FAQ: General

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Q:Do LEDs emit ultraviolet or infrared light?

No, LEDs do not emit ultraviolet (UV) or infrared light.

Q:What’s the difference between a compact fluorescent light bulb and a linear fluorescent bulb?

The primary difference is size and application. Compact fluorescent bulbs are made in special shapes (which require special technologies) to fit in standard household light sockets, like table lamps and ceiling fixtures. In addition, most compact fluorescent light bulbs have an integral ballast that is built into the base of the light bulb, whereas linear fluorescent tubes require a separate ballast independent of the bulb. Both types are energy efficient light sources.

Q:Why do some halogen light bulbs last longer than a regular incandescent light bulb?

Both regular incandescent bulbs and halogen bulbs create light by heating a tungsten filament. Usually, the bulb burns out when the filament is fully depleted.

The filament in a regular incandescent bulb burns out over time because the tungsten on the filament evaporates and is redeposited on the bulb’s glass. Those tungsten deposits are the reason bulbs often appear darker when they burn out. Halogen bulbs can last longer because the halogen gas and intense heat inside the bulbs redeposit the tungsten back onto the filament as it evaporates, known as the “halogen cycle”. A halogen bulb will still eventually burn out because the filament becomes too stiff and brittle to sustain the vibrations caused by re-lighting.

Q:What’s the white powder I see inside my fluorescent light bulb?

The white powder that you see inside a fluorescent light bulb is called phosphor, which is a substance that emits visible light whenever it absorbs ultra violet energy waves. The phosphor used in a fluorescent light bulb is what determines both the color temperature and the color rendering index.

Q:How much heat is emitted by incandescent, halogen, and compact fluorescent light bulbs?

Incandescent light bulbs create light by heating a filament inside the bulb; the heat makes the filament white-hot, producing the light that you see. Halogen light bulbs create light through the same method. Because incandescent and halogen bulbs create light through heat, about 90% of the energy used is wasted to generate heat. To reduce the heat emitted by regular incandescent and halogen bulbs, use a lower watt bulb (like 60 watts instead of 100).

Fluorescent light bulbs use an entirely different method to create light. Both compact fluorescent light bulbs and fluorescent linear tubes only waste approximately 30% of their energy in heat, making them far cooler and more energy efficient than regular bulbs. Fluorescent light bulbs are an ideal choice whenever reducing heat or saving energy is important.

Q:Why do my bulbs seem to burn out quickly?

Light bulbs can burn out quickly for a variety of reasons. The first thing to do if a bulb seems to burn out quickly is check the fixture it’s in. Light fixtures can wear out over time and develop wiring problems that cause the bulbs to fail early. If bulbs are repeatedly burning out quickly in the same light fixture, it’s probably the fixture. Be sure you’re following the fixture manufacturer’s specifications for light bulb wattage, voltage and bulb shape.

The second thing to consider is the type of bulb you’re buying. Some new bulb types have a longer bulb life than regular incandescent light bulbs that you’re used to. If you want bulbs that last longer, look for our Rough Service light bulbs that are guaranteed to last for two years — they provide a superior bright, crisp light and are made with high-level design and materials. If you’re looking for long life and energy efficiency, try our Neolite CFLs. They last up to 12,000 hours and save up to 75% in energy costs.