Are CFLs replacements for Tube lights?

We have all known that CFLs are great electricity savers as compared to incandescent bulbs. Years of campaign and successful marketing by the government have led to good penetration of CFLs in Indian market, which is great. Although it is good that we have adopted CFLs so well, but CFLs were supposed to be replacement of incandescent bulbs. Are you using it to replace tubelights?

Fluorescent Lamp Technology

Both CFLs and Tubelights use the same Fluorescent Lamp technology to produce light. It contains mercury and phosphorous, particles of which get excited to produce light when current is passed through it. It requires a ballast or choke to pass current through it.  Traditional incandescent lamps waste 90% of electricity they use as heat and convert only 10% to light. Fluorescent lamps do not waste electricity as heat

Difference between CFL and Tubelight

CFLs are point source of light where light originates from the center (or point) and radiates outside in circles.

So where should you use CFL and where a Tubelight?

CFLs are great for smaller areas like puja room, kitchen (if it is small), bathrooms, etc where the light requirement is less.  For bigger rooms like drawing rooms and bedrooms, a tubelights are better. Tubelights are also better for tasks like reading, studying and sewing that require much more brightness.

Is it better to use multiple CFLs instead of a tubelight?

It depends. If you use all the CFLs at same time then the total wattage may be more than the wattage of a tubelight. But if you use only one CFL at a time, then the total wattage will be less than a tubelight. Also please note that to get the brightness equivalent to a tubelight, 3 or more CFLs will be required in the room, which will make the wattage requirement more than a tubelight.

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