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Thread: GE sunshine 5000K CFL

  1. #1

    Arrow GE sunshine 5000K CFL

    Saw in my local supermarket (Kroger) GE Sunshine 5000K CFL -



    I can't seem to find it on the GE site - but it appears to be quite easily available once I did a search on the web -
    the 13-watt part # GE 71763.

    I have a couple of GE 6500K 15-watt CFLs that I use to examine colors under "daylight" - but find those still a bit on the cool side -
    these 5000K sunshine CFLs would seem to be ideal for my usage.

    Anyone tried these yet?

  2. #2

    Default Re: GE sunshine 5000K CFL

    Have not used this specific brand but can say that 5000K lamps is as far as you want to go in the blue direction on the Kelvin scale and still have usable light. These make a good all around ambient light. (I think that 4100K with 80% + CRI is better for color rendering.)

  3. #3

    Default Re: GE sunshine 5000K CFL

    They all use the same phosphors, so it doesn't make much difference.

    If you want 'neutral' looking CFLs you have to find some 4100k. The only decent looking CLFs above 4100k are enhanced CRI bulbs that are a specialty item.

  4. #4

    Arrow Re: GE sunshine 5000K CFL

    Quote Originally Posted by blasterman View Post
    If you want 'neutral' looking CFLs you have to find some 4100k.
    If it's of any interest I looked more carefully today, and noticed in the same supermarket some GE 4100K spiral CFLs - they called it Energy Smart Instant On "cool white" and it was only marked as 4100K at the bottom left corner on the front - it was only because I wanted to know the color temperature that I saw the 4100K - otherwise I would have easily missed it. I cannot find any images on the web for this, and it does not seem to be on the GE lighting web site either, yet.

    But it seems both 5000K and and 4100K are now available from GE -
    which means they really are now in the mainstream.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: GE sunshine 5000K CFL

    Quote Originally Posted by UnknownVT View Post
    But it seems both 5000K and and 4100K are now available from GE -
    which means they really are now in the mainstream.
    I noticed that just looking inside windows when I go walks at night. More and more people are using 4100K or 5000K. Evidently now that they realize CFLs don't HAVE to imitate incandescent, they're choosing the tint which they prefer. I find it interesting also that the daylights are almost always sold out in Home Depot, while they are tons of warm whites sitting on the shelves. The great thing though is we finally have choice! It used to be a major ordeal to try and find CFLs in anything but 2700K or 3000K.

  6. #6

    Default Re: GE sunshine 5000K CFL

    I'm seeing more varities of CFLs in big box stores, other than your typical choice of fake incan or 6000k 'Full Spectrum / Natural spectrum / what ever spectrum'. Only thing the high spectrum bulbs are good for is plants.

    3500k-4100k has been the dominant color in corporate T8s for a long time, so I've never quite figured out why consumer CFLs have typically been limited to CFLs flavors of either fake incan, or county morgue. I'm glad to see 4100k finally hit the big box stores because they are nice looking bulbs. Also, I'm astounded at the number of people I run into that are running generic 6000k bulbs, hate them, but feel they have to. Or, their spouse insists they use them. 5000k / high CRI is pretty nice to work under, but you aren't going to find them for cheap.

  7. #7

    Red face Re: GE sunshine 5000K CFL

    Quote Originally Posted by jtr1962 View Post
    I noticed that just looking inside windows when I go walks at night. More and more people are using 4100K or 5000K. Evidently now that they realize CFLs don't HAVE to imitate incandescent, they're choosing the tint which they prefer. I find it interesting also that the daylights are almost always sold out in Home Depot, while they are tons of warm whites sitting on the shelves. The great thing though is we finally have choice! It used to be a major ordeal to try and find CFLs in anything but 2700K or 3000K.
    Ha-ha! I'm one of those people who still thinks about 2700K is comfortable - not certain if it's conditioning or physiology.
    However I do keep my house at lower light levels mostly 10 and 13 watt CFLs (40 and 60 watt equiv).

    If one looks at the Kruithof curve the bandwidth of CCT that seems like white to our eyes becomes pretty narrow for lower light levels - the graph shown at Wikipedia actually highlights the 2700K point and one can see there is very little wriggle room for what most people would consider "white" light.

    Of course with higher light levels all this changes and may require higher CCTs. Again I do realize this is generalization and may not apply to everyone - but my own reactions seem to fall into the "masses".

    My interest in "Daylight" 6500K and "Sunlight" 5000K are not for general household illumination (as I am quite happy with dim 2700K) - but for an inspection lamp of sorts to examine colors under simulated "daylight" - eg: looking at photos so I don't miss shadings in blues or yellows. The cheapo 6500K "Daylight" GE CFL seems to be satisfactory at 13 watts - but I have the feeling that it's slightly cool-blue'ish - not really enough cause to complain/abandon - but that's the reason why I was interested in the "Sunlight" 5000K - hoping it'd do as well as the 6500K without the cool-blue feeling.

