May 17, 2012 by dgv
RESOLUTE embraces new lighting technology; we strive to provide the most pleasing illumination quality possible while remaining respectful of energy efficiencies, user operation costs, and environmental/disposal considerations.
As new illumination technologies adapt to the familiar Edison-base screw-shell format, the ability to intelligently adapt a single fixture to diverse lighting applications increases significantly.
The Edison base screw-shell format is now available in four illumination technologies:
Incandescent lamps provide rich light quality, excellent “comfort” (warm) color rendering and controllability. Incandescent offers what is generally considered the most aesthetically pleasing light but it is the least energy efficient. Because of the energy penalty, the incandescent lamp is slated to be phased out. Other options follow.
The screw-shell CFL lamp with integrated ballast offers a relatively long operating life and is energy efficient. Self-ballasted lamps do not perform to the level that dedicated “four-pin” CFL lamps do, but late generation types like the Sylvania Mini-Twist produce pleasant light efficiently at a good value. There are few dimming options for screw-shell CFL lamps however. Fluorescent lamps contain small amounts of mercury, creating disposal issues.
Halogen is a form of incandescent technology; halogen lamps are 30% more efficient than traditional incandescent lamps. A halogen gas replaces the inert gas in a standard incandescent and the lamp is run at a higher filament temperature. At this high heat, the tungsten burning off the filament combines with the halogen gas and is re-deposited on the filament in a repeating cycle — dramatically extending the life of the filament. This allows for a smaller filament, further improving performance especially in aimed applications. Special quartz glass is used for the “bulb” to withstand the higher heat. Dimming control is straightforward and effective. Lamp life is longer than traditional incandescent but shorter than fluorescent.
New LED technology offers the longest life span and best energy efficiency. LED is mercury free and provides better color rendition than CFL. While more expensive than CFL, it is less prone to flickering. Achieving good all-around light from LED sources has been challenging. While the technology offers the best balance overall, it has performed poorly in decorative applications. Latest generation screw-shell LED, like the Sylvania Ultra LED A19 Omnidirectional, promises substantial improvement in this area. LED generally offers excellent dimming control, screw-in versions presently dim adequately. LED has the highest up-front cost but long life and energy efficiency offset that over time.
We thought a visual comparison of incandescent, CFL and LED technologies would be interesting. We photographed three of our fixtures, Box, Markee and Otto, using a standard A-lamp incandescent, a Sylvania Mini Twist and a Sylvania Ultra LED A19 Omnidirectional. Other conditions remained constant.
Top to bottom: Box – Imago shade, Markee – aramid shade, Otto – opal white glass.
Left to right: Incandescent, CFL, LED.