Energy Saving Lamp: Review & Recommendations


Welcome to our big energy saving lamp test 2020, where we present you all energy saving lamps that we have tested in detail. We have put together detailed background information for you and also added a summary of the customer reviews on the net.

We want to make your purchase decision easier and help you to find the best energy-saving lamp for you.

You can also find answers to frequently asked questions in our guide. If available, we also offer you interesting test videos. Furthermore, you will also find some important information on this page, which you should pay attention to if you want to buy an energy-saving lamp.

The most important facts in brief

  • Energy-saving lamps are compact fluorescent lamps. They are an energy-saving alternative to conventional light bulbs and halogen lamps.
  • Compact fluorescent lamps score points with their long life. As a rule of thumb, one good energy-saving lamp shines at least as long as 10 conventional light bulbs.
  • Energy-saving lamps contain noble gases and mercury and are therefore considered hazardous waste. Care must be taken to ensure that they are disposed of at designated collection points or hazardous waste collection points.

Energy-saving lamp test: the ranking

1st place: Energy saving lamp

The energy saving lamp of the brand Briloner Leuchten has a narrow stick form. Therefore it is also suitable for narrow lamps. For just under 5.50 euros, this energy-saving lamp is available with an E14 base.

The seller states that this energy-saving lamp has an average life of 8000 hours. Customers who have already bought this product are enthusiastic about the pleasant warm white light colour. This characteristic makes this lamp ideal for a homely atmosphere.

2nd place: HOME energy saving lamp Tornado 20 Watt dimmable

With this energy saving lamp, the Philips brand offers a spiral-shaped model with an E27 socket. This energy saving lamp is dimmable and provides a pleasant living atmosphere. Thus the brightness is individually adjustable.

The seller charges 9 euros for this energy-saving lamp. Customers profit however from a far Dimmspektrum. In addition a life span of 8000 hours is indicated.

3rd place: Osram Dulux S energy-saving lamp

For just under 2.30 euros, this low-priced energy-saving lamp is offered by the Osram brand. With a G23 base, this model is suitable for lamps that are already equipped with a control gear. This lamp shines on average 7500 hours.

The salesman emphasizes that this lamp with a cold white light promotes concentration and visual performance. It therefore creates a perfect working environment. Customers particularly appreciate the daylight character.

Advisor: Questions you should deal with before you buy an energy-saving lamp

What is an energy-saving lamp?

The energy-saving lamp is a term for compact fluorescent lamps. Due to its design and technology, it is considered an energy-saving alternative to conventional light bulbs and halogen lamps.
However, energy-saving lamps are more harmful to the environment than LED lamps. This is because inside the tube there is a noble gas which contains a small amount of mercury.

Energy-saving lamps score points with their long life. They are usually available with a screw base and integrated ballast, so that they can be used directly as a replacement for light bulbs in lamps.

When was the energy-saving lamp invented?

The economy lamp with mercury gas was first invented in 1901 by the American Peter Cooper-Hewitt. Predecessors of the energy-saving lamps were the so-called Geissler’s Röhen, or neon tubes, which were developed as early as 1857 by the German physicist Heiner Geissler.
At first, the first energy-saving fluorescent lamp was only used in black-and-white photography. Further development by the German inventor Edmund Germer in 1926 made them suitable for households as well.
The first energy-saving lamp as you know it today was launched by Philips in 1980. The company Megaman has pushed the industry of energy saving lamps. Especially in the area of the different base forms the company is leading.

How does an energy-saving lamp work?

Energy-saving lamps do not have a filament, but curved tubes filled with gas. These tubes are filled with a noble gas and mercury.

Most energy saving lamps are equipped with an integrated ballast. With the help of the electrical ballast, UV rays are generated by the current supplied.
The non-visible UV rays stimulate a discharge of the noble gas inside the tube. When colliding with the existing mercury atoms, a lot of energy is released in the form of visible light waves – the tube lights up.
In the video below, TechPower briefly explains how an energy-saving lamp works:

What does an energy-saving lamp cost?