    Interesting article:

    The Color of White

    paper published by the WAAC - Western Association for Art Conservation -
    specifically on illumination for displaying art/paintings -
    their findings fit well in the Kruithof curve -

    " The fact that most observers chose the same preferred color temperature within a narrow range is further evidence that the choice of color temperature involves more than an arbitrary aesthetic preference. It is based on a fundamental property of human vision. To further understand the preference for a specific color temperature, additional studies were undertaken in a non-art context. A white reflective surface was illuminated at a fixed intensity as the color temperature was increased and decreased in small increments between 3000° K and 4700° K. Observers were asked to describe the light as warm, cool or intermediate. For a surface illuminated at 20 foot candles, a value around 3700° K was chosen as the intermediate value, measured with a Minolta photographic color temperature meter (Model II). At 20 foot candles, 3700° K appears as an achromatic white light compared to higher or lower color temperature sources. Coincidentally, the choice of 3700° K was the preferred color temperature chosen on aesthetic grounds when looking at paintings. This suggests that the aesthetic preference for a specific color temperature derives from a fundamental characteristic of human color perception."

    3700K was the optimal CCT for displaying art - but note that is at 20 foot candles - which is pretty high for household ambient lighting - this level may be reached or exceeded under a reading lamp - but most households are not lit that high overall -

    Offices however do have to have higher ambient lighting -
    OSHA's recommendation:

    "Generally, for paper tasks and offices with CRT displays, office lighting should range between 20 to 50 foot-candles. If LCD monitors are in use, higher levels of light are usually needed for the same viewing tasks (up to 73 foot-candles)."

    Remember these are at the work surface -
    but that's why higher color temperatures in offices would seem appropriate

    20 foot-candles = ~215 Lux - checking on the larger version of the Kruithof curve
    one can see why 3700K makes sense for the WAAC art illumination.

    Whereas office lighting of say up to 50 foot-candles = ~538 Lux - a more appropriate color temperature would seem like about 4100K - and since the Kruithof curve "envelope" is much wider at that point 4100K would seem optimal for both CRT environments as well as LCD usage which OSHA recommends up to 73 foot-candles = ~786 Lux Max

  8. #8

    Default Re: GE sunshine 5000K CFL

    that's the reason why I was interested in the "Sunlight" 5000K - hoping it'd do as well as the 6500K without the cool-blue feeling.
    The problem with cheap, 'daylight' CFLs is their phosphor range is very 'spikey', and they tend to have very weak red response. We complain about white LEDs not going beyond organge-red, but fluorescent can be even more anemic. Typical CFL phosphor mixes are just the minimum required to reach an adequate color value.

    I'm not saying the 'Sunlight 5000k' is no better than a cheap Feit brand bulb, but I see no reason why it would be better. High CRI, +5000k CFLs are simply more expensive to make, and I've yet to see one in a conventional retail store. Art stores often have them, and they are readily obtainable online for $10. If the bulb in question is using a higher CRI phosphor mix, it would probably broadcast it on the bix in big letters

  9. #9

    Thumbs up Re: GE sunshine 5000K CFL

    Quote Originally Posted by blasterman View Post
    The problem with cheap, 'daylight' CFLs is their phosphor range is very 'spikey', and they tend to have very weak red response.
    Thanks for that -
    that probably explains why I feel (rather than see) the cheapo 6500K GE CFL is a bit cool-blue'ish.

    The 5000K "Sunlight" version may not be all that much better than the 6500K - but hey! it's cheap and I'm cheap -
    but it is better than the 2700K CFL I have in in my house for what I want to do - I merely want to "see" under simulated "daylight" -
    and will do my more critical examination under real daylight.

  10. #10

    Default Re: GE sunshine 5000K CFL

    Yup, let you eyes do the talking. Still, if you really like the initial color of 5000k but not the abrupt nature of the their spectrum, it might be worth it to get a couple of the true high CRI 5000k bulbs just to see how you like them.

    Cool white LEDs might be bland, but unlike cheap CFLs, at least the spectrum is fairy smooth.

  11. #11

    Question Re: GE sunshine 5000K CFL

    Quote Originally Posted by blasterman View Post
    Cool white LEDs might be bland, but unlike cheap CFLs, at least the spectrum is fairy smooth.
    Don't cool white LEDs have relatively low CRI?
    isn't this due to peaks and discontinuous spectrum?

    For example LumiLEDs claim that their Luxeon has then highest CRI white LEDs - however their specs for the Luxeon Rebel cool white 6500K has a typical CRI = 70 (same for the Luxeon III and K2).

