December 21st, 2009

Randall Whitehead blogs about CCFLs

Those people who want energy efficiency but are turned off by the compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) that they are finding at their local home stores should take a look at cold cathode fluorescent lamps (CCFLs). They come in the shapes that we all use, such as household bulbs, flame tip and globe; and are available in numerous color temperatures. My personal favorite color is the 2250K.

The household bulb version of this lamp is the Micro-Brite by Litetronics ( is the MB-801DL-2250K, which is a beautiful warm incandescent yellow. These dim with a standard incandescent dimmer and have close to full range dimming capabilities. They last from 18,000 to 25,000 hours and retail for around $12.00; saving from $33.00 to $73.00 in energy costs over the life of the bulb. They can be purchased on-line at such websites as

A note about the accompanying images- The CCFLs pictured here have clear glass envelopes to show what is going on inside but are available with white glass envelopes as well, so that they look like their incandescent counterparts.

CCFLs come in the most popular sizes

CCFLs come in the most popular sizes

This CCFL globe light shows the warm color
This CCFL globe light shows the warm color
This sconce uses an 8-watt CCFL
This sconce uses an 8-watt CCFL
This six foot pendant uses (3) 8-watt CCFLs
This six foot pendant uses (3) 8-watt CCFLs

To get more tips on lighting or to learn more about our services go to

is an internationally known architectural lighting designer, based in San Francisco. He is not only a prolific author, but an enlightening and humorous speaker on the world of design as well. His work has appeared in Architectural Digest, Art & Antiques, House Beautiful, Kiplinger’s, Horticulture Magazine, Designs for Living, Metropolitan Home, Better Homes & Gardens, The Journal of Light Construction and many more.

Randall appears regularly as a guest expert on the Discovery Channel, CNN, HGTV and Martha Stewart Living Radio. He also writes a monthly column called “The Last Word in Lighting” for Residential Lighting Magazine, answering homeowner’s and designer’s questions on lighting.

Randall has written 7 books on the subject, including Residential Lighting, A Guide to Beautiful and Sustainable Design which is an informative…and entertaining reference book for home and garden lighting.

His latest endeavor takes him back to his photography roots. It is a compelling collection of images called Lost Dolls, The Hidden Lives of Toys.

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17 comments to Randall Whitehead blogs about CCFLs

  • Beautiful pix Randy!

    I might add that the creamy paper (or nomax paper) shades of the two lamps shown add a lot to help shift the green fluorescent color to a warmer more incandescent feel and look….. not to mention the extremely low watteage lamps you are using which keep the fixtures from being overly bright…… which is more typically the case.



  • Petra

    Way cool, I’m going to try the CCFL’s out!

  • Hey Sid,

    I’m glad that you got to see my piece. I never know who is out there in the blogosphere. I did a lot of experimenting with the CCFLs. The 2250K A-lamp by Litetronics is a beautiful warm color, whereas their 2700K I found to be too cool. The 8 watt gives 40 watts worth of light which is fine for decorative fixtures like I’m showing in the pictures. If I need more light I go to dimmable CFLs in the 2700K by Maxlite.

  • 2250k!! WOW! So warm! I like that! Great tips! Warm is good.

  • You can learn more about Litetronics Micro-Brite cold cathode light bulbs by visiting

  • lisa

    I hope you can tell us what’s new w/ LED technology soon. You’re such a great resource!
    Thanks for leading us out of the darkness. :)

  • Hey Lisa,

    Thank you for your comment. I’m always happy to provide information about lighting, especially energy efficient sources. I did write an article for Green Architecture Notes in April of last year that addresses the latest in LED development. You can go into the archives on this website and look for “Alluring Energy Efficient Lighting.”

    There is also a new light source on the horizon called the ESL (electron stimulated luminescence). These lamps are kind of like fluorescents but they contain no mercury. They come on instantly, have full range dimming with a standard dimmer and warm incandescent color. Take a look at to see a video. It is pretty exciting.

    I’m really happy to be active in lighting during this time of innovation.

    All the best,

  • Off the subject — about your bio, Randall. It says you are a “humorous speaker.” I have seen you speak; you are not humorous. Garrison Keillor is humorous. You are rip-snortin’ hilarious. Thank you for all the accumulated enlightenment.

  • I have read a few of the articles on your website now, and I really like your style of blogging. I added it to my favorites web site list and will be checking back soon. Please check out my site as well and let me know what you think.

  • Good post, I can’t say that I agree with everything that was said, but very good information overall:)

  • This is a very helpful post, I was looking for this information. Just so you know I located your site when I was searching for blogs like mine, so please check out my site sometime and leave me a comment to let me know what you think.

  • I don’t agree with everything in this piece, but you do make some very good points. I’m very interested in this topic and I myself do alot of research as well. Either way it was a well thoughtout and nice read so I figured I would leave you a comment. Feel free to check out my website sometime and let me know what you think.

  • I have read a few of the articles on your website now, and I really like your style of blogging. I added it to my favorites site list and will be checking back soon. Please check out my site as well and let me know what you think.

  • Hi Randy! When people say they do not agree with some of the ideas in your post, I wish they would be more specific so we could understand what they don’t agree with. I am sure you must wonder as well…..? 22k lamps? Hmmmm?

    Armani or Olen, could you be more forthcoming with your ideas please?


  • This is a good piece of content, I was wondering if I could use this blog on my website, I will link it back to your website though. If this is a problem please let me know and I will take it down right away.

  • Superb site, where did you come up with the info in this post? Im pleased I found it though, ill be checking back soon to see what other articles you have.

  • Incandescent light bulbs will soon be phased out because they waste a lot of energy.-*’

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