GE BIAX CFL Light Bulb Long Term Test

Way back in the mid-noughties, my wife and I were preparing to have a family. Our small house suited us perfectly but to cope with little ones we needed a bit more space and so converted our roof space into bedrooms. During the conversion, our downstairs hallway was completely trashed installing the staircase but with a spot of redecoration, all was well. There were new light fittings and I needed eight 40W-equivalent bulbs.

Looking back at 2007, LED bulbs were rare and expensive, so the choice was incandescent or CFL. The lights in the hallway are probably the most used of all our lights, so with an eye for the running costs, I went with CFL and ended up with a pile of GE 9W “Extra Mini” bulbs, officially GE BIAX Electronic. That’s 72 W total instead of 320 W with old-style bulbs.

This evening, I think the very first one of these failed. That’s over 15 years of use and surprisingly when I got a spare out of the cupboard, that’s exactly what it says on the box!

To formally review these bulbs, they output 480 lumens in a warm white. The bulbs turn on instantly but take a few minutes to come to full brightness and whiteness. They won’t work with dimmers. The short stubby size means that the bulbs will fit in most light fittings but they’re not great to look at. Opaque shades only. And they last for 15 years. Buy.

I only have one spare bulb which is now in use, so as the others start to fail, I’ll have to switch over to LED bulbs. They’ll only consume about 5 W and cost about £3 each from a reputable manufacturer.

The price of light is amazingly cheap when you think about it.