    Whereas an average GE CFL both 2700K and 6500K seem to claim CRI=82.

  12. #12

    Arrow Re: GE sunshine 5000K CFL

    I found an image of the GE 4100K CFL packaging on line:
    Part # 72469


  13. #13

    Thumbs up Re: GE sunshine 5000K CFL

    Quote Originally Posted by UnknownVT View Post
    Saw in my local supermarket (Kroger) GE Sunshine 5000K CFL
    The GE range of CFLs were on sale at Krogers this week, so I took the plunge and bought a GE 13 watt 5000K Sunshine CFL ($4.79).

    First turn on was a bit worrying - the CFL did come on "instantly" - BUT it came on at about 1/2 power/brightness with the top 1/3 or so of the spiral being noticeably darker - and I thought the bulb was faulty - but it gradually started to become brighter.

    I left the CFL on for at least 15 minutes and it did attain what seems like full brightness.

    Now whenever I turn the light on - it still does come on "instantly" but now with at least good acceptable initial brightness - and reaches what seems like full brightness fairly quickly - well, at least it is comparable to the 13watt/2700K and 15watt/6500K GE CFLs I have.

    Now the very good news - at least for me -
    this is just about everything I'd hoped for in a cheapo inspection light -
    it is bright day-sun-light like and does not have that blue-ish tint that the 6500K "Daylight" version has - this is especially noticeable in any peripheral spill - ie: in the areas not in the main direct light area.

    For the peripheral spill the 6500K seems blue and not very pleasant (not quite as bad a "morgue white", though) - whereas this Sunshine 5000K - seems pretty pleasant - and just glancing at the illuminated area - does look like sunlight.

    I do realize that the CRI is not high, probably around the average consumer grade of CRI=82. BUT I was very pleasantly surprised by how good the light is, and for me just the ticket to examine things under "simulated" sun/daylight.

    Although the 6500K daylight version was acceptable -
    this Sunlight 5000K is just a lot better - for me.

    Note: I am only using this 5000K for a cheapo inspection light - and not for my general household lighting -
    I still like the 2700K Soft White CFL - as my general level of home lighting is pretty low -
    eg: my living room is lit by a single 10watt (40watt equiv) 2700K CFL most of the time.
    For reading I turn on another 10watt 2700K CFL that's about 4ft from the reading surface.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: GE sunshine 5000K CFL

    In continuation of my pursuit in CCT and CRI with flashlights, I have recently upgraded my 4' T12 fluorescent lamps to Sylvania Sunstick line of lamps. They are 5000K with 90CRI. I found them at my local Lowes. I chose these because they had the highest color rendition. They are amazingly pure white and have superior color rendering. I find them a bit harsher on my eyes than 4100K, but they are great for reading and keeping me awake while studying.
    Cheers from the McGizmo state.

  15. #15

    Default Re: GE sunshine 5000K CFL

    I just finished some contract work for a company that had the entire corporate floors using 5000k / ~90CRI lamps. While I prefer 4100k, the color keeps people attentive and it's much superior to typical big bix store 'natural sunlight' CFLs. You should see the potted plants on top of their cubes growing like crazy

    The GE bulb sounds like a step in the right direction. Still, I don't get why 4100k isn't more popular in CFL.

  16. #16

    Lightbulb Re: GE sunshine 5000K CFL

    FWIW - I took a pic with Fixed Daylight White Balance of a Macbeth chart illuminated by this single 13watt GE 5000K Sunshine CFL low ceiling mount about 58" away.

    Here's a matrix of comparison:



    This GE 5000K Sunshine CFL seems to do quite well - I realize the differences that a Macbeth shows is very little - but if we look at the bottom row of gray patches the second two from the left are the most telling - the 6500K Daylight CFL betrays the blue-ish tint I see - whereas the 5000K Sunshine does not have that problem.

    Compared to real daylight the 5000K CFL may still lack some warmth - as shown in the flesh pink (top row second from left) and the orange (second row first left) patches.

    But it's not bad at all to my eyes.

  17. #17

    Default Re: GE sunshine 5000K CFL

    I love it. Until now, short of special ordering, the only way to enjoy 5,000K lighting was getting Chroma 50 or four footer SPX50.

    I believe it is the same phosphor as the SPX50.

    The SPX50 GE uses on their T8 is not the same as Chroma 50(not available in T8)

    Chroma 50 is what is actually used for light box and uses a continuous spectrum phosphor. The SPX50 is an "RGB" phosphor, changing the ratio to alter the color temperature.

    Taking a picture is usually useless, because even if you use fixed white balance, the CCD will see two lamps that look very similar to our eyes very differently.

    If you use auto white balance, the camera will adjust the gain for each of the color automatically until it is balanced.

