Manufacturer: SaverLamp
Model: "Super Spiral" 85W 2700K
Application: General Lighting where high lighting levels are required
Wattage: 85W (65W measured)
Diameter (max): 80mm
Length: 260mm
Tube Length: 1400mm approx
Bulb/Tube material: Glass.  Colour 827 phosphor coating on inner surface
Colour Temperature: 2700K
Peak output wavelength:  
Total light output: 6'375Lm (Manufacturer's claim - 75Lm/W)
Rated lifetime: 10'000 Hours
Cap: B22
Operating voltage: 220-240V AC
Operating current: 520mA
Warmup/restrike time: 1 minute/none (Instant Start type ballast)
Cost (original): 15.99 (Early 2004).
Value (now): 18.65 (From Bulbs, Lamps & Tubes Direct)
Place of manufacture: Not Stated
Date of manufacture: Q1 2004
Lamp Status: Working
Notes: In recent years we have seen a definite trend for compact fluorescent lamps to shrink in size, having now reached the point where they actually CAN fit into fittings designed for incandescent lamps without sticking out the top.  The last two table lamps in the sitting room here only today finally managed to ditch the 60W incandescent lamps in favour of 11W Philips Genie lamps.  These two had been stuck for a while as they have very shallow shades, and only now had I managed to find lamps that small at a good price.  However...not all CFL's are small...at the other end of the scale some manufacturers have been creating monsters...like this 85W beast.  At not very far off a foot in length and roughly three and a half inches in diameter - this sucker is NOT going to fit in your average bedside table lamp...That however really is not what it was designed for.

This lamp is an interesting bit of engineering, where the designers seem to have decided to throw the idea of shrinking a lamp to the size of a pinhead out of the window, and instead aimed to get as much light as possible out of something that you can still plug into a normal lampholder without needing a crane to hoist it into position.  In this respect they have succeeded...but man this thing's huge...the BASE is bigger than a normal PS60 lamp!  You're going to need a very large shade for this one.

Technologically speaking, it's nothing hugely special - though the figures tend to make you think more of high output linear fluorescent lamps than compact ones.  This similarity isn't really out of place either, with the tube itself being a relatively massive 1400mm (4.6 feet) in length.  One of the interesting features about this particular lamp is that green ring you can see on the base  This is actually addressing one of the main problems faced by most spiral type compact fluorescents.  When these lamps are operated in a cap-up orientation, convection currents inside the spiral lead to a huge amount of heat being drawn up to the centre of the base, obviously with a lamp of this high a wattage, this problem would be especially prevalent.  What that green ring is however, is a vented component which effectively provides "Thermal isolation" from the top cover of the base assembly itself.  While the top surface of the base does get bombarded by these convection currents (as the yellowing of the plastic after nearly two years of use shows), the ballast compartment in the base can remain (relatively) cool.  All I can say is that it seems to work!  This lamp's been in daily use in the kitchen in this house since it was bought in February 2004, and it's still going strong.

You may recall that I said earlier that this thing probably wouldn't fit in your bedside light...this is probably a good thing.  I for one, certainly would not want to have my eyes open if I switched this thing on in the middle of the night.  The 10W PL-C in my bedside light's bad enough...but this thing....ouch!  The output really is very, very impressive.  I don't know whether I quite believe the manufacturer's claim of it being equivalent to 425W of incandescent light, but at the same time, it only appears to consume 65W of power rather than 85W...so all of the figures seem to be a little shaky.  As I said, I'm not sure if their claims are right...but I can categorically say that it IS brighter than a 200W incandescent lamp, by quite a margin.  The 150W one we used to use in the kitchen (and generally had to replace on a monthly basis) really seems like a candle in comparison.  It's a well behaved lamp too, without messing around flickering or buzzing loudly or doing anything annoying like that.  Warmup is fast too, even from sub-freezing temperatures.

Obviously, it isn't a lamp for all uses.  It's huge size preclude it from a lot of locations from the word go, as there are very few shades you're likely to see that it'll easily fit in.  However, I can see that a couple of these would transform your previously dull and shadowy garage into a place where you can actually work after dark.  Our kitchen was utterly transformed by the use of this lamp - leading us to actually abandon the previous plans to add linear fluorescent lamps under the cupboards.  Which makes it suddenly seem an awful lot cheaper.  Nearly 20 for a single compact fluorescent lamp initially sounds like a lot - but putting it in perspective like that, where at least four extra fixtures were going to be bought - it doesn't sound quite so bad any more!

My only real gripes with this lamp are that it uses an instant start ballast - in a lamp costing this much I'd really rather see a ballast which would pre-heat the lamp electrodes, as this can extend the lamp lifetime quite considerably, especially if it is switched frequently.  The second one is really nit-picking; and that is that the plastic the case is made of is rather prone to yellowing as evidenced in the photographs below.  This really is not an issue, and does not affect the operation of the lamp in the slightest - but it makes it look a bit of a mess.

I have heard rumors that a 125W version of this lamp also exists, though I have never actually seen one.  If you know somewhere where these are sold, or have ever seen one, please let me know.  Will certainly be adding one to the collection if I see it.

Click Thumbnails for full size images.

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This lamp added to the Virtual Display Shelf on the 12th February 2006 at 20:03. (Re-Write of old-format page.  All text & Photography new).


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