Frequently Asked Questions

Select a question below to view the answer

. Ballast: What is the difference between an Electronic and a Wire Wound Ballast?

Electronic ballast uses less power and runs at a PF of nearly one. A wire wound ballast is less efficient and a capacitor needs to be added to the circuit to bring the PF to be as close as possible.

. Bathroom heaters: With the bathroom heaters; can you control the heater lamps separately and can you change the centre lamp from a 40w to a 60w?

The C86 comes with a four lever switch. Two switches for the heater lamps, one switch for the centre lamp and one switch for the extractor fan. If a lamp is specified for 40 watt it must not be upgraded. The reason is the lamp holder wiring and lens are designed for the wattage specified.

. CFL: Can CFL bulbs create interference with electronic equipment, such as radios?

Many electronic devices, such as radios, televisions, wireless telephones, and remote controls, use infrared light to transmit signals. Infrequently, these types of electronic devices accidentally interpret the infrared light coming from a compact fluorescent bulb as a signal, causing the electronic device to temporarily malfunction or stop working. (For example, your television might suddenly change channels.) Fortunately, this only happens when light is produced at the same wavelength as the electronic device signals, which is rare.

. CFL: Can CFLs be dimmed?

To use a compact fluorescent bulb on a dimmer switch, you must buy a bulb that's specifically made to work with dimmers. Eurolux makes a dimming compact fluorescent light bulb that is specially designed for use with dimming switches. Ensure the dimmer which is offered or being used is compatible to the lamp.

. CFL: Can CFLs be used in places like bathrooms?

Yes, as long as they are not exposed to direct water.

. CFL: Do CFL bulbs have drawbacks that should be considered?

While compact fluorescent lighting is ideal for many situations, it must be used in the right way to reap the full benefits. CFLs can take longer than an incandescent bulb to turn on and become fully lit. CFLs also need to be disposed of carefully since they contain mercury, which can be harmful to the environment.

. CFL: Do CFLs emit Ultraviolet (UV) radiation or electromagnetic radiation (EMF) and are those harmful?

Regular flourescent light bulbs used in your home and office do not produce a hazardous amount of ultraviolet light (UV). Most light sources, including fluorescent bulbs, emit a small amount of UV, but the UV produced by fluorescent light bulbs is far less than the amount produced by natural daylight. (Ultraviolet light rays are the light wavelengths that can cause sunburn and skin damage.)

. CFL: How does a compact fluorescent light bulb work?

There are two main parts in a CFL: the gas-filled tube (also called bulb or burner) and the magnetic or electronic ballast. An electrical current from the ballast flows through the gas, causing it to emit ultraviolet light. The ultraviolet light then excites a phosphor coating on the inside of the tube. This coating emits visible light. Electronic ballasts contain a small circuit board with rectifiers, a filter capacitor and usually two switching transistors connected as a high-frequency resonant series DC to AC inverter. The resulting high frequency, around 40 kHz or higher, is applied to the lamp tube. Since the resonant converter tends to stabilize lamp current (and light produced) over a range of input voltages, standard CFLs do not respond well in dimming applications and special lamps are required for dimming service. CFLs that flicker when they start have magnetic ballasts; CFLs with electronic ballasts are now much more common

. CFL: Is a spiral energy saver brighter than a "normal" energy saver?

If the wattage is the same the lumens will be the same.

. CFL: Is the light from a CFL identical to an incandescent light?

While a regular (incandescent) light bulb uses heat to produce light, a fluorescent bulb creates light using an entirely different method that is far more energy-efficient -- in fact, 4-6 times more efficient. This means that you can buy a 15-watt compact fluorescent bulb that produces the same amount of light as a 60-watt regular incandescent bulb.

. CFL: What are the benefits of CFL bulbs?

One of the greatest benefits of compact fluorescent light bulbs is their energy efficiency. A CFL uses 50 to 80 percent less energy than other light bulbs. They last more than 6 times longer than incandescents and create far less heat.

. CFL: What CFL bulb do I buy to replace an incandescent (regular) bulb?

This depending on the wattage and the luminaire . A rule of thumb is to replace a lamp with a CFL 5 times smaller than an incandescent. i.e. 20W CFL +- 100W incandescent. One must take into consideration which CFL will fit into the existing fixture

. CFL: What function does mercury perform in fluorescent lighting?

It is the mercury that excites phosphors in a CFL, causing them to glow and give light. When electric current passes through mercury vapour, the mercury emits ultraviolet energy. When this ultraviolet energy passes through the phosphor coating, it produces light . Because mercury is consumed during lamp operation, a certain amount is necessary to produce light and achieve long lamp life.

. CFL: What is a compact fluorescent lamp (CFL)?

CFL stands for "compact fluorescent lamp." As the name implies, they are compact versions of the long, tubular fluorescent lamps you know today.

. CFL: What is the white powder I see inside my fluorescent bulb?

