Why Movie Theaters & Restaurants Should Choose CCFLs for Lighting

Earlier this week, I wrote a couple of posts describing the features of cold cathode fluorescent light bulbs.  CCFLs are not new to the lighting world, but their technology has improved significantly over the past few years, and they are an excellent option for energy-efficient lighting.  We have been adding over 20 different models of CCFLs to pegasuslighting.com, so this week has been a “CCFL debut” on the blog.

To read about the basic technology that differentiates CCFLs from standard CFLs and other light bulbs, catch up with this post.

In short, CCFLs are extremely durable in design, which gives them very unique dimming capabilities.  Fluorescent lighting typically does not perform well with dimming.  However, CCFLs can be dimmed down to 5% of their light output without diminishing lifetime.

With all the energy-efficient lighting options out there, it’s important to discuss which applications work best for each product.  For example, LED linear tubes are not yet viable replacements for fluorescents in commercial spaces such as schools, hospitals, and offices because their performance falls short of claims.  However, some LED linear tubes are wonderful applications for supermarket display cases, where color rendering index is less important, and where the low heat emission helps substantially reduce operational costs.

Now, to the topic at hand: CCFLs are ideal products for movie theaters and restaurants.

The two locations where dimming the lights is a central component of business operations can benefit a great deal by switching to CCFLs.  Why?  Movie theaters and restaurants depend on having lighting that can dim low enough to create the right ambiance, yet provide enough light output to allow employees to clean and maintain the facility effectively.

Take the 11 watt BR30 for an example: This CCFL provides enough light output to replace a 50-watt incandescent bulb, yet it operates using just 11 watts (and it can still dim down to 5% of light output)!  It simulates the hue of incandescent light with a 2250K color temperature.

Most importantly, it has an 18,000-hour rated life.  Comparable incandescent light bulbs offer a rated lifetime of about 2,000 hours.  That means replacing the light bulbs becomes an infrequent task, especially valuable for movie theater technicians who rely on a 25-foot stepladder and a pole to replace each high ceiling light.

Litetronics International, Inc. recently tested their dimmable CCFLs in cinemas across the country to determine maintenance and energy savings in real settings (outside the ideal conditions of a lab).  The results of the test:

  • 85% decrease in energy costs
  • 25% decrease in light bulb replacement maintenance costs
  • 80% reduced accident rate for movie theater technicians (due to fewer replacement tasks)
  • The CCFLs paid for themselves five months after installation

The results couldn’t have been better!  To learn more about CCFLs, view the various models on our website.

Emily Widle

Emily graduated from UNC Chapel Hill with a degree in journalism. She enjoys scouring the news to report on the latest in the lighting industry as well as bringing valuable remodeling tips and exemplar home projects to light.