Sunday, June 28, 2009

Is Cold Cathode Fluorescent Lighting replacing Compact Fluorescent Lighting?

Cold Cathode fluorescent lighting has been around since the 1930’s and is already being used in products like scanners, flat panel TVs, and computer laptop screens.

Advantages:

1. Cold Cathode lights are very energy efficient, with 50,000 – 70,000 hours of life
2. They operate at much lower temperatures than incandescent, fluorescent, or H.I.D. light sources significantly lowering the air conditioning load.
3. Cold Cathode lamps last four-five times longer than fluorescent lamps
4. Cold Cathode uses 30-50% less energy than compact fluorescent and up to 85% less Mercury.
5. Cold Cathode lights are unaffected by turning on and off. Compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), on the other hand, lose three hours of life every time they are turned on, and can lose up to 85% of their rated life if they are turned off after less than 15 minutes of operation. CFLs are therefore unsuitable for motion sensor lighting.
6. Cold Cathode lights maintain their color throughout their rated life, and operate at near peak output after 25,000 hours. LEDs are rated up to 50,000 hours of life, but lose both color and intensity of their light rapidly after 25,000 hours.
7. Cold Cathode lamps offer 63 to 80 lumens per watt compared to 15 to 40 for LEDs, making Cold Cathode the most efficient and least expensive option for general illumination or backlighting. Note: LEDs are a directed light source and energy efficient when used for accent or spot lighting, decorative lighting, and some types of edge lighting.
8. The lamp life and energy efficiency (lumens per watt) of Cold Cathode lamps exceed those of both neon and fiber optic lamps. Neon lamps have a life of 25,000 hours with 50 lumens per watt. Fiber optic lamps have a life of 2,000 – 6,000 hours with 9 -15 lumens per watt.

Cold Cathode lamps are highly efficient and long-lasting due to its design and components. Cold cathode, unlike CFLs, don’t have a filament to wear out via vibrations, repeated starting, strobing, or dimming. Cold Cathode uses the bulk of its energy being converted to light, unlike other bulbs that use a much higher percentage of energy producing heat.

Cold Cathode fluorescent lamps (CCFLs) are sealed glass tubes with electrodes at each end, filled with inert gases and an inner coating of fluorescent phosphor. A high-voltage, low-current charge is produced by a ballast (electronic inverter) that energizes the electrodes, ionizing the gases inside the tube. These ionized gases create UV light, which excites the phosphors that produce visible light.

CCFLs may very well replace CFLs as the world become more energy conscious and savings oriented. And why not, they last longer, use less energy, and lower air conditioning costs.

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