Unbiased Information and Reviews on Appliances, Solar and Saving Electricity

CFL Bulbs and Fluorescent Tubes buying guide

By on April 26, 2018 with 23 Comments  

In our previous post on task-based lighting, we showed that a watt is not the right measure for brightness and we should use lumens instead. We then went around the shops in our area and then carried out online market survey to find out different types of CFLs and Fluorescent tubes available in the market in India, and give our readers some comparative figures to help them buy a CFL or a Fluorescent tube. We collected wattages, lumens, color temperature and prices of various types of CFLs, FTLs and Bulbs available in the market. The data below is analysis of the data we collected. We hope that it will help you pick and choose the right kind of lights for your use.

Please note that we just surveyed the regular shops and stores that contain most commonly sold products. This information does not represent lights that may be available in specialized lighting stores. Although information about some specific brands (Osram, Havells, Bajaj and Philips) is available on their websites mentioned below.

Incandescent Bulbs and their price in Indian Market

Most common wattages of incandescent bulbs that are available in Indian market are from 15 to 100 (although some high wattage bulbs of 200, 300 and 500) are also available. These bulbs come in 3 different types of shapes: round, tapered and flat top as shown in the images below. Also please note that the bulb available in market named “zero watt” bulb is actually 15 watts bulb.Incandescent

Wattages, Lumens (brightness) and price for different types of incandescent bulbs are as shown below. We observed that flat top bulbs are brighter than round ones, although round ones are the most commonly available bulbs.

25230210₹ 15.00
40415400₹ 15.00
60710660760₹ 15.00
1001450₹ 18.00
2003040₹ 25.00
3004530₹ 62.00
5008150₹ 87.00

CFLs and their price in Indian Market

CFLs provide a lot of options to the Indian consumers and they are available in multiple shapes, watts and color temperatures. The wattages available vary from 5 to 85 with a lot of options of choosing something in between the 2 numbers. They provide better brightness (lumens) per watt and thus are a good replacement of incandescent bulbs. They are available in 2 shapes: linear and spiral as shown below.CFL Types

They also come in 2 types of color temperatures: Cool Daylight and Warm White. Below are some observations that we had during our survey that can help people choose the right CFL:

  1. Spiral type CFLs are brighter (more lumens) than Linear CFLs and thus are costlier than Linear CFLs of same wattage.
  2. CFL providing warm white (yellowish) light are brighter (more lumens) than those with cool daylight (white) type light.
  3. Popular Brands (like Philips, Osram, Bajaj and Havells) provide more lumens (brightness) per watt than the other lesser-known brands for the same wattage bulb. So popular brands are more efficient.
  4. CFLs also have power factor on their labels, so if you have a commercial connection and are getting power factor penalty regularly on your bills, make sure that you choose the CFL which provides higher power factor (>0.85).

Below is the data for CFLs:

Cool DaylightWarm WhiteCool DaylightWarm White
5210-220225-240210-285300₹ 145.00₹ 160.00
7300320₹ 140.00
8376-425400-440475500₹ 150.00₹ 170.00
9423-450470₹ 200.00
11561-575605-625680-690715-825₹ 160.00₹ 180.00
12530560₹ 175.00
14720-760775-800₹ 165.00
15765-810850-900850-900875-950₹ 175.00₹ 195.00
181050-11001120₹ 160.00
20112012001120-12501200-1300₹ 195.00₹ 235.00
231288-14001350-15501290-14501450-1550₹ 230.00₹ 250.00
251500₹ 275.00
27168018001500-16801800₹ 255.00₹ 290.00
301800₹ 325.00
352200-22502350₹ 490.00
362150-2160₹ 365.00
4528002900₹ 625.00
653850-39004000₹ 750.00
854950-50005250₹ 850.00

*The rows marked in yellow are the most commonly available type of CFLs in the market. CFLs have inbuilt choke and so there is no extra cost for fittings.

Fluorescent Tubes and their price in Indian Market

There are three kinds on Fluorescent tubes commonly available in the Indian market: T12, T8 and T5. Most commonly they come in 4 ft size, but T5s are also commonly available in 2 ft size. These tubelights come in other sizes as well, but they are not available in regular market. Most 4 ft tubelights have same brightness leaving one type of T8, which is high output T8 tubelight. T5 tubelights are available in 2 colors: Warm White (Yellowish) and Cool Daylight (White). The observation on light color remains the same with tubelight as with CFL: the brightness is more with Warm White tubelight.

Below is the data for Tubelights:

Cool DaylightWarm White
T51311501250₹ 130.00
T52525002700₹ 140.00
T8362425₹ 45.00
T8363250₹ 125.00
T12402450₹ 45.00

*The prices above are just for the tubes and not for the tubelight fittings. They come for extra cost.Infographic9 Infographic10

Things to take care while buying a CFL or Fluorescent Tubes

As discussed in our previous article on task-based lighting, always consider the purpose for which lighting is to be done. By over lighting you waste money on electricity bills and by under-lighting you will not able to the task. To figure out how much you will save by saving one watt, you need to understand following:

A 100 watt bulb when put on for 10 hours consumes 1 unit of electricity:

            100 watt * 10 hour = 1000 watt hour = 1 kWH = 1 unit.

You can check how much a unit will cost, you can use our calculator at this link: Electricity bill Analyzer.Infographic12

Websites of various brands:

Bajaj Electricals: http://bajajelectricals.com/luminaires.aspx

Philips: http://www.ecat.lighting.philips.co.in/l/

Osram: http://catalog.myosram.com/

Havells: http://www.havells.com/Category.aspx?s=6

About the Author:
Abhishek Jain is an Alumnus of IIT Bombay with almost 10 years of experience in corporate before starting Bijli Bachao in 2012. His passion for solving problems moved him towards Energy Sector and he is keen to learn about customer behavior towards Energy and find ways to influence the same towards Sustainability. .

Please use the commenting form below to ask any questions or to make a comment. Please do not put the same comment multiple times. Your comment will appear after some time. Also please note that we do not reply to emails or comments on social media. So if you have any question, please put it in the form below and we will try to reply to it as soon as possible. If you are asking for an appliance recommendation, please be as specific with your requirements as possible because vague questions like asking for "cheap and best" would get vague replies. We usually reply within a day.

Please do not put comments for backlinks as they will not be approved. The comments are moderated and will be marked as spam if you put them for backlinks.

अगर आप के कुछ भी सवाल हैं, वह आप नीचे दिए हुए सवाल-जवाब सेक्शन में पूछ सकते हैं। आप अपने सवाल हिंदी में भी पूछ सकते हैं और हम आपको हिंदी में ही जवाब देंगे। कृपया एक ही सवाल को बार बार ना डालें। आप एक बार जब "submit " बटन दबाएंगे, उसके बाद आपका सवाल यहाँ दिखने में थोड़ा टाइम लगेगा। कृपया धैर्य रखें। अगर हमारे पास आपके सवाल का जवाब है तो हम उसे जल्दी से जल्दी जवाब देने की कोशिश करेंगे। कृपया अपने सवाल ई मेल या सोशल मीडिया पर ना डालें। हम ज़्यादातर एक दिन में जवाब दे देते हैं।

Support Bijli Bachao
Although we do not charge for answering your questions, but it does take time and effort to go through all of them and reply. If you find the responses useful and would like to pay for our efforts, you can click on the image above or can send us payment via UPI at bijlibachao@upi