Sticks & Spirals

Sticks and spirals are the classic form of Compact Fluorescent Lamp, or CFL, which are often used to replace the common GLS lamp in many luminaires. The take-up on these lamps never quite fulfilled expectations, but they are nonetheless vastly more energy-efficient than original incandescent technology and use around 50-60% less power than most energy-saving halogen alternatives.

Even against LED lamps, these stick and spiral CFLs are often surprisingly closely matched in terms of energy-saving benefits. An LED equivalent bulb usually has to incorporate multiple LEDs into its design to deliver omnidirectional light, whereas fluorescent light, like incandescent, is naturally widespread. However, the typical 6,000 to 15,000 hour lifespan of a CFL is only roughly half the expected longevity of LED counterparts (halogen lamps usually have 2,000 hour lifespans).

Aside from their energy-saving qualities, the primary benefit of stick or spiral bulbs is a relatively attractive price by comparison to many LED models. This is somewhat offset by the fact that LEDs are easily disposable and less fragile, and reach instant power immediately. Sticks and spirals contain mercury, and require a warm-up time before they achieve full brightness.

Though the tubular appearance of sticks and spirals is jarring to some consumers, the famous designer ‘Plumen’ bulb turns this into an advantage by using creative, shapely forms.


Fluorescent sticks and spirals are most often used in table lamps, floor lamps, desk lamps, ceiling pendants, and some outdoor fittings. Though they’re usually non-dimmable, when they are dimmable they retain the same output in terms of colour temperature. This differs from an incandescent light source, where the colour of the light is dictated by the physical temperature of the filament. Unlike regular sticks and spirals, designer ‘Plumen’ lamps are used in unconcealed fashion – very often bare or with open shades in environments such as restaurants, hotels, cafes, or the home.


Large bayonet (B22); small bayonet (B15); Edison Screw (E27); Small Edison Screw (E14).

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