Dedicated Compact Fluorescent Lamps

Dedicated (or pin-based) lamps are compact fluorescent lamps with luminaire-mounted ballast and pin cap.



As a general rule, comparable total light output from a compact fluorescent scheme may be obtained for only around 20-30% of the wattage required using standard tungsten lamps. The rated life of the compact fluorescent lamps is 8 times longer than for tungsten lamps; maintenance costs are therefore reduced, although the initial cost of the lamps is higher.

With the introduction of new phosphors, the colour characteristics of compact fluorescent lamps have significantly improved and they can no longer be considered to deliver 'crude' lighting. Their rated colour temperature ranges from 2700 K (warm white similar to incandescent lighting) to 6000 K (cold white similar to daylight). In addition, the Colour Rendering Index of pin-based lamps can reach up to 98 (out of a 100). 

The life of fluorescent lamp control gear is generally longer than the life of the lamp itself. In the case of pin-based lamps, the control gear and lamp are separate. Therefore, the control gear outlasts several successive lamps, and when one lamp fails another can be fitted straight into the old gear.

For what concerns their price, it has dramatically reduced in recent years and this trend is continuing.


For the reason mentioned above, new compact fluorescent installations should always use separate control gear. Compact fluorescent lamps have a wide range of applications. They can be used in many luminaires ranging from external bulkhead units, to downlights and decorative lighting. As compact fluorescent lamps become smaller, part of the continuing development by the manufacturers, these lamps are finding use also in display lighting applications such as wall washing for notice boards, etc. Where there is a need to keep indoor air temperatures low it should be remembered that compact fluorescent lamps run cooler than all forms of tungsten.

A wide range of luminaires designed specifically for compact fluorescent lamps with separate control gear is available; the extra available space usually allows the incorporation of power factor correction when these luminaires have electromagnetic ballasts. Power factor correction is normally close to parity when electronic high frequency ballasts are utilised. These dedicated fixtures have also the advantage of optimising the light distribution and of preventing the user from inadvertently switching back to incandescent lighting when changing the bulb. 

Retrofit applications (see also self-ballasted compact fluorescent lamps): Adapters containing the control gear and which plug directly into an ordinary lamp socket are also available for some pin-based compact fluorescent lamps, allowing them to be used as direct replacements for standard tungsten lamps in existing luminaires. As with the plug-in CFLs, these adpators often have a low power factor and would not have the same life hours as a definitive set of control gear. They would generally only last for 5 or so lamp replacements.

Power: 5 - 55 Watt
Colour Temp.: 2700 - 6000 Kelvin
CRI: 85 - 98
Luminous Eff.: 45 -87 lm/W (typical: 70 for triphosphor lamps)
Lifetime: 10000 hours