Long-life light bulbs

I had a previous customer of mine ask me this: If “long-life” bulbs are such a great thing, shouldn’t I use them throughout my house?” The short, quick answer is No! Now for a little more explanation for those that would like to know why not. First let’s define what the typical “long-life” light bulb actually is. It is a standard incandescent light bulb found in the more common A-19 configuration and typically found in the average home but with one difference. Instead of being designed and constructed to operate on 120 Volts of Alternating Current (V.A.C. or VAC), they are designed and built to operate at a slightly higher level of 130 V.A.C..

Why? Because by operating a light bulb designed for 130 VAC at the lower 120 VAC, you aren’t constantly pushing it to its maximum load limits thereby prolonging the overall service life of the light bulb. While doing this sounds great at first glance, why not make all of them “long-life” bulbs? Because it also presents us with a disadvantage in the process. In using these 130 volt light bulbs at the lower voltage, the actual light or lumens put out by the bulb will be less than a comparable wattage 120 volt light bulb while using the same amount of power in each.

So bottom line, you will get longer life but less light output in a 130 volt light bulb than the same wattage in a 120 volt light bulb. What this means is this, as recommended by Phillips Westinghouse, General Electric and Sylvania; use the 130 VAC light bulbs in light fixtures that are hard to access. Such as high elevation fixtures found in entry and high ceilinged rooms and the like, where it is difficult to get to them to remove and replace frequently. If it can be reached and therefore changed readily, stay with the lower 120 VAC light bulbs. As you might as well get all the lumens from the electricity that you are paying for and get the full amount of lumens for the wattage used.



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