  18. #18

    Default Re: GE sunshine 5000K CFL

    Chroma 50 is what is actually used for light box and uses a continuous spectrum phosphor.
    Uh, no. That is, unless you are buying a really cheap light box. For critical color matching you need MacBeth tubes, or anything 95 CRI or higher. The Chroma50 is a nice phosphor mix aethestically, but it's only CRI 90 or so - rather generic. A good choice for the office, or work areas. Not something you want in a light box unless you aren't that critical.

    'Continuous spectrum phosphor' is an oxymoron - sorry. There is no such thing. High CRI fluorescent tubes fill in the gaps as best they can with less efficient spectral bands, then rely on the rather out-dated CRI spec to inflate their numbers

    Not sure what phosphor mix is in the sunshine 5000. Be nice if it were the Chroma 50 mix, but intuition tells me it would be the cheaper one.

    The reason I don't like MacBeth charts is they are a low gamut target, and often perceptual differences between bulbs doesn't as great as it does with your eyeballs. The RGB sensor in your digital camera also misses some colors, but MacBeth charts just aren't a good reference target for perceptual comparisons.

  19. #19

    Arrow Re: GE sunshine 5000K CFL

    Quote Originally Posted by blasterman View Post
    The reason I don't like MacBeth charts is they are a low gamut target, and often perceptual differences between bulbs doesn't as great as it does with your eyeballs. The RGB sensor in your digital camera also misses some colors, but MacBeth charts just aren't a good reference target for perceptual comparisons.
    I'd agree - there is very little difference on first glance between my photos of the CFL bulbs compared to real daylight - and I'm not too sure if I am seeing the slight/subtle differences or really using my perceptive observation - then looking for the evidence on the photo.

    Unfortunately the Macbeth chart is the industry standard used for testing color accuracy for cameras/films - I realize most of the reviews for digital cameras are using software to analyze the test shots - and I have never read any explanation of how to see this difference in accuracy.

    The Macbeth chart is also the one the CIE is proposing to use for measurement of CRI especially for LEDs.

    There is a paper (expensive) on the CIE proposal for measuring CRI in
    CIE TC 1-62

    on looking for CIE TC 1-62 I also came across these:

    Labsphere
    " What is the TC 1-62 Colour Rendering of White LEDs?

    The present color rendering system gives a poor rating for white LEDs yet the color appearance of white LEDs is better than color rendering index would suggest. This is a potential barrier to introduction of white LEDs into main stream applications so TC 1-62 was established to investigate, by visual experiments, color rendering properties of white LED light sources and to test the applicability of the CIE color rendering index to white LEDs.
    "

    Then -
    pdf VISUAL OBSERVATION OF COLOUR RENDERING
    from Colour and Multimedia Laboratory of the University of Veszprém, Hungary
    - where they followed the CIE TC 1-62 recommendation and used the Macbeth chart for the experiment
    the visual experiments look very interesting -
    their comments on the 4000K tests

    " As can be seen, there are huge differences in ordering the lamps according to visual or calculated colour difference. The exceptionally good visual performance of the traditional Cool White lamp is hard to understand, one reason might be that most of the test samples contained only very little long wave radiation. It is also of interest that the small peak wavelength difference between the two clusters produced a large difference in Ra. The rank order for the 6500 K series is the same for all four methods of evaluation. "

    I am not too sure if they have taken into account the human eye/brain behavior with different light levels -
    as shown in the Kruithof curve -
    could this have any bearing on their 4000K results?

    EDIT to ADD -

    I have found a copy of the CIE TC 1-62 paper that is currently viewable on line using embedded FlashPlayer:

    CIE 177 2007 - CIE TC 1-62 paper

    haven't found a way to save a copy yet......

  20. #20

    Default Re: GE sunshine 5000K CFL

    Quote Originally Posted by blasterman View Post
    Uh, no. That is, unless you are buying a really cheap light box. For critical color matching you need MacBeth tubes, or anything 95 CRI or higher.
    What's a "Macbeth tube"? Can you post the specs and SPD?

    The usefulness of CRI is debated. The Ra8 system only concerns how well it renders standard eight colors. Of course, it only applies to things viewed directly by eyes and CRI is completely irrelevant to sensors and films.


    The CIE has a method for calculating CRI based on data gathered from spectrophotometer, only so that it gives something objective.

    If its just about spec numbers, the Philips 950 lamps are rated CRI 98


    The Chroma50 is a nice phosphor mix aethestically, but it's only CRI 90 or so - rather generic. A good choice for the office, or work areas. Not something you want in a light box unless you aren't that critical.
    Not a good choice for office. Continuous spectrum lamps have broad emission spectrum including ranges our eyes are not very sensitive to, so they're not very efficient. They're sold for color matching and such purpose.

