Saturday, May 24, 2008

Honey, I Shrunk the CFLs: Crazy-Small New Bulb from SYLVANIA

micromini_single_209_274.JPGThe micro mini Twist CFL: Big light, small package
When it comes to the advent of the compact fluorescent light bulb (CFL), I am proud to say that I was an early adopter. And while I instantly noticed a reduction in my monthly electric bill, I also noticed that the compact fluorescent was not without its flaws. I found that the early compact fluorescents were often too bulky, preventing their use in certain fixtures; that they took a while to ‘warm up’ to full their full brightness; and that the light they put off could be a little harsh, especially as compared to the warm glow of the Edison-era incandescent light bulb. But times have changed, and the new micro-mini Twist from SYLVANIA is evidence that CFLs don’t need to be big, slow, and bright to be effective.

The micro-mini’s size is one of its biggest appeals and is what jumped out at me right away. Featuring an ultra-small ¼ inch tube diameter and a compact integral electronic ballast, the 13W micro-mini is the smallest CFL on today’s market. The bulb measures 3.7 inches long or over half an inch shorter than amicromini_contrast_209_274.JPG standard incandescent lamp, a mere 4.4 inches. As you can see by the picture, the Twist is significantly smaller than the other 13W CFL I had in my home-lighting arsenal. The bulbs compact size makes it usable in virtually any lamp fixture, large or small - not a claim that can me bade about all CFLs.

The Soft White micro-mini compact fluorescent light bulb features a warm color temperature of 3000 Kelvin (K) and it boasts instant-on capabilities. The micro-mini Twist compact fluorescent lamps are available in 13-watt (W), 20W and 23W models. The mini CFL is designed to replace 60, 75 or 100W incandescent lamps and boasts an average rated lamp life of 12,000 hours.

Finally, I really enjoyed the ‘instant-on’ capabilities of the Twist. I often find that when I go to the bathroom and flip on the light, a CFL won’t reach its full luminescence by the time I am done with my business (thus cutting into valuable crossword puzzle and magazine time). This bulb, however, had no delay and was instantly bright as soon as I flipped the switch.

The only downside I found to the bulbs were how they were packaged. For a bulb that is claiming to be an energy saver, it seems that printing a picture of a tree on a useless cardboard tab is not exactly the best way to show consumers real concern for saving energy. I hope SYLVANIA will recognize this inconsistency and adjust the packaging accordingly.


Considering that changing just one 60W incandescent bulb to a 13W CFL will save the average American about $56 dollars over the life of the bulb. And that changing out all thirty-six bulbs (the number in the average American home), will amount to a savings of more than $2,000** over the life of the bulbs, it seems that an investment of $4.99 is a small price to pay for substantial energy savings.

**Based on 11 years at 10 cents/KwH.

Original here

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