Energy-saving lamps with integrated ballast and a base are available from just 1 euro each. On average, an energy-saving lamp costs about 5 euros. You can buy energy saving lamps in a price range between 1 Euro and 10 Euro.
You can also find some special offers in shops, especially online shops. With these you usually benefit from a lower unit price.
The price also varies according to brand, size and the lifetime in hours. Additional functions, such as dimmability, also increase the price.

Where can you buy energy saving lamps?

You can find energy saving lamps in almost every electrical or DIY store. There is also a wide range of energy-saving compact fluorescent lamps on the Internet.
In the following links you will find a large selection of energy saving lamps:
central light

What alternatives are there to energy-saving lamps?

Energy saving lamps are usually available with a base. They can therefore be used directly as an alternative to other light sources. Each alternative has different characteristics.

Decision: What types of energy saving lamps are there and which one is right for you?

Energy-saving lamps can be classified according to their dimmability or according to whether they are equipped with a ballast. In principle you can distinguish between three types:

  • Standard energy-saving lamp
  • Dimmable energy saving lamp
  • Energy saving lamp without ballast

Which type is more suitable for you depends on your intended use. Whichever species you choose, all three have their advantages and disadvantages.

What distinguishes a standard energy-saving lamp and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

Standard energy-saving lamps are most commonly found in stores because they have an integrated ballast and a base. With these features it is directly suitable as a bulb replacement for your lamp.

The standard energy-saving lamp is not dimmable. Due to the constant luminosity, a more pleasant atmosphere is not necessarily given.

It should be noted, however, that the standard energy-saving lamp only reaches its full brightness after a few seconds after being switched on. Nevertheless, it is not necessary for the standard energy-saving lamp to burn in.


Ballast integrated
No burn-in necessary
Suitable as light bulb replacement


Not dimmable
Full brightness is only reached after a few seconds
Cozy atmosphere may not be given

What distinguishes a dimmable energy-saving lamp and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

Dimmable energy-saving lamps have the advantage that the brightness can be adjusted as required. Thus it is possible to create a cosy atmosphere in the room.

It is recommended that dimmable energy saving lamps are burnt in for the first 100 hours. This means that this type of energy saving lamp should be lit for 100 hours (does not have to be in one piece) at full brightness level in order not to shorten the life span.


brightness adjustable
Ballast integrated
Creates a cosy atmosphere


Baking necessary
Not suitable for all dimming types
Flickering of the light possible

Otherwise, your lamp may start flickering quickly. To further prevent this, it is better to always switch on the lamp at full brightness and then dim it.

It should also be noted that dimmable energy-saving lamps are not suitable for every type of dimming. Dimmable energy saving lamps are only suitable for so-called phase control dimmers. With sensor or touch dimmers these lamps do not usually work.

What distinguishes an energy-saving lamp without ballast and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

Energy-saving lamps without integrated ballast are those lamps that require an external ballast and do not have a conventional screw base. You can find such lamps on the market, in unusual shapes for special lamps.

Since they do not have a screw base, they are not directly suitable as a replacement for your light bulb. If the lamp itself is not equipped with a ballast, the technical effort is higher.


Also suitable for special lamps
Large design
Suitable for large areas


Additional ballast required
Technical effort higher
Not directly applicable as a replacement for light bulbs

Energy saving lamps without ballast are for example fluorescent tubes. These are well suited to illuminate large rooms.

Purchase criteria: With these factors you can compare and evaluate energy saving lamps

In the following, we will show you on the basis of which aspects you can decide between the multitude of possible energy-saving lamps.

The criteria you can use to compare energy-saving compact fluorescent lamps include

  • Light colour
  • Brightness
  • Formular
  • Socket
  • Lifetime
  • Power consumption

These purchase criteria can help you make a decision. You can address yourself to them when you buy

Light colour

Energy saving lamps are available in different colour temperatures. The light colour of an energy-saving lamp is given in the unit Kelvin.

In principle, you can buy energy-saving lamps in the colours warm white, neutral white or cold white. Of course there are also energy saving lamps with additional colours, for example green or blue.

