One of the most common reactions we get from our customers when we try to promote a fluorescent bathroom light is “No way, I can’t stand the color, it makes me look pukey green!”Well, while this might be the case for some cheap types of fluorescents, these energy saving lamps have actually come a long way in the last few years and there are a lot more flattering choices available.

So, how do I choose a high quality fluorescent tube or CFL?

Two scales are used to rate the “feel” and perceived quality of a light source:
Color Temperature and Color Rendering.

The Color Temperature measures how “warm” or “cool” a tint of white appears. It is measured in Kelvin (K).
The Color Rendering Index measures the ability of a light source to reproduce the colors of an object.
A candle or the embers of a fire in the fireplace evoke a feeling of warmth and comfort.
Of all choices out there a regular household light bulb is the closest to this color temperature (2800K).
That is the reason it is so hard to let go of this energy guzzler. We grew up with it, it feels fcomfortable and inviting, we are used to reading, eating, seeing our faces in the mirror by it.
This is the color temperature most people associate with residential lighting.
Cooler color temperatures that are closer to the natural daylight are more frequently used in institutional settings and often appear clinical and unfriendly in a home.

There are, however, no “good” or “bad” color temperatures. Which ones you choose is as subjective as your color preferences for your walls. Different color temperatures might also be preferred for different tasks within a home.
You might want a lamp with a color temperature of 2800K next to your favorite reading chair when you curl up with a book or next to your bed. In the walk-in closet or the laundry room cooler color temperatures, however, generally do better job at helping you pair your dark socks, especially when combined with a high Color Rendering Index.
The Color Rendering Index (CRI) is a rating scale of up to 100.  Lamps with a low CRI will make objects and skin tones look dull, while lamps with a high CRI, like incandescents and halogens make colors look more vivid and “true”.In general, a CRI rating above 80 means that a light source will render colors well. Since CRI figures are calculated for light sources of a specific color temperature, it is, however, important to compare two light sources of the same color temperature when determining which one will render colors the best.
So, when choosing between two CFLs compare two with the same degree K and choose the one with the highest CRI for better quality.

Over the last decades consumers have embraced new low voltage light sources, enjoyed the sparkle they produce and the new possibilities they offer for innovative designs and product development due to their miniscule size and almost everyone has readily adapted to the “feel” of their light.
Until not long ago the lowly fluorescent lamp, however, remained a stepchild.
Not anymore!!With the rising concerns about our natural resources and the impact of the waste of fossil fuels among the population the lighting industry was inspired to act, and act fast!
Consumers wanted to DO SOMETHING, but then again why should they forsake the incandescent bulb if there was no real alternative?
Despair no more! After we for decades only had the choice in fluorescents between “warm white” (Miss-Piggy-Pink) and “cool white” (Shrek-greenish) there is now a wide range of color temperatures available. 


Share and Enjoy:
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • StumbleUpon
  • Twitter

Comments are closed.