Power Factor

Putting the consumer ahead of the curve – High Power Factor CFLs

Power Factor is a complicated formula to measure power quality that doesn’t mean much to anybody but engineers right now, but this ratio is going to play a major role in the transition to energy efficient lighting. Power Factor is a way for utility companies to assign a value to the balance between active power and reactive power, and the ramifications of this ratio are going to be a high priority have an impact on our utility bills and our wallets in the near future.

In the simplest terms, High Power Factor is good and Low Power Factor is bad when it comes to Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFL). Power Factor determines power quality, and when Power Factor is reduced the result is increased dirty or unproductive energy – something utility companies can’t accept because it costs them money. As the global transition away from the incandescent bulb accelerates during the next few years and CFLs become the most prevalent lighting application on the planet, consumers may be surprised to learn that the introduction of a massive volume of energy efficient CFL bulbs with low Power Factor could ultimately cause household energy bills to go up.

While CFL bulbs are more than 70% more energy efficient than incandescent bulbs, CFL bulbs draw electricity differently than incandescent bulbs. While the use of a relatively small number of CFL bulbs with low Power Factor may have an imperceptible impact on overall power quality, research conducted during the past few years indicates that plugging in tens of millions of low Power Factor CFL bulbs could significantly reduce power quality and require expensive corrective actions by utility companies. Those costs would inevitably be passed along to the customer in the form of Power Factor correction penalties.

PureSpectrum’s market research identified Power Factor as an emerging issue in energy efficient lighting, and our high performance products are engineered for High Power Factor to keep our power clean and put consumers ahead of the curve.

To learn more about Power Factor, click here.