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Home lighting geeking

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2009-09-29
I'm planning to replace all the bulbs in my house with something like ALZO full spectrum 5500K CRI 91 27 watt CFLs.

Are there any better options I'm missing?

I'm pretty sure I want to go with color temperature 5500 Kelvin because it seems to be the most standard in the vicinity of daylight, and, in particular, matches camera flashes.

So I'm basically looking for 5500K light bulbs with the highest CRI, color rendering index. The highest CRI is 100, matching mid-day sunlight. Worst is 0 (spiky color spectrum). I haven't found anything at 5500K over 91 CRI.

There are halogens at 100 CRI, and filtering them to 5500K might be fun.

I hate old style fluorescents: 60 CRI, cycling 60 times a second (flicker). But the new fluorescents cycle 24,000 times per second (no flicker) with 91 CRI. Good.
  • There are halogens at 100 CRI, and filtering them to 5500K might be fun.

    Would that not also change the CRI?
    • I don't know, and it's certainly a question I'd need to answer before doing it.
  • Based on their website, you're using CRI wrong. 100 is *tungsten* light, not sunlight, and it's as film sees it, not as eyes see it.

    "daylight" bulbs can be really scratchy blue, I'd get a couple before committing the whole house to them. I've got some daylights I really don't like, I prefer the warmer 4500k ones.

    If instant on is important to you, they might piss you off. CFLs (although much better than they used to be) still don't have 100% brightness at first.
    • Where did you get the tungsten thing? CRI doesn't relate to any color temperature or type of light. Tungsten incandescent is inherently CRI 100, as is, I believe, halogen. It's about how evenly the colors are represented, not which colors are represented.

      I am planning to try a few before doing the whole house, thanks. But I'm pretty certain I'll like them or die trying.
      • http://www.alzodigital.com/online_store/color_render_index_definition.htm

        I clicked on "CRI" on the page in the original post.

        What's the difference between "which colors" and "how evenly"? They smell pretty similar to me.

        If as that page suggests the goal is to mimic tungsten's effect on film, then which colors (and how much of each) is really important. But film does *not* have the same color response as your eyes. Even daylight/flash film.
  • hate CFLs with a the passion of a million burning suns.

    skip straight to LEDs or use true color halogens until LEDs are good.

    imho.

    #
    • Why do you hate them?

      The early ones sucked. Poor color, flickered, didn't last long, long warm up time, etc, but modern ones don't have those problems.

      • define modern?

        i tried them 2-3 years ago. most of them burned out over a 2 year period and didn't survive the experiment (use as plant lights during a darker winter), i bought more to replace them, and those too died. possible theory: either they suck hard or the power hear is not smooth enough for them. i believe i have a couple left, and they get very light (hah) dudty use.

        while i know i could've in theory used the guarantee, it wasn't really worth it with postage. plants liked the extra light enough that i'll buy a better lamp next winter.

        so, hates... sometimes i can see them flicker. i don't like the color spectrum for reading. they remind me of work. they aren't instant on. i can occasionally hear them (possibly when they are on the way out, i didn't test). they're expensive, but don't last long enough to justify the cost despite claims.

        haven't checked, but do they still contain mercury and nasty?

        halogen, esp with some of the coatings offered: beautiful light that i really respond to. i love it. i've some bulbs in operation for years now. they're not very expensive. they're warm feeling. instant on. *variable* - i have have a couple dimmers including the touch variety (dig those).

        LEDs should in theory offer many of the features i like about halogens... one thing most people don't get is that at the higher power levels, LEDs put out a lot of heat as well, and while they can offer many other advantages, heat == waste (unless you are counting on that heat ;>)

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  • If you use natural gas you might look to your gas company. I had National Grid do an energy audit on the house last year and during it the auditor changed all of our light bulbs to CF's for free. They even put in dimmable bulbs, and ones that looked like decorative bulbs if they were visible.
    • i do have natural gas for heat. however, i turned off the heat some weeks ago now, so am "solar" :) good insulation, two big solar inputs (glass door/window), but of course a TV == more than warm enough now that it's not freezing. heck, keep the windows open some nights now.

      i just don't like CFLs in my personal spaces.

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