Some CFLs Are Not What They Seem To Be, Argentinean Study Shows

Compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) are probably one of the first steps to take when looking to save energy at home: though they’re a little more expensive than regular bulbs, they use less energy and last longer. We’ve written lots of posts about them. But a recent investigation lead by engineers and techniques from the Argentinean National Institute for Industrial Technology (INTI) shows that not all CFLs are the same. After analyzing the behaviour of 544 bulbs from the 17 most popular brands on the local market, they discovered that some of the bulbs light less than the watt value they mention in their package, others last less than they promise, some (specifically three different brands) might even cause short circuits in the installation, and a few brands save more energy than others. Below (in the extended) are the comparative charts from the study: some brands are probably only local, but you might take a look to see if your brand is there. Last but not least, the INTI sent some advice to take into account when buying CFLs: first, try not to have more than three switches a day with CFLs: they decrease the bulb’s life; and second, notice CFLs are mainly for interiors, as low temperatures have a negative impact in their functioning (unless they’re specifically prepared for outdoors). More information on the study can be asked by phone (+5411 4713 5027).
Via La Nacion newspaper.

The first chart shows the power the bulbs claim to offer (the brown bars) and the power they actually give. The red bars are for 22W bulbs, the blue for 20W bulbs, the orange for 18W and the yellow for 15W.


The second chart shows the CFLs mortality in 100 hours (remember some claim to last until 3000 hours). The last three brands –in red- caused short circuit in the installation.


The last one shows the percentage of energy saved, in comparison to the equivalent regular bulbs.