Warm white lamps have a Kelvin number of about 2700, at about 4000 Kelvin the lamp is neutral white and at about 6000 Kelvin the lamp is cold white and has daylight character. The rule is: the higher the value, the bluer the light.


The brightness of illuminants is expressed in the unit lumen. It indicates the unit of luminous flux per Watt, i.e. the visible light output.

The higher the number of lumens, the brighter the energy-saving lamp shines. Furthermore, the more lumens, the higher the power consumption in watts.

Energy-saving lamps do not reach full brightness immediately when switched on. Make sure that the energy-saving lamp needs a maximum of 60 seconds or less for full brightness.


The shape of the energy-saving lamp also plays a role. Because not every shape fits into your lamp. The usual shapes of energy saving lamps that you can use directly as a light bulb replacement are Spiral, stick, candle, bulb shape, globe shape. Depending on the design of your lamp, for which you want to use the energy-saving bulb, one is more suitable than the other.

In the table you will find again the most common forms of energy-saving lamp explained:


The term base refers to the screw or plug-in system with which the energy-saving lamp is attached. Which socket is the right one for you depends on the lamp you want to use the energy-saving lamp with.

The most common base sizes, i.e. sockets, are E14 and E27. E14 is the thinner screw base.

Energy saving lamps can also have a socket to plug in. Plug-in sockets are often in use in size GU10 or GU5.


The service life of energy-saving lamps is given in hours. As a rule, energy-saving lamps last about 10000 hours.

How long the energy-saving lamp actually lasts also depends on its use. Dimmable energy saving lamps usually live shorter.

Energy-saving lamps are known for their long life. Compared to other light source alternatives, only LED lamps last longer.

Power consumption

The power consumption of an energy-saving lamp is indicated in the unit Watt. The higher the value, the higher the power consumption.

The wattage depends on the light output (brightness). The wattage increases with increasing lumen.

In general, energy-saving lamps consume less electricity than conventional light bulbs. You can find many comparison and conversion tables on the Internet.

Trivia: Worth knowing facts about energy-saving lamps

How long do energy-saving lamps last?

As a unit for the durability of an energy-saving lamp, you can take the lifetime in hours. Depending on the model, these last between 5000 and 10000 hours.

In comparison, a conventional light bulb only shines for 1000 hours. After is considered as rule of thumb:

“A good energy-saving lamp shines at least as long as 10 conventional light bulbs.

However, some tests have shown that the service life of energy-saving lamps varies greatly. Some models lit for 4500 hours, while others lit for over 19000 hours.

Why is an energy-saving lamp considered harmful to the environment?

Although, as the name suggests, energy-saving lamps consume little electricity, they are still considered to be harmful to the environment. The reason for this is the costly production and difficult disposal.

Not only for the environment, but also directly for humans, energy-saving lamps can be harmful. Energy-saving lamps contain up to 5g of toxic mercury.

This has carcinogenic properties for humans. In addition, radioactive waste is produced in the extraction and production of rare earths.

How to dispose of an energy-saving lamp?

The recovery of mercury is expensive. In addition, energy-saving lamps are problematic to dispose of because of the mercury they contain.

Broken energy-saving lamps are considered hazardous waste because they contain toxic substances. For this reason, they should not be disposed of with household waste.

There are collection points for energy-saving lamps throughout Germany. Often you can also hand them in at a hardware store or drugstore. It is best to find out where the nearest collection point is in your area.

What should you do if the energy-saving lamp breaks?

In the meantime, there are models of energy-saving lamps with a splinter shield. Nevertheless, it can happen that energy saving lamps break.

In this case the toxic mercury and other heavy metals are released. In order to inhale as little of the toxic gases as possible, it is recommended to air the apartment.

The shards should be collected in a cardboard box or preserving jar. In order not to disperse the particles, a vacuum cleaner should not be used.

Do not dispose of the broken energy-saving lamp in the household waste, as it is considered hazardous waste. You can hand it in at a hazardous waste collection point or return point.

TruthSee shows you again in the video below all the steps you should follow if an energy-saving lamp breaks:

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