Manufacturer: Impact (Website unknown)
Model: Color Spiral 220-240V 15W BC22 Blue
Application: Decorative Lighting
Wattage: 15W (Measured correct)
Diameter (max): 45mm
Length: 110mm
Tube Length: 380mm approx (Helical Style)
Bulb/Tube material: Blue coloured glass, blue colour phosphor coating on inner wall
Colour Temperature:  
Peak output wavelength:  
Total light output: Unknown
Rated lifetime: 6000 Hours
Cap: B22
Operating voltage: 220-240V AC
Operating current: 110mA (pf=0.54)
Warmup/restrike time: 1 minute/none (Rapid start ballast)
Cost (original): 6.64 (August 2006) from BLT Direct
Value (now):  
Place of manufacture: Not stated on lamp or packaging
Date of manufacture: Unknown, no date codes present
Lamp Status: Working
Related Pages: Impact Color Spiral 15W Yellow.  Impact Color Spiral 15W Green.  Impact Color Spiral 15W Red
Notes: If you're thinking this looks suspiciously like a yellow helical CFL that's been on the site for a while, you'd be right...I finally gave in a week or so back and bought the rest of the "set."  This range of lamps comes in red, green, blue and yellow.  These shall all be appearing on the website in due course.

Due to the lamps being technically identical aside from the glass, body and phosphor colour, a lot of the text here shall be duplicated.

Coloured compact fluorescent lamps seem to be a type of lamp which are still pretty hard to find, and this is the first series of lamps which I actually have come across for sale in colours other than white (okay, so there are a zillion and one shades of white...you get the idea though!) and blacklight blue. I have seen several in the BL (Colour 05) colour - but that's not a phosphor colour used for general lighting, so I haven't counted it.

This lamp is electronically a conventional 15W compact fluorescent with an electronic ballast.  A number of other CFL's I've come across since this one have made use of a coloured phosphor.  This one however has properly coloured (not coated) glass.  It also, I believe makes use of a blue phosphor however.  In the case of a blue lamp like this, a vivid electric blue can be created using only a phosphor, however the same is not true of other colours.  This lamp lights a very vivid blue, and is surprisingly bright.  As shown in one of the images below, the light of of a short enough wavelength to cause quite significant fluorescence in a number of common objects.  These include anything in "neon" colours, the phosphors in monochrome television screens, and the yellow phosphor in white LED's.  The tube thickness in this case is clearly not perfectly uniform, the white base colour of the phosphor being quite visible through the wall in some locations when the lamp is switched off.  This does not affect the lamp performance in operation though, the whole thing appearing a uniform colour.  I really like the fact that the ballast housing of this lamp is moulded in blue plastic to match the tube, the overall effect even when not lit is very distinctive, and unusual enough to actually attract the attention of those even not really interested in lighting in general.  Once I manage to round up enough lamp holders in one place, a display of all four lamps will certainly have to happen.

The lamp lights a very vivid electric blue colour, warms up in less than a minute, and is totally free of flicker (as you'd expect from any modern lamp). The good thing about the use of coloured glass in conjunction with a coloured phosphor is that throughout the life of the lamp the wonderfully saturated colour will be maintained rather than either fading or shifting towards another point in the spectrum. The effect using one of these will create in any room is really rather striking, either when used as a primary means of illumination (for which it's quite bright enough for), or to create an accent to contrast with existing lighting.

The one drawback noted with this (and the green lamp) is that the ballast is not as quiet as some.  Both lamps produce quite a buzz when in operation.  Not objectionable by any means, but it is audible in a quiet room.  At one point in time this really was the norm, but it's generally accepted that CFL's these days are silent.

This may be bringing to mind for a lot of you, visions of the old coloured GLS lamps which were highly popular for exterior decoration during the festive period, or for the same purpose year round at many places like pubs and cafes. They were generally 25W lamps, and were quite handy for this sort of thing. It was an extremely cheap and pretty easy to maintain way to create a very striking visual effect. It is obvious that this lamp is aiming at a similar market, but it falls down on a couple of points. Firstly, the old coloured GLS lamps were generally just coated low wattage incandescents, and as a result were really rather cheap. These CFL's, being produced in relatively low volumes, effectively a specialist item (I've only found a handful of suppliers who stock these or similar lamps), have a corresponding higher price tag. Also, the old GLS lamps, being low wattage types needed only a weatherproof lampholder to make them suitable for use outside, the bulb itself was just left exposed to the elements. That of course isn't possible with this type of CFL due to the electronics in the ballast, which obviously wouldn't take too kindly to getting wet. This means that these lamps are basically restricted to interior use only (as fully enclosed fixtures are generally out of the question too, as they would cause the ballast to most likely overheat and fail prematurely).

All in all a very interesting lamp though.  Have to admit that I've got a soft spot for coloured CFL's...but it's my collection...so which are my favorites is entirely my choice!

Click Thumbnails for full size images.
 

CF Title Image

Back to CF section

This lamp added to the Virtual Display Shelf on the 30th August 2006 at 22:08.


References: Lamp markings and packaging only.


Acknowledgements: None.


Homepage