Incandescent and Compact Fluorescent Lights

We’ve been replacing incandescent lights with compact fluorescent lights as needed here. So I have a ceiling fan with a light fixture that now has two remaining incandescent lights and three compact fluorescent lights. Here is a picture of the light fixture:

Lights in visible spectrum

I think it is just possible to pick out which are which. Give it a try…

Incandescent lights are not as efficient as compact fluorescent lights. So, where are those watts that incandescent lights soak up going to? Quite a lot goes into heat production. More, in fact, than is output as visible light. Below the fold, I’ve included a photo of the light fixture, this time using an infrared filter on the camera. It will be obvious there which two lamps are incandescent. See if you picked them right from the visible light photo above.

Lights in Infrared

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Wesley R. Elsberry

Falconer. Interdisciplinary researcher: biology and computer science. Photographer. Husband. Christian. Activist.

4 thoughts on “Incandescent and Compact Fluorescent Lights

  • 2010/09/01 at 10:58 am
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    The bulb shapes are quite distinct in the photograph. Since you mention that there were two incandescent bulbs, it was easy to select those. After that, I could also sense that those two were brighter.

    I really like the IR photo though.

    But here is my real question. I have several similar fixtures and bathroom fixtures. My main issue is the bathroom has multiple bulbs. I simply do not fill them as it is costly and unnecessary. When we have company my wife likes to exchange burned out for working bulbs. I would like to change fixtures for efficient designs in the first place – any good bathroom fixture suggestions?

  • 2010/09/01 at 7:59 pm
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    Thanks for the response.

    Diane and I are fixing up the bathroom that was unfinished when we got the house. We’ve had a look at light fixtures and are thinking about installing two sconce-style lights to flank the medicine cabinet. The ones that we are leaning toward take 23W GU24 base compact fluorescent bulbs.

  • 2010/09/02 at 5:30 pm
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    I think you are on the right track. Further consideration, we need basic light lighting for the bathroom. Then a separate higher brightness – I think incandescent (for the quality of the light) – for “makeup”.

    we have a two sink vanity – I think there are 6 globe bulbs in the fixture. I replaced with two CF globe bulbs (slow to start up ~ 30 seconds plus). We can fill up with working incandescent globes for company.

    I am thinking a flood canister in the ceiling on a separate switch would do the trick. My wife thinks the shadowing would be a problem. Other than lighted moveable mirrors on the sides I see little option than a whole sale replacement of the main fixture. It might be possible to re-wire the main fixture to switch 4 sockets separate of the other 2.

    I could build a customer fixture then I could do three switched zones. The main CF lighting and 2 incandescent zones – one for each sink location – switched at the side wall of the vanity on each end.

    Uhmm which project means I need to buy a new tool….

  • 2010/09/06 at 11:20 am
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    We;ve replaced lots of our bulbs with CFs. My main complaint is we haven’t found any that work with motion-sensitive switches and fixtures (not even the fantastically expensive dimmable kind). There are a few locations (like the outside lights) where motion-sensitive fixtures are really desirable; eg. turn on when someone walks into the porch, turn off a minute or two after they go inside. Five minutes of incandescent when you really need it is still more efficient than leaving a CF on for hours when you go out for the evening.

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