Phosphor: This chemical compound lines the inside of CFL tubing. When excited, it converts ultraviolet radiation into visible light. The chemical composition of the phosphor determines the colour temperature of the light emitted by the bulb.

. CFL: Why does my CFL light bulb flicker or appear dim when I first turn it on?

An electrical current from the ballast flows through the gas, causing it to emit ultraviolet light. The ultraviolet light then excites a phosphor coating on the inside of the tube. This coating emits visible light. The gases and phosphors need to warm up before they are in full operating conditions.

. Chandelier: Can you put a chandelier in the bathroom?

The wiring regulations SANS 10142. It specifies different zones for a bathroom. If the chandelier is installed in the correct zone and is out of arms reach then one could install the chandelier in that zone.

. Colour: Is cool white brighter than warm white?

No cool white and warm white have the same lumen output but the Kelvin rating changes. In other words the colour is different and they have different colour temperatures on the colour spectrum. Cool white lamps run at a temperature (Kelvin of +_ 4000K warm white at +_ 2800. This is purely the difference in colour temperature.

. Disposal: What about recycling CFLs?

The lighting association is busy with a recycling plan. Government has enforced that all CFL lamps must be disposed of in an environmentally friendly way. This will only come into effect next year (2011).

. Downlighters: What can I replace my Halogen downlighters with so that I can save energy?

Depending on the application you can replace with CFL or LED. One could also reduce the wattage of the halogen lamp from 50 to 35 watt.

. Energy saving: Should I replace all the light bulbs in and around my home with eco-friendly light bulbs?

If one can do this and still maintain the aesthetic effect in all rooms then yes.

. Energy saving: What immediate, easy energy savings measures do you recommend

Use CFL's which use less energy and last up to 10 times longer than incandescent lamps. Turn off household appliances such as microwave, TVs, Videos, music systems and computers when not in use, as they continue to use energy when they are left on standby

. Fitting: What does "luminaire" mean?

A light fixture is an electrical device used to create artificial light and/or illumination. A luminaire is a lighting fixture complete with the light source or lamp, the reflector for directing the light and an aperture (with or without a lens). See our Encyclopeadia for more information.

. Lamp: I always say "light bulb" and you use the word, "lamp". Why is that?

This can be debated. However the word bulb could mean various things from plant bulbs to light bulbs. Lamps can also be mistaken for table lamps. The common phrase in industry is LAMP.

. LED: How much more energy efficient is a LED lamp?

When designed properly, an LED circuit will approach 80% efficiency, which means 80% of the electrical energy is converted to light energy.

. LED: I hear a lot about LED lights. When are they worth considering?

Depending on your budget you could retrofit all lamps to LED. However if budget is an challenge one could use the smaller wattage LED's in passage areas and for accent lighting.

. Lifespan: What does the "rated life" E.g. 6000 Hours, of a lamp signify?

Rated average life for a lamp is defined as: A value of lamp life expectancy based on laboratory tests of representative lamps, burning at rated volts, on an approved system, operating with a burning cycle of 10 hours per start. The "average life" is determined when 50% of the lamps initially installed are still operating

. Lifespan: What is the lifespan of a LED lamp vs. a CFL and incandescent lamp?

LED Life span varies from 30000 to 50000 hours. CFL varies from 6000 to 12000 and incandescent lamps average around 2000 hours.

. Mercury: Does this amount of mercury represent a threat to humans or the environment?

CFLs are safe to use in your home. No mercury is released when the bulbs are in use and they pose no danger to you or your family when used properly.

. Mercury: How much mercury is in one CFL?

The amount of mercury in the most popular and widely used CFLs is minimal, ranging between 2.3 mg and 3.5 mg. That is lower than other CFLs on the market, which generally contain approximately 5 mg, roughly the equivalent of the tip of a ballpoint pen. The South African regulation stipulates 5 mg or lower.

. Mercury: What should I do if a CFL breaks?

If CFL breaks- carefully sweep up all the fragments, wipe the area with a wet towel, and dispose of all fragments, including the used towel, in a sealed plastic bag. If possible, open windows to allow the room to ventilate.

. Spares: Does Eurolux keep replacement ballasts, tubes and spares.

Yes we do. If there is a problem with certain stock which needs spares please contact us.

. Stores: Where can I buy Eurolux products?

Any one of our trusted retailers. Have a look at our online store locator for a retailer near you.

. Voltage: Is it ever all right to run lamps at voltages just slightly higher or lower than their rating?

One can run at voltages of 10% higher or lower of the rated voltage indicated on the lamp. Remember 5% increase in voltage will cause a 50%reduction in life.

. What is the Eurolux warranty period on items and does it pass on to the customer of the retailer?

The warranty period is one year. It does pass onto the end user. However the faulty unit must be returned to the retailer who sold the product. Then returned to Eurolux for repairs.