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Two other types of lamps have evolved –
the halogen lamp which is of the incandescent type but is brighter due to the presence of the halogen gas; the light emitting dioxide (LED) is a very efficient electronic device in which light is emitted by exciting a suitable semi-conductor material.

Brightness (luminosity)
The lumen (lm) is a measure of the brightness of the lamp. Since September 2010 all lamps sold in Europe are marked with their power consumption in watts and their brightness in lumens. A comparison between the various types is given in Table 1.

Table 1: Typical power ratings and lifetime of lamps giving a brightness of 1100 lumens

Lifetime
The life of non-incandescent lamps is much longer than incandescent lamps because they have electronic circuits called ballasts which are now the life limiting factor rather than the lamp itself. Some CFLs have separate ballasts and lamps and so the ballasts can be replaced until the lamp fails. Typical lifetimes for various types of lamps are listed in Table 1. Because of their much longer life, they should always be fitted where access is difficult.

EU energy label
The EU energy label (Figure 2) has a comparative efficiency classification with a rating from A (the most efficient) to G (the least efficient). These classes are listed in Table 1 for the principal types of lamps. In addition the label also contains information about the brightness of the lamp, the power it consumes and the characteristic life time.

Observe that the low energy lamps not only use less energy but also have a much longer life time.

In order to reduce the price of low energy lamps, manufacturers have tended to set the price according to the life of the lamp. Hence a Compact fluorescent lamp with 6000 hours will generally cost less than a lamp with 15,000 hours life.



 

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