What are the intended applications for HW-CFLs?
Self-ballasted high-wattage compact fluorescent lamps (HW-CFL) are intended primarily for retrofit in high-intensity discharge (HID) luminaires, after the HID ballast is disconnected, or for retrofit in high-wattage incandescent luminaires. Remote-ballasted HW-CFLs are intended for luminaires specifically designed for these lamps, including high- and low-bay luminaires or large recessed downlights. Both self-ballasted and remote-ballasted HW-CFLs are typically used in high-ceiling applications, where diffuse illumination is desired such as big-box retail stores, warehouses, factories, hotel lobbies, or houses of worship. It is difficult to have good optical control of the light emitted by luminaires employing HW-CFLs because of their many and large luminous tubes. For good optical control where non-diffuse, directional lighting is required, the much smaller filaments of incandescent lamps and of HID arc tubes make them much better choices as light sources.
Manufacturers of HW-CFLs claim long lamp life, high luminous efficacy, instant restrike, and good color rendering properties. Compared to incandescent lamps, long lamp life would make HW-CFLs a better choice in applications with difficult-to-access, high ceilings. Fluorescent lamp life is shortened by frequent switching, however. So using occupancy sensors to control HW-CFLs may reduce actual lamp life significantly, compared to rated lamp life. For this reason, some manufacturers of HW-CFLs recommend that they not be used with occupancy sensors. Compared to HID lamps, HW-CFLs have fast starts and restrikes, so they would be a good choice in applications that require the lights to come on quickly. Compared to higher wattage incandescent lamps, HW-CFLs are more efficacious and can significantly reduce energy consumption for the same light output. It must be noted, however, that the specific operational characteristics of HW-CFLs can vary considerably for different manufacturers and for different designs. Therefore, to minimize disappointments, the specifier should query manufacturers about performance characteristics of specific interest.