Customer Review

39 of 43 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Literally overrated: 23 watts instead of 45 as rated., March 1, 2011
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This review is from: Cowboystudio Full Spectrum Light Bulb- Four 45W Photography Photo CFL 5500K - Daylight balanced pure white light, (Pack Of 4) (Camera)
I plugged these into my kill-a-watt meter to see how much power they are using. It turns out they are only using about 23 watts, half of the rated 45 watts. By comparison another CFL I have is rated 85w and uses 70 watts. I had been wondering why the coils were physically about a third the size of the 85W bulbs, and now I know: They use about a third of the power.

The light quality is quite close to 5500k, but as with all flourescents they have a green spike that causes them to show up as just a little green when shooting on the daylight preset of a camera. I get whiter whites with the florescent preset.

Using the rule of thumb that florescent lights use about a fifth the power of tungsten, this would be about the equivalent of a 100 watt bulb. Not bad, but don't count on more light than that.
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Comments

Tracked by 3 customers

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Showing 1-9 of 9 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Mar 6, 2011 6:40:18 AM PST
David Who says:
What brand 85w are you using? Is it also 5500k?

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 6, 2011 9:15:56 AM PST
Lorax says:
I think it was the Alzo 85w IIRC; it was purchased here on amazon, and yes it was 5500k.

Posted on Mar 6, 2011 7:57:55 PM PST
David Who says:
What brand 85w are you using? Is it also 5500k?

Posted on Mar 30, 2011 11:53:51 AM PDT
J. CHEN says:
That explains why I got similar exposure data between this a 18W CFL and this one in my color testing! But physically, this light bulb is much larger than the 18W CFL, considering the wattage difference between 18W and 23W.

Posted on Oct 20, 2011 8:54:27 PM PDT
GarryW says:
The Kill-a-Watt brand meter (I have one too) may be inaccurate for the weird type of load (i.e., non-resistive) that a CFL puts onto the power lines.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 21, 2011 3:28:59 PM PDT
Lorax says:
J Chen, I betcha the 18W CFL isn't really using 18 watts either.
GarryW, the Kill-A-Watt has True RMS according to the instructions, which is supposed to measure non-resistive loads correctly.

Posted on Jun 1, 2013 12:15:28 PM PDT
I have been reading reviews as I shop for a lighting kit. I think I see a pattern. The two big cheap kit makers Limo and Cowboy include their own brands of CFLs in their kits. In both cases these are inferior bulbs. The Limo bulbs are 6500K and weak for their wattage and the Cowboy are very weak.

This means that if you buy one of their bargain kits you will soon have to swap out the bulbs for better ones.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 30, 2014 6:56:21 PM PDT
K. Floyd says:
So what bulbs should a newbie buy?

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 31, 2014 10:31:20 AM PDT
That depends on many things including your budget. The Limo and Cowboy light kits will require you to swap out their bulbs. So you should include that expense in your calculations.
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