    'Continuous spectrum phosphor' is an oxymoron - sorry. There is no such thing. High CRI fluorescent tubes fill in the gaps as best they can with less efficient spectral bands, then rely on the rather out-dated CRI spec to inflate their numbers
    Yes there is. Continuous spectrum lamps emit some light over the entire visible spectrum while tri-phosphor lamps use R,G,B phosphors to create desired color.

    The difference between cont. and multi-phosphor lamps is that multi-phosphor lamp is designed to focus their output to primary colors and not produce spectrum in between in order to increase efficacy.

    The Design 50/Chroma 50 type is only 52 lumens per watt, while the 850 type can get 94 lumens per watt.

    Not sure what phosphor mix is in the sunshine 5000. Be nice if it were the Chroma 50 mix, but intuition tells me it would be the cheaper one.
    The 40W T12 Sunshine is Chroma 50 and it is marked CRI 90. CFLs and 32W T8 sold as Sunshine are SPX50(GE naming for 850). The Sunshine CFL is Energy Star rated. If it was to be made using Chroma 50 phosphor, it will not meet the efficiency requirement to get the stamp.

    I think the Ott Lite CFLs are based on continuous spectrum phosphor.


    This is the spectral chart of Sylvania Design 50, a continous spectrum, or "full spectrum" lamp. The peaks are not added. They're natural emission lines from mercury/argon discharge. A clear fluorescent lamp would glow pale blue due to these lines.


    This is an 850 5000K phosphor with 85 CRI. Rather than spectrum being continuous, there are peaks additional to natural mercury/argon peaks. They're added by using phosphors that emit specific peaks. They usually use R, G, and B phosphors, hence tri-phosphor.




    This is the 5000K CRI 98 Philips 950
    Last edited by Bright+; 05-05-2010 at 02:24 AM.

  21. #21

    Default Re: GE sunshine 5000K CFL

    Taken with an ordinary camera with white balance manually set to white box surface under DSGN 50 color matching lamp, then took pics of same items with same ISO & shutter speed.

    WHITE BALANCE SET REFERENCE:
    CIE coordinates 0.345,0.359

    0.346, 0.356


    0.344,0.355



    The light source doesn't really matter when it's looked at, but how the object looks after the light is reflected matters. After all, the pictures you're looking at the CCFL or LEDs filtered through the LCD on your monitor.
    Last edited by Bright+; 05-05-2010 at 03:35 AM.

  22. #22

    Default Re: GE sunshine 5000K CFL

    What's a "Macbeth tube"? Can you post the specs and SPD?
    Why not buy one Gretag-MacBeth tubes test it yourself? It's the only tube on the market I'm aware of worth the effort in light boxes. None of the other tubes you mention were advised by us via Kodak nor X-rite's engineering depts for critical color matching. Good for over the floor at 'The Gap' and J.C. Penny's though. Spend a few hundred hours looking at 8x10 trannies and you start to get fussy with tubes.

    The usefulness of CRI is debated. The Ra8 system only concerns how well it renders standard eight colors.
    Which is why MacBeth charts are so pointless for this. Also, MacBeth charts were rather useless for film use as exhibited by the fact that chemical based mini-labs in the past never gave you prints with consistent color balances, but were capable of printing consistent 8-point patches. A MacBeth chart is a compressed (low gamut) 2-D splice of a 3-D matrix, and given the terrible non-linearity of color film to begin with it was futile. The only reason Macbeth charts are used to compare digital sensors is because unlike film, digital sensors are highly linear to begin with.

    If its just about spec numbers, the Philips 950 lamps are rated CRI 98
    Sir, you can rave about the Philips all you want, but it's not that high, and the 98 spec is an 'Advertised' spec. The high CRI phosphor mixes used in similiar tier bulbs are all fairly close due to manufacturing reasons. Nobody drops a 98 CRI phosphor mix in a tube and sells it at the same price. Westinghouse and Philips both make a higher CRI / lower Lux tube, but it's not 98 CRI by the same standards everybody else is playing with.

    Also, if the Philips is 98 CRI' then a cool-white Cree is 85 and a Solux 100 by that measured standard. If the Philips is indeed a '98' CRI bulb, why is it's color rendition inferiour to a 98 CRI Solux? If the sun is 100 CRI, and the Philips is 98, then I have to conclude you don't get outdoors much.

    This claim by Philips is yet another example of why the current CRI
    standard is out-dated and manipulated by manufactuers. Fluorescent tubes for example are almost entirely devoid of red beyond the same peaks as most LEDs, but tubes like the Philips are given a 98' CRI mark?

    Continuous spectrum lamps have broad emission spectrum including ranges our eyes are not very sensitive to,
    Such as? Do explain what Spectrum between 450nm and 650nm our eyes aren't sensitive to.

