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CFL Bulbs and Fluorescent Tubes buying guide

By on April 26, 2018 with 24 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.

Wattage Lumens MRP
Round Tapered Flat
15 110
25 230 210 ₹ 15.00
40 415 400 ₹ 15.00
60 710 660 760 ₹ 15.00
75 935 1000
100 1450 ₹ 18.00
200 3040 ₹ 25.00
300 4530 ₹ 62.00
500 8150 ₹ 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:

Wattage Lumens MRP
Linear Spiral Linear Spiral
Cool Daylight Warm White Cool Daylight Warm White
5 210-220 225-240 210-285 300 ₹ 145.00 ₹ 160.00
7 300 320 ₹ 140.00
8 376-425 400-440 475 500 ₹ 150.00 ₹ 170.00
9 423-450 470 ₹ 200.00
10 580
11 561-575 605-625 680-690 715-825 ₹ 160.00 ₹ 180.00
12 530 560 ₹ 175.00
14 720-760 775-800 ₹ 165.00
15 765-810 850-900 850-900 875-950 ₹ 175.00 ₹ 195.00
18 1050-1100 1120 ₹ 160.00
20 1120 1200 1120-1250 1200-1300 ₹ 195.00 ₹ 235.00
22 1360
23 1288-1400 1350-1550 1290-1450 1450-1550 ₹ 230.00 ₹ 250.00
25 1500 ₹ 275.00
27 1680 1800 1500-1680 1800 ₹ 255.00 ₹ 290.00
30 1800 ₹ 325.00
35 2200-2250 2350 ₹ 490.00
36 2150-2160 ₹ 365.00
45 2800 2900 ₹ 625.00
65 3850-3900 4000 ₹ 750.00
85 4950-5000 5250 ₹ 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:

Type Wattage Lumens MRP
Cool Daylight Warm White
T5 13 1150 1250 ₹ 130.00
T5 25 2500 2700 ₹ 140.00
T8 36 2425 ₹ 45.00
T8 36 3250 ₹ 125.00
T12 40 2450 ₹ 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. .

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