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re: using 130V bulbs on household power
on January 10, 2011
"the Amazon description says nothing about this..."
When I bought 6 Jan 2011 the description said:
"SYLVANIA 65-Watt 130-Volt BR30 Indoor Flood, 6-Pack Consumer Value Pack # 65BR30 CVP 6PK"
"Voltage: 130 volts"
I _AGREE_ that Amazon should SHOUT that these are 130V lamps, AND that they will be LESS-BRIGHT and LAST LONGER when used on common 115V-125V supply.
But 130V incandescent lamps ARE a common practice for certain situations.
130V lamps on 120V power last 2.5 times longer!!
As a rough guide: if incandescent lamp replacement costs (salary, ladder, downtime) are more than the bulb, you will probably save money by using the next higher voltage bulb.
"for houses that don't exist (who has 130 volt lines?)"
Many-many homes now get 125V power. I have 124V. Standard 120V-design lamps burn bright and die early.
"...for houses that do exist they'll be dimmer than the advertised 65w."
Yes, although "65W" is not the light, it is the power consumed at nominal 130V voltage. Both power and light will be less at 120V, but life will be longer.
The Sylvania box is quite clear:
Performance === at 130V = at 120V
Watts actual: ===== 65 ----- 57
Lumens (light): === 640 ---- 470
Lifetime avg: ==== 2000 --- 5000
Yes, 73% as much light for 88% as much electric bill, but _250%_ as much life!
When replacement cost is small, such as home undercounter lights, 130V lamps are a bad buy.
When line-voltage is near 125V (which is very common), 120V lamps have short life, 130V lamps may be a better balance of life and light.
When replacement cost is large, when you have to pay a worker to go up a ladder, the reduced replacement labor costs can often justify the extra lights and power required to get a specific light level. Schools and factories often specify 130V because of high labor costs.
Suppose I want 12 foot-candles all over my 2-car garage. I need 5700 lumens. I can use nine 120@120 lamps or twelve 130@120 lamps.
I compute cost for a full year 24/7 (2.4 hours/day for 10 years will be similar). Each of the nine 120@120 sockets will eat 4.4 bulbs. Each of the twelve 130@120 sockets will eat only 1.8 bulbs.
The nine 65W (120@120) consume 582 Watts. The twelve 57W (130@120) consume 684 Watts.
rating: === 120@120 ----- 130@120
bulbs ======= $200 ---------$110 (at $5/bulb)
power: ====== $770 -------- $900 (at $0.15/KWh)
total: ======= $970 ------ $1,100
difference: ---------------- +$130 (130@120V eats more power for the same light)
bulb changes == 40 ----------- 22 (130@120V lasts longer for the same light)
$130 more operating cost but 18 fewer lamp-changes. If a bulb-change costs over $7.22 (labor or inconvenience), the 130V bulbs are cheaper total operating cost.
If your actual voltage is closer to 125V, then 130V bulbs may make sense even at $3/change costs.
In a kitchen, use the 120v bulbs. In my 124V garage I need the long ladder to reach the ceiling, and I'd rather do that less often.