    The difference between cont. and multi-phosphor lamps is that multi-phosphor lamp is designed to focus their output to primary colors
    Define 'primary color', and tell me where the vote took place to declare what a 'primary color' was? MacBeth has their standard, Pantone has theirs...Sony has another. The 'primary colors' used in fluorescent lamps are the specific phosphor peaks used by that industry. Filling in the gaps to better include CRI plots might be your definition of 'continuous spectrum', but it's not mine.

    Again, unlike a high CRI incan source like a Solux which filters out the remaining bands, your 98 CRI Philips still has the same peaks as it's cheaper cousins, just not as pronounced or in as spatialy distributed bands to get peak perceptual lumens. However, if you're working with a color that happens to be sitting near one of those peaks, CRI drops off dramatically.

    There is no such thing as a continuous spectrum fluorescent. They all have significant peaks which are ignored for marketing reasons. Yes, there has been significant leveling with better multi-phosphor technology, but the spikes are still there.

    The Sunshine CFL is Energy Star rated. If it was to be made using Chroma 50 phosphor, it will not meet the efficiency requirement to get the stamp.
    Just for the sake of arguement, I've ran into several sites claiming the Chroma 50 is the same phosphor as the CFL Sunshine. I personally don't care, but unless you personally work for GE why should I take your word over theirs? Also, the Energy Star cert is not applied evenly, but only on specific bulbs and appliances submitted for approval.

    This is the 5000K CRI 98 Philips 950
    This your personal test? Again, spectral graphs I googled for the Philips look nothing like the chart you displayed and sure as heck don't show much spectral energy beyond orange-red. However, your chart shows pretty strong spectral energy beyond 650nm, which is next to impossible. Matter of fact, the spectral graph you displayed for the Philips looks suspiciously like it was taken with a PAR weighted meter because of the double humps.

    This may seem like I'm picking on the Philips, but only in the sense it's trying to market it's way from the rest of the pack when the tubes are likely made in the same plant in China alongside GE and Westinghouse tubes in the target tier.
    Last edited by blasterman; 05-05-2010 at 01:02 PM.

  23. #23

    Default Re: GE sunshine 5000K CFL

    Quote Originally Posted by blasterman View Post
    Why not buy one Gretag-MacBeth tubes test it yourself? It's the only tube on the market I'm aware of worth the effort in light boxes. None of the other tubes you mention were advised by us via Kodak nor X-rite's engineering depts for critical color matching. Good for over the floor at 'The Gap' and J.C. Penny's though. Spend a few hundred hours looking at 8x10 trannies and you start to get fussy with tubes.
    Enough of subjective whiff. Give me data. Why am I not surprised Macbeth (now X-rite) recommended their own products instead of competitor?
    You must be expecting I have access to spectrophotometer to capture the SPD and calculate CRI.

    Do you know that car manufacturers only recommend OEM parts too?

    it's not 98 CRI by the same standards everybody else is playing with.
    First you say it needs to be 95 or better, then say the Philips 950 is not the same game. It is rated 98 Ra8. What game is "everybody else" playing in?

    Also, if the Philips is 98 CRI' then a cool-white Cree is 85 and a Solux 100 by that measured standard. If the Philips is indeed a '98' CRI bulb, why is it's color rendition inferiour to a 98 CRI Solux? If the sun is 100 CRI, and the Philips is 98, then I have to conclude you don't get outdoors much.
    Regular incandescent, candlelight and sunlight are all CRI 100. Give me an objective definition of "inferior" that can be shown without personal judgment.

    Such as? Do explain what Spectrum between 450nm and 650nm our eyes aren't sensitive to.
    Look in the IESNA handbook. triphosphor lamps improve lumens per watt by focusing on ranges of spectrum where our eyes have higher sensitivity. I didn't imply we're completely blind to 450-650nm.


    Just for the sake of arguement, I've ran into several sites claiming the Chroma 50 is the same phosphor as the CFL Sunshine. I personally don't care, but unless you personally work for GE why should I take your word over theirs? Also, the Energy Star cert is not applied evenly, but only on specific bulbs and appliances submitted for approval.
    Product # 71765, CFL Sunshine, CRI = 82. 64 lumens per watt (by math)
    http://www.gelighting.com/na/busines...cent_Lamps.pdf

    Specs show that it's not the same phosphor as Chroma 50. Efficacy is even lower at 55 lumens per watt on F40T12/C50 and CRI is 90.

