|Manufacturer:||Impact (Website unknown)|
|Model:||Color Spiral 220-240V 15W BC22 Red|
|Wattage:||15W (14W Measured)|
|Tube Length:||380mm approx (Helical Style)|
|Bulb/Tube material:||Red coloured glass, red colour phosphor coating on inner wall|
|Peak output wavelength:||Unknown|
|Total light output:||Unknown|
|Rated lifetime:||6000 Hours|
|Operating voltage:||220-240V AC|
|Operating current:||100mA (pf=0.52)|
|Warmup/restrike time:||1 minute/none (Rapid start ballast)|
|Cost (original):||£6.64 (August 2006) from BLT Direct|
|Place of manufacture:||Not stated on lamp or packaging|
|Date of manufacture:||Unknown, no date codes present|
|Related Pages:||Impact Color Spiral 15W Yellow. Impact Color Spiral 15W Green. Impact Color Spiral 15W Blue.|
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, a vivid electric blue can be created using only a phosphor, however the same is not true of other colours. The "red" phosphor used in most coloured lamps for instance actually lights a bright pink colour. I do not believe that a deep, saturated red can be created only by a phosphor. In this case however, a deep red has been created by the use of a coloured glass in conjunction with this phosphor. A very slight pinkish tint does still make itself known though. I really like the fact that the ballast housing of this lamp is moulded in red 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. I think that when unlit, the red is the most eye catching of the colours. 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 fairly saturated, though very slightly pinkish red 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 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.
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!
This lamp added to the Virtual Display Shelf on the 1st September 2006 at 23:47.
References: Lamp markings and packaging only.
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