Ecospiral FAQs

Got a question about the Ecospiral®? Check out our frequently asked questions below:

Why is New York State spending money to sell less electricity?

The main reason is the growth in electricity within NYC. The costs of upgrading infrastructure in NYC, as well as building new power plants, are very high and greater than any additional revenue, making energy efficiency a great opportunity to slow the need for this expenditure.

It's also the right thing to do - New York State can help its consumers save money and reduce their impact on the environment at the same time

Why the Ecospiral® energy efficient bulb?

Of the energy efficient lighting options available to consumers, compact fluorescent lamps give the greatest cost savings for their purchase price in most applications.

The Ecospiral® is the highest quality bulb currently on the market in the World! Ecospiral® is Energy Star certified to 15,000 hours (15 times longer than a typical standard light bulb) has an ultra low mercury content (less than 1.5mg per bulb) in the safest form available (as an amalgam), and high quality light output

I don't like the type of light put out by fluorescent lights � won't this be the same?

No, the light quality put out by Ecospiral® lights is much better than other fluorescent lights. The light quality and color is very similar to that put out by a standard light bulb � people can't tell them apart.


ENERGY STAR is a joint program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy helping us all save money and protect the environment through energy efficient products and practices.

Look for the energy star logo when purchasing appliances and other electrical goods. You can learn more about ENERGY STAR and how to save money in your home at the ENERGY STAR website


Why Duane Reade?

Duane Reade has a commitment to helping its customers save money and the environment . With 250 locations in NYC there is a store close to you. See for more information.


What the heck is Energy Mad?

We're an Energy Efficiency company shaking up the big boys of the lighting business with our high quality lighting products and innovative promotions to save consumers money.

With offices in the United States, Canada, New Zealand and Australia, we are a rapidly growing company with the ultimate goal of 'Making lives better by saving enough electricity to power Europe!' You can learn more about us on our corporate website at


What is an Ecospiral®?

An Ecospiral® is an energy saving light bulb (Compact Fluorescent Lamp or CFL), that uses 80% less electricity than an ordinary bulb for the same light output.

This energy saving is achieved by wasting less energy as heat. Whereas an incandescent bulb produces light (and considerable heat) by the heating of a tungsten filament until it glows white hot, an Ecospiral® contains electronics that excite the phosphor coating inside the tube in order to emit visible light.


What are the benefits of replacing ordinary bulbs with Ecospirals®?

There are several benefits:

  • Each ordinary bulb replaced with an Ecospiral® will save approximately $196 in power over the life of the Ecospiral®
  • Replacing five ordinary bulbs with Ecospirals® will therefore save approximately $980 on your power bill
  • Ecospirals® last up to 15 times longer than ordinary bulbs, so you do not have to change them very often
  • The power savings from Ecospirals® reduces the risk of power cuts in winter
  • Every Ecospiral® installed prevents 9 ordinary bulbs going into landfills


Are Ecospiral® light bulbs bigger than ordinary bulbs?

The Ecospiral® is a similar shape to ordinary incandescent bulbs and the new range of T2 spirals are designed to be more compact and aesthetically pleasing than traditional spiral CFLs.


How can I safely dispose of Ecospirals®?

Disposing of energy saving bulbs at the end of their life:

  • Energy saving bulbs need special disposal, do not dispose with household rubbish.
  • Dispose at your local refuse station; ask staff if they have recycling facilities as most materials can be recycled.

Disposing of Energy Saving Bulbs if the glass breaks:

  • The primary hazard associated with broken Ecospirals® is broken glass, so be sure to wear gloves when collecting fragments.
  • Broken bulbs fragments should be swept into a bag (NOT VACUUMED) and taken to your local refuse station for recycling

See our Technical Safety page for more information or read the following document from the New Zealand Ministry for the Environment:

See also Ministry for the Environment - Safe Disposal of CFLs


How do you respond to environmental and landfill concerns?

Energy Mad works hard to ensure that the Ecospiral® light bulb has one of the industries' lowest mercury content: typically 1.5mg or about the size of a grain of salt. This amount is half of what most energy saving bulbs contain (usually 2-5mg). With 2 times the typical life, an Ecospiral® will send as little as � of the mercury to landfill compared to other energy saving bulbs.

