By Andrew Liszewski
Fluorescent bulbs seem to be a better choice over their incandescent predecessors at least when it comes to energy efficiency. However, they do take a bit longer to reach full brightness than an incandescent bulb, which makes them less ideal for use in places where they’re frequently turned on and off. (Like a bathroom.) To solve this problem Panasonic has developed their new Pa-Look Ball Premium Q (quick) compact fluorescent bulbs which use a hybrid lighting system to achieve instant brightness.
The new bulbs contain a compact ‘quick lamp’ located in the center of the fluorescent tube, which allows the bulb to obtain 60 percent full brightness within about a second of it being turned on. This is apparently about 50% faster than the company’s regular Pa-Look Ball Premium bulbs. As far as I can tell the ‘quick lamp’ is actually a small incandescent bulb, and a built-in timer will automatically turn it off when the fluorescent spiral arc lamp has developed enough brightness of its own. In the end the Premium Q bulbs can achieve a brightness that’s equivalent to a 54-watt incandescent bulb, with an energy consumption of only 10 watts. The new bulbs which also feature a 13,000 hour lifespan will be available in Japan in July of this year.