    This your personal test? Again, spectral graphs I googled for the Philips look nothing like the chart you displayed and sure as heck don't show much spectral energy beyond orange-red. However, your chart shows pretty strong spectral energy beyond 650nm, which is next to impossible. Matter of fact, the spectral graph you displayed for the Philips looks suspiciously like it was taken with a PAR weighted meter because of the double humps.
    No, it's from Philips datasheet.
    http://www.prismaecat.lighting.phili..._TL950_1SL.pdf


    This may seem like I'm picking on the Philips, but only in the sense it's trying to market it's way from the rest of the pack when the tubes are likely made in the same plant in China alongside GE and Westinghouse tubes in the target tier.
    You really have no idea what you're talking about. The Colortone 50/75 phosphors are similar to Chroma 50/75 and Design 50, but the Philips 950 phosphor isn't offered by anyone else, thus far. The TL950 is made in Holland. Please explain where you came to your conclusion they're made in China.

    Don't post reference URLs or anything...
    Last edited by Bright+; 05-05-2010 at 01:56 PM.

  24. #24

    Default Re: GE sunshine 5000K CFL

    Quote Originally Posted by blasterman View Post
    ...This may seem like I'm picking on the Philips, but only in the sense it's trying to market it's way from the rest of the pack when the tubes are likely made in the same plant in China alongside GE and Westinghouse tubes in the target tier.
    GE makes most of their non-specialty T8s in Canada. If I remember correctly, they make most of their oddball ones in Hungary, because they own Tungsram, which has a plant there. Philips makes their T8s in the US, and I believe that Sylvania also makes their T8s here.

  25. #25

    Arrow Re: GE sunshine 5000K CFL

    Recently my kitchen under the counter F20 T12 fluorescent tube went, and I had to get a replacement.

    Instead of just replacing with the same "Kitchen & Bath" 3000K tube -
    because I liked the Sunshine 5000K CFL so much -
    I thought I'd try the GE Sunshine 20 5000K F20 T12.

    When the 5000K first came on I thought this seemed a bit more blue - but then that's most probably because my main kitchen lighting is a 13 watt 2700K Soft White CFL - and that is usually already on, so my eyes would have adapted to that color/tint.

    The next observation was that the tube seemed dimmer than the old 3000K tube - and I was kind of "shocked" that the specs of this new Sunshine 5000K tube was 875 initial lumens (mean = 790 lumens) - this is about the same as the 13 watt 5000K Sunshine CFL! Whereas the same sized "Kitchen & Bath" 3000K tube was rated 1275 lumens (mean = 1200 lumens)

    So where have all the lumens gone?

    Well a bit more "research" the 5000K Sunshine tube CRI=90!
    This is higher than the 5000K Sunshine CFL version (CRI=82),
    Kitchen & Bath 3000K tube CRI=70
    and I tried for a couple of days the GE 4100K "Cool White" tube and that CRI=60!!

    So it would seem that there is lumens efficiency loss due to achieving the higher CRI?

    Looking more closely and I find the tube is actually marked Chroma 50:


    To be honest so far I think I prefer my GE 5000K Sunshine CFL -
    but it is early days yet - the higher CRI=90 of the F20 T12 5000K tube may make a difference - but so far I haven't seen it yet.....

  26. #26

    Default Re: GE sunshine 5000K CFL

    Look at a normal GE Reveal light bulb illuminated by these sources.

    It will have the pinkish hue that is present in true daylight under Chroma 50. Under CFL Sunshine(which is actually SPX50), it will look pale blue with no hint of pink under triphosphor CFL.

    The SPX50 and F32T8 Sunshine are tri-chromatic rare earth fluorescent lamps.

    The T12 Sunshine lamps are Chroma 50, a wide spectrum phoshpor. It also has low persistence, so the 120Hz strobing will be worse than normal lamps. Its highly advisable to use it with electronic ballast. Chroma 50 is used where meeting ANSI D50 standard is expected.

    There was a 1,350 lumen 5,000K/85 CRI in F20T12 by Philips, but its no longer being made, so you'll have to find it online from someone who has it in stock.
    It's F40T12/50U. They also have a F40T12/C50 (Colortone 50) which is the Philips equivalent of Chroma 50, but this one is also low efficiency.

    Tri-chromatic fluorescent lamps are specifically tuned for high lumens per watt and they're not as good for correct color rendition.
    Last edited by Bright+; 05-22-2010 at 02:43 PM.

  27. #27
    Flashaholic* hank's Avatar
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    Default Re: GE sunshine 5000K CFL

    More spectra:
    http://ledmuseum.candlepower.us/led/spectra7.htm

    Do you have a spectrometer, or were those from published info?

  28. #28

    Red face Re: GE sunshine 5000K CFL

    Quote Originally Posted by Bright+ View Post
    The T12 Sunshine lamps are Chroma 50, a wide spectrum phoshpor. It also has low persistence, so the 120Hz strobing will be worse than normal lamps. Its highly advisable to use it with electronic ballast. Chroma 50 is used where meeting ANSI D50 standard is expected.

