24 November 2010
A report by the Consumer Agency reveals that the prices of energy saving lamps range from one euro to over thirty euros. The price is determined by the lamp’s durability, output and additional properties.
Energy saving light bulbs are compact fluorescent lamps, in the shape of a tube, spiral or bulb. They require less power than incandescent lamps to produce an equivalent amount of light, and they have a longer life span. Not just for basic household lighting, energy saving lamps are also used in spot and outdoor lights, dimmer systems and photoelectric control systems.
Together with Regional State Administrative Agencies, the Consumer Agency has compared the prices of 48 brands and 715 individual energy saving lamps. The comparison focused on E27 screw base lamps, used to replace incandescent lamps in homes. Narrower E14 lamps, plug-in lamps and 12V energy saving lamps were excluded from the test. The data were collected from 115 retailers all over Finland in September.
Technical properties affect price
Nearly half (45%) of the energy saving lamps sold in shops are 11 and 15 watt lamps. At their best, the output of a 11 watt lamp is close to that of a 60 watt incandescent lamp, while a 15 watt energy saving lamp equals a 75 watt incandescent lamp. The prices of 11 watt energy saving lamps varied within the range €1–26, with the average price being €9.90. The price range of 15 watt energy saving lamps was €1–38, with an average price of €10.70.
The prices are affected by a number of features, such as the life span of the lamps as well as their other properties. The average price of 11 watt lamps that last 15,000 hours was €13. For corresponding 15 watt lamps, the average price was €14. The average price of 11 watt lamps that last 6,000 hours was €6.20, whereas the average price of corresponding 15 watt lamps was €7.20. The average prices of dimmable 11 watt lamps and 15 watt lamps with photoelectric switches were €15.60 and €15.50, respectively.
Based on the tests, the life spans and output values of lamps are not always as stated. The output of high-quality lamps can match, or surpass, that of higher power lamps. The energy label lists the essential information about a lamp’s properties.
Energy saving lamps are usually slow to light up, particularly in cold conditions. However, relatively fast energy saving lamps are also available on the market. Delay-free alternatives to energy saving lamps are halogen lamps, LED lights and fluorescent lamps.
Choosing the right lamp for the right purpose
When selecting energy saving lamps, the lamp’s intended purpose of use should always be considered. Due to their features and dimensions, energy saving lamps are not always the suitable solution. They are best suited to locations where light is kept on for long periods of time.