  • The mercury in an Ecospiral® light bulb is an "amalgam" solid form at atmospheric temperatures, meaning if it broke in a landfill, the amalgam in an Ecospiral® will most likely remain inside the light bulb.
  • NET Mercury: It is the NET amount of mercury which should be considered. About a fifth of the electricity generated in New Zealand is from coal fired power stations, which discharges mercury straight into the atmosphere. The amount of mercury being dispersed into the atmosphere, local environment and ecosystem as a result of an ordinary 'incandescent' light bulb, is 4 times that which is bound up in solid state inside the glass of the Ecospiral®. Furthermore the Ecospiral®can be safely disposed of and recycled, whereas the mercury released from power stations cannot.


What if my Ecospiral® breaks?

The primary hazard associated with broken Ecospirals® is broken glass, so be sure to wear gloves when collecting fragments.

Broken bulbs fragments should be swept into a bag (NOT VACUUMED) and taken to your local refuse station for recycling

See our Technical Safety page for more information.


How do you respond to personal health concerns?

  • Mercury: All compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) and other forms of efficient lighting, such as the fluorescent lamps found in most office buildings, have small amounts of mercury in them.
  • The mercury in most dental fillings contains up to 50 - 100 times the mercury of an Ecospiral®. Ecospirals® contain much less than most household thermometers.
  • If an Ecospiral® breaks, the biggest risk is cutting your hands on the glass. Follow the instructions on this website to clean up the broken pieces (open a window, sweep up the glass, wrap in newspaper and a plastic bag and dispose of at your local service centre.


How are the power savings of energy saving bulbs calculated?

The $980 figure shown is maximum estimated saving from replacing 5 100 watt standard (incandescent) light bulbs with 5 23 watt Ecospiral® light bulbs (these bulbs have the same light output).

So, with a saving of 77 watts per hour of usage per bulb, this is a saving of 385 watts per hour over the 5 bulbs. Multiply this by the 15,000 hour life of the bulbs and you could save 5,775 kilo-watt hours (kWh). Multiply this by the price of 17.5 cents per kWh in NYC and you save over $1000.

Although your total savings will depend on the mix of light bulbs, any way you look at it, this isn't a bad return on a $10 investment!


What size ordinary bulbs can a 20 or 15 Watt Ecospiral® be used to replace?

A 20 watt Ecospiral® can be used to replace 100 watt and R80 watt ordinary bulb as it provides the same light output, while only using 20 watts of electricity. A 20 watt Ecospiral® can also be used to replace a 150 watt ordinary bulbs. A 15 watt Ecospiral® can be used to replace a 75 watt and 60 watt ordinary bulb.


Can an Ecospiral® be used in downlights or enclosed fixtures?

If the light fitting is fully enclosed we don't recommend it, but if the fixture has ventilation holes it should be OK.

The 15 watt or 20 watt Ecospiral® can be used in downlights to replace 75 watt or 100 watt R80 (spot lights). The light output will be less using the Ecospiral® since there is no reflective mirror, however it should be more than adequate and the compact spiral shape doesn't protrude. In the unlikely event that a 20 watt Ecospiral® does not fit inside the existing fitting, try using the smaller 15 watt.


I am having difficulty fitting an Ecospiral® - can you help?

If it is a screw fitting then it may be the location of the lamp holder within the light fitting. The plastic base on some models has a bigger diameter than normal incandescent bulbs and this can foul on the housing, thus preventing it from being screwed in further. The 15W Ecospiral® tends to be better than 20W because the diameter is smaller. Things to check include whether or not the ballast is fouling on the housing and whether or not the existing lamps are R80's (which have a much thinner neck).


How do I avoid the risk of damaging an Ecospiral® during installation?

Installing the lamp by holding the ballast eliminates the risk of injury or other damage resulting from breaking the tube. Unfortunately this is not an option for the Energy Efficient Downlight which is distinctly different from the general service lamps in so far as the lamp is separate from the ballast (and hence there is minimal risk of damaging the ballast by holding the tube rather than the ballast), and also because it has a proprietary twist and lock fitting rather than a screw fitting (where the risk of damage resulting form over tightening of the lamp is much greater).


