bulb?

–       What is the color? (usually listed in K°, i.e. 2700 K° (Warm White), 3000 K° (Cooler Warm White), 4100 K° (Cool White), etc.)

–       What is the color quality? There is a scale that ranges up to 100 and the higher the score the better the light quality. Incandescent scores 100 so you want to be as close to that as possible. Most alternatives run in the 80 – 95 CRI (Color Rendering Index) range.

–       What is the life rating of the bulb?

–       Are they dimmable? (if you need that)

–       Can they be installed outside?

–       Will they work with a motion sensor or photocell (lights turn on when it is dark automatically)?

–       Is the bulb approved by Energy Star? This may be important because your local electric utility maybe offering an incentive (i.e. mail in rebate) for CFL & LED alternatives and in most cases, the bulb must be Energy Star approved.

Above are key questions that will help you in making the right chose when purchasing your next bulb.

Posted by & filed under CFL, Energy Saving, Green Living, In The News .

Professor Praveen Jain (Electrical and Computer Engineering) and PhD candidate John Lam

Electrical and Computer Engineering – Queen’s Researchers Shed Light on More Efficient CFL’s

Not all lighting research comes from the usual labs… and not all new products need be LEDs.
Queen’s university researchers work to improve the potential of CFL bulbs to be even more efficient, as well as dimmable.

Read the article here

Posted by & filed under CFL, Energy Saving, Green Living, In The News . has a article today on the upcoming ban on certain incandescent bulbs in Canada. The article goes over a lot of already well discussed points on the subject. I look to the comments from readers at the bottom for insight into the mind set of people and their knowledge or lack of on CFL’s</p>
Read the article by<a href=””> clicking here</a>

Posted by & filed under CFL, Energy Saving, Green Living, In The News .

With the incandescent ban now in place in the EU. The rhetoric and hysteria in the media is beginning. Here is an article from the Guardian UK about speculators hoping to strike it rich hoping consumers will spend as much as £60 each for a frosted 100w lamp in just 2 years. With the plans for the phase out of certain incandescent bulb in North America just around the corner is this type of hysteria something we can look forward to?

You can read the article here

Posted by & filed under CFL, Energy Saving, Green Living, In The News, Regulation And Bylaws .

Today was D-day in Europe for the frosted incandescent lamp. Under the new EU rules stores will no longer be able to purchase new inventories of some frosted incandescent lamps. They will be able to sell their current inventories and consumers can horde as many of the bulbs as they wish. Here is a link to an article on the subject in todays NY Times

Europe’s Ban on Old-Style Bulbs Begins –

Posted by & filed under CFL, Decorative Lighting Fixtures, New Products .

The “Die Fledermaus” Collection New from Maxilite. The scrunched fabric shade gives the appearance of paper, the lamp appears very different when viewed from different angles. It provides a soft and inviting glow. Choose from stunning orange, coffee, green or cream options to create a frivolous, romantic mood anywhere in the house.

Energy Saving CFL version available

Wd: 24″ Ht: 9″ OAH: 96″
Finish: Br. Steel
Shade: Coffee, Cream, Orange and Green
Lamps: 4x25W A15 only
Options: 4/13W/Spiral-GU 24

Posted by & filed under CFL, Decorative Lighting Fixtures, Energy Saving, Green Living, New Products, Portable Lamps .

Backed by 50 years of research, the Heritage™, like all Verilux products – has all the benefits of full spectrum daylight scientifically tuned to the human eye™, without any of the harmful UV and glare.
The timeless design and ultimate function of the Heritageâ„¢ makes it the finest reading lamp in the world. Features include:

  • All-metal construction, with a hand-polished antiqued brushed nickel or brass finish
  • Microprocessor controlled power adapter
  • Verilux® technologies of:
    • Flicker Elimination Technology® which adjusts light output 20,000 times each second so your eyes relax.
    • Optix® glare control- a revolutionary filtration system which focuses the rays of light so they provide unparalleled color rendering, higher black-and-white contrast and no glare from shiny magazine pages.
    • Ergonomic design that allows easy height and light direction.

Posted by & filed under CFL, Energy Saving, Green Living, In The News .

In 2012 tough new energy efficiency standards for incandescent bulbs take place in the USA and by proxy in Canada. That does not mean the end of the incandescent bulb as we know it. Researchers have been active developing more efficient incandescent bulbs to meet the needs of consumers looking for a light source that cannot always be replaced by CFL or LED technology. Read the following article in the NY Times

Incandescent Bulbs Return to the Cutting Edge –