LED PL lamps

Background to the the PL lamp

The PL lamp or PL light bulb has now been around for a few years. It was introduced as a  requirement for building regulation to stop people fitting energy saving light bulbs for the inspectors and then changing them to standard light bulbs after the building regulations certification was obtained! The principle of the PL lamp is that it has a specifically shaped base, typically G24, with a number of plastic ridges on the base which fit into slots in the  lamp holder. Firstly the lamp cap basic shape, say coded G24, means that you cannot fit a standard bayonet or Edison screw light bulb but also the notches are particular to the wattage. This means that not only do the building regulations people have control over the fact that the light bulb is an energy saving light bulb, but they also have control over the power consumption. Now clearly people can change the whole light fitting but short of this it does provide a level of control on energy preservation.

Issues with the CFL PL Light Bulb when compare to the LED PL Light Bulb

The main reason that people do not like the PL light bulb is because it is not a LED PL lamp but it uses the compact fluorescent lamp (CFL) technology. This has 3 inherent problems:-

Firstly, CFL PL light bulbs, unlike LED PL light bulbs,  take a while to reach full brightness. This is not an issue when the lights are on all the time but if they are used in rooms with occasional usage or if they are fitted in corridors where the lights come on with movement or PIR sensors, then this is an undesirable characteristic. You do not want to be walking down a corridor in the dark and have to wait a couple of minutes until the lights brighten up sufficiently to provide good illumination.

Secondly, unlike its LED PL light bulb counterpart, the CFL PL lamp does suffer from a reduced lifespan when repeatably switched on by a microwave or PIR sensor. So not only has the CFL PL lamp a shorter life typically 10000 hours as opposed to typically 30000 for a LED PL lamp but this lifespan can be dramatically reduced.

Thirdly, the CFL PL light bulb uses about twice the electricity of the LED PL light bulb. If the lamp is on for long period like in commercial buildings then this can amount to quite a large difference in running costs.

The LED PL Lamp
LED LED lamp

The result is that the LED PL lamp is now a good alternative to the CFL PL lamp with a host of advantages. The only real issue is the cost as the LED technology is inherently more expensive, but recent advances in the manufacturing processes have meant that LED PL lamps can now be purchased at a reasonable price. The transition will take a while but as the CFL lamps blow then I would expect to see them progressively replaced with the LED PL lamp and the LED PL light bulb will undoubtedly be the choice for new builds with a green focus.


2 thoughts on “LED PL lamps”

  1. This aritcle helped clarify the issue for me as I have tried unsuccessfully to use CFL’s in a dimming switch in my home. This is a useful aritcle.

  2. The article is wondering.. Clearly and undoubtedly elaborate the advantage the Usage of LEDs to replace tranditional and cfl lamps. Thanks.

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