Can I use Ecospirals® outside?

Most energy saving bulbs can be used in outside locations, provided that the fitting is ventilated and that the lamp is adequately protected from the elements. The Ecospiral® uses the latest amalgam technology and will maintain light levels even at low temperatures.


Are there a variety of wattages for Ecospirals®?

The Ecospiral® is available in:

  • 8W (equivalent to 40W incandescent lamp)
  • 12W (equivalent to 60W incandescent lamp)
  • 13W (equivalent to 60W incandescent lamp)
  • 15W (equivalent to 75W incandescent lamp)
  • 20W (equivalent to 100W incandescent lamp or R80 spotlight)
  • 15W Energy Efficient Downlight (Suitable replacement for 35W and 50W halogen lamps)


How long do Ecospirals® take to reach full brightness?

An Ecospiral® takes approximately one minute to reach full brightness. This is considerably faster than most other Energy Saving bulbs available in New Zealand, since it is designed particularly for the New Zealand power supply.


Does the light emitted decrease over the lifetime of an Ecospiral®?

The light of an Ecospiral® does decrease over its life, however this rate of decrease is less than that of an ordinary bulb.


Since Ecospirals® produce less heat than an ordinary bulb won't I need to use more heating and therefore not save as much electricity during the heating season??

It is a common misconception that additional heating will be required to compensate Ecospirals® producing less heat. As most light bulbs are located at ceiling level, the increased heat of an incandescent bulb is lost directly through the ceiling and does not contribute significantly towards the heating of the room.


What if my Ecospiral® fails? Is there a warranty?

Each Ecospiral® sold for residential lighting purposes carries a 2 year warranty. If it fails inside this 2 year period, it can be returned to the supermarket where it was purchased, for a replacement free of charge.


Can Ecospirals® be used with ordinary dimmers?

Using Ecospirals® in dimmers is not recommended. Even if the dimmer feature is not used, it is likely that using it with a dimmer will shorten the expected life of the Ecospiral®.


Do Ecospirals® emit less light in cold conditions?

Ecospiral® uses the latest amalgam technology which maintains its luminous flux (light output) even at low temperatures.


Do Ecospirals® flicker and/or buzz?

Ecospirals® should not flicker or buzz under normal circumstances on circuits without dimmers and have passed all the required New Zzealand safety requirements.


Do Ecospirals® produce Radio Frequency interference?

No. The Ecospiral® has been tested and passed CISPR 15 and has the C-tick.


How does turning an Ecospiral® on and off affect wear and tear?

Our product has been tested to standards which include switch testing.


What is the difference between 2700K and 5000K?

The K stands for Kelvin. The Kelvin temperature of a bulb refers to the actual colour of the light and is a comparison to natural outdoor light. A 2700K lamp has a warmer tone than a 5000K lamp. Typical colour temperatures are 2700K for an incandescent lamp, 3000K for a warm white fluorescent lamp, 4100K for a cool white fluorescent lamp and 6500K for outdoor sunlight. The 2700K matches the warm soft light colour of candlelight, firelight or an ordinary incandescent bulb. The 5000K lamp produces a much whiter light more closely associated with sun light. The advantage of this 5000K light colour is that it increases contrast. Black becomes blacker, white become whiter. Printed material (black type on white paper) is easier to read under 5000K light. Therefore, this lamp makes an excellent reading light and can help reduce eye fatigue.

The colour temperatures and colour coordinates of Ecospirals® are as follows;

Colour Temp Name Colour Coords (X,Y)
2700K Warm white (0.463, 0.420)
5000K Bright (0.346, 0.359)
6500K Cool white (0.313, 0.337)

Most people prefer warm white as this is closest to a normal incandescent bulb. The higher colour temperature is closer to natural daylight, however, indoors it has a colder (more blue) appearance.


Can I use Ecospirals in dusk to dawn & electronic timers?

Photo cells contain a chip that converts radiant energy into electrical current. Most photo-cells do this in a manner that is incompatible with energy saving bulbs resulting in a shortened lamp life. Timers are devices that allow trickle voltage to cycle through the lamp when it is off. This causes the lamp to try and start itself when there is not the proper supply voltage present. This can also reduce the lamp life.