Manufacturer: Philips
Model: 2 in 1 Nightlight
Application: General Lighting and low level nighttime illumination
Wattage: Main: 9W (10W measured).  Nightlight: Not Stated (1W Measured)
Diameter (max): 65mm (A65 lamp shape)
Length: 130mm
Tube Length: 240mm approx
Bulb/Tube material: Inner: Glass - Colour 827 phosphor inner coating.  Outer: Glass, soft white inner coating.
Colour Temperature: Fluorescent: 2700K.  LED: 1500K Approx
Peak output wavelength: Fluorescent: N/A - broadband emission.  LED: 580nM (estimate!)
Total light output: Fluorescent: 420Lm (46.7Lm/W).  LED: Not Stated.
Rated lifetime: 6000 Hours
Cap: B22
Operating voltage: 230-240V AC at 50-60Hz
Operating current: Fluorescent: 70mA (pf=0.57).  LED: 30mA (pf=0.18).
Warmup/restrike time: Fluorescent: 1 minute (approx)/none.  LED: None/None. Ballast preheats lamp electrodes for around 1/4 second.
Cost (original): 6.99 mid 2004 from Tesco Supermarket.
Value (now): --
Place of manufacture: Poland
Date of manufacture: 2004 - no date code present.
Lamp Status: Cosmetically damaged, but fully working
Notes: Precisely how I forgot about this lamp for two years I'm not sure...The word "Oops" springs to mind!

The electronics within the modern electronically ballasted CFL can, with a few additional components prove an astonishingly flexible bit of technology.  While we're only used to seeing CFLs being CFLs here - in the last year or so, self-dimming ones have started to make appearances.  Dusk-to-dawn sensors and the like are also becoming more common, but dual light sources are less common.

In this case, we have a lamp which is trying to fill two very distinct roles.  Both that of a conventional low-wattage CFL, and taking over the role of a low-output night-light.  

Some years ago, GLS glow-lamps were popular as nightlights for childrens bedrooms or low-level nightime lighting in hospital corridors and such on account of their relatively low cost, very long lifetimes and (at the time) virtually neglidgeable power consumption.  In their original form, these lamps disappeared from all but the shelves of collectors around 20 years ago, with plug-in nightlights using small neon indicator lamps largely taking over their roles in the home, and ballasts allowing fluorescent lamps to be dimmed or all but one or two tubes in multi-lamp fixtures becoming more common in hospitals and similar large buildings.  

This appears to be the market share that this lamp is going for - as there are, in addition to the conventional fluorescent tube, two Aluminium indium gallium phosphide (AlInGaP) LEDs, which give a low-level, deep amber glow from the lamp when energised.

When the lamp is first switched on, it behaves as any normal 9W CFL would be expected to.  It's not especially bright, but then again, you wouldn't expect it to be really, and does seem to take a bit longer to warm up than some lamps.  However, if you then switch it off and back on again (within 3 seconds if I remember rightly), instead of the main lamp lighting, the lamp will glow a deep amber colour, quite unlike anything you'll ever have seen from a CFL before.  This is due to the two LEDs which are hidden away inside the lamp, near the base of the tube.  The output of these LEDs is a slightly more yellow colour than the output of the negative-glow neon lamps, but is of a similar level, so should serve quite well as a nightlight.  As for power useage, "very low" springs to mind, around 1.2W.  While the actual lamp output is very similar, once it's stuffed inside a shade as the normal CFL will be, that output is quite considerably attenuated in most cases...so the thought occurs that Philips might have been better going for a bit higher output to compensate for that.

The only slight concern I have over this lamp is for the longevity of the LEDs.  They are situated close to the base of the lamp, right next to the lamp electrodes, by far the hottest part of the lamp.  LEDs do not like getting too hot, it reduces both their efficiency and their projected lifetimes.  Indeed, if the lamp has been running for some time and you switch to the LED mode, they have that characteristic "angry red" colour of overheated LEDs of this type.  Given that the CFL has a rated lifetime of six thousand hours though, and that they cool down quite quickly, I wouldn't think that this is actually likely to cause a problem though.

In terms of criticism, that's really limited to two areas.  The first is the price - at 7, this is an expensive lamp, CFLs in the common wattages are readily available for less than 1 apiece, and the plug-in nightlights can be readily be obtained in pound stores in packs of three or four for about the same.  So while I like the fact that Phlips have done something different here, I can't see it gaining a huge level of success to be honest, unless they can come up with a way to reduce the cost quite a bit.  The second is more of a cosmetic observation than a criticism; mainly in that the clear-cased LEDs used project a very clear shadow of the tube onto the opal outer bulb, and their own beam produces a "splotchy" circle of light there.  Had LEDs with a frosted case been used, this would have made the lamps appearance when in LED mode a fair bit "cleaner" without really affecting the output level at all.  Given that the lamp is likely to be hidden in a shade of some description, I doubt this is really an issue!

This particular example got dropped at some point it appears...when that happened, I have no idea!  Given that I've got well over 200 lamps in my collection, some quite fragile and rare, I'm very careful, so something like that happening is a bit of a surprise.  Still...it did.  The plus side, is that it gave me the opportunity to have a look at how the lamp is actually constructed.  You can clearly see in the photos below the two LEDs situated near to the base of the tube.

It's an interesting lamp, and proves the concept is good...but I'm not entirely convinced that it will find its place in the market.  Time will tell I suppose!
Click Thumbnails for full size images.
No larger image available thanks to crude spectral analysis equipment

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This lamp added to the Virtual Display Shelf on the 23rd January 2006 at 01:03

Page last updated: November 23rd 2008 - Added text to the notes section after forgetting about the page for two years!


References: Lamp packaging only (Because I couldn't track down the datasheets on Philips' site for their integrated CFLs anywhere!)


Acknowledgements: None.


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