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6.7: Comparison of Different Bulbs

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    Incandescent Bulbs

    • Do not require a ballast
    • Have a warm color appearance with a low color temperature and excellent color rendering (CRI 100)
    • Are a compact light source
    • Require simple maintenance due to screw-in Edison base
    • Are a less efficacious light source
    • Have a shorter service life than other light sources in most cases
    • Have a filament that is sensitive to vibrations and jarring
    • Can get very hot during operation
    • Must be properly shielded because incandescent lamps can produce direct glare as a point source
    • Require proper line voltage, as line voltage variations can severely affect light output and service life

    Figure 6.7.1 shows an incandescent bulb.

    Figure 6.7.1. Incandescent bulb

    Fluorescent Bulbs

    • Require a ballast
    • Have a range of color temperatures and color rendering capabilities
    • Have low surface brightness compared to point sources
    • Have a cooler operation
    • Are more efficacious compared to incandescent
    • Ambient temperatures and convection currents can affect light output and life
    • All fixtures installed indoors must use a Class P ballast that disconnects the ballast in the event it begins to overheat; high ballast operating temperatures can shorten ballast life
    • Have options for starting methods and lamp current loadings
    • Require compatibility with ballast
    • Low temperatures can affect starting unless a "cold weather" ballast is specified

    Figure 6.7.2 shows a fluorescent bulb.

    Figure 6.7.2. Fluorescent bulb

    High-Intensity Discharge (HID) Bulbs

    • Require a ballast
    • Ambient temperature does not affect light output, although low ambient temperatures can affect starting, requiring a special ballast
    • Are a compact light source
    • Are high lumen packages
    • Are a point light source
    • Have a range of color temperatures and color rendering abilities depending on the lamp type
    • Have a long service life
    • Are highly efficacious in many cases
    • Have line voltage variations, possible line voltage drops, and circuits sized for high starting current requirements which must be considered

    Figure 6.7.3 shows a HID bulb.

    Figure 6.7.3. HID bulb

    6.7: Comparison of Different Bulbs is shared under a not declared license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by LibreTexts.

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