    Tri-chromatic fluorescent lamps are specifically tuned for high lumens per watt and they're not as good for correct color rendition.
    Many thanks for that info.

    I did notice the strobing on the tube - but just put it down to it being linear and the less noticeable strobing of the CFL being a spiral/coil

    In "theory" CRI of the same CCT within 5 points are supposed to be almost indistinguishable (see GE page on CRI ) ...

    Having said that I still seem to prefer the GE 5000K Sunshine CFL despite it being CRI=82 vs. CRI=90 of the 5000K Sunshine F20/T12 tube (so maybe 8 points CRI isn't that much?)

    It may well be the where they are installed and the contrast when I first turn on the tube in the kitchen since I usually already have a 2700K CFL on.

    Although I obviously have tried turning on the tube only without any other lights on first - during both night and daytime when there was daylight coming through the window.

    I have also replaced the 2700K soft White CFL with the 5000K Sunshine CFL in the kitchen - but even though the lights look about the same - somehow I still seem to persist in liking the CFL more -

    I know it doesn't seem to make sense, and seems emotionally based - but somehow that still seems valid to me - even if I appear quite silly trying to explain this.

    I think there may be something in our make up that favors sunlight (association with sunny days?) - whenever I turn on the 5000K Sunshine CFL it makes me smile.... whereas with the 5000K F20/T12 tube of CRI=90 - it's almost like I initially try to convince myself that it may not have the tiny bit too much blue.... then when I get used to it, it does seem just fine and as good as the CFL.

    Is there any good reason I feel this way?
    Or should I just consult a shrink?

  29. #29
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    Default Re: GE sunshine 5000K CFL

    Just a thought here but I honestly think the primary reason you're liking the higher CRI tube less than the CFL is exactly because it flickers. Even if you don't notice it by eye, the flicker just "feels" wrong. I noticed the difference immediately whenever I changed out a magnetic ballest in one of our tube fixtures for an electronic one. Even though the tube was exactly the same, the light quality felt better. If you can find a retrofit electronic ballast to run your tube fixture I might suggest trying it.

    Incidentally, I noticed how much better subway stations here feel when they replaced the old tube fixtures ( 6 foot T12s ) with 4 foot T8s. Even though flicker wasn't perceptible consciously before, its absence is noticeable. Incidentally, the T12s used before weren't cool whites with poor CRI. They were Sylvania Designer 3500 IIRC, so it's not like the improvement is because they replaced tubes with crappy CRI with better ones. Rather, it's the lack of flicker making the difference. Also, the lighting levels are a bit higher. Don't even ask how lousy the stations looked back when they were lit with incandescent bulbs in the 1960s or early 1970s. They were dim and cavernous and orange, totally uninviting ( except for muggers ).

  30. #30

    Arrow Re: GE sunshine 5000K CFL

    Quote Originally Posted by jtr1962 View Post
    Just a thought here but I honestly think the primary reason you're liking the higher CRI tube less than the CFL is exactly because it flickers. Even if you don't notice it by eye, the flicker just "feels" wrong. I noticed the difference immediately whenever I changed out a magnetic ballest in one of our tube fixtures for an electronic one. Even though the tube was exactly the same, the light quality felt better. If you can find a retrofit electronic ballast to run your tube fixture I might suggest trying it.
    Many thanks for that very useful input.
    I never realized that a ballast could make a difference in flickering.

    Any recommend an economical electronic ballast suitable for this GE F20/T12 5000K Sunshine tube please?

    In the meantime FWIW I took a pic of my Macbeth under this GE F20/T12 5000K Sunshine tube (CRI=90)


    There's "problem with the F20/T12 shot since it is a fixed in place under my kitchen counter - I had to place the Macbeth the best I could "in situ" - as can be seen the bottom of the chart was less illuminated to the top (see the top and bottom borders).

    This is kind of unfortunate as I normally compare the bottom row of gray patches to look for any tint variations compared to my daylight reference. Since the bottom row is less well lit it is darker and seems a bit warmer.

    Undaunted and stubborn - I took the same shot into my editor and upped the brightness/contrast to best match by eye the daylight control shot - but with NO color or tint adjustments -

    although the luminance level seem about the same this F20/T12 seems a bit warmer than any of the others in this comparison (look in particular at the second and third patches from the left). This contradicts what I thought I saw by eye where I had an initial feeling the tube was a tiny bit bluer than the CFL version.

    Of course the top row also causes some "problems" since it is a bit brighter therefore paler than the rest of the chart due to the uneven illumination. Have to take my word for it that it is pretty similar to the daylight and CFL versions....

    No, don't take my word for it.
    I took the shot into my editor and adjusted brightness/contrast only to try to get it as close to the top row of the daylight shot:

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