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Consumer Technology

Published on May 23rd, 2008 | by Timothy B. Hurst

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

May 23rd, 2008 by  



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.

>>See also: European Union Bans Incandescent Light Bulbs

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 a 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.micromini_contrast_209_274.JPG

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.

micromini_pack_250_177.JPG

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.

Related posts:

Compact Fluorescent Backlash Strikes

60,000 CFLs and Counting

Images: Tim Hurst 
 





 

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About the Author

is the founder of ecopolitology and the executive editor at LiveOAK Media, a media network about the politics of energy and the environment, green business, cleantech, and green living. When not reading, writing, thinking or talking about environmental politics with anyone who will listen, Tim spends his time skiing in Colorado's high country, hiking with his dog, and getting dirty in his vegetable garden.



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