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Compact fluorescent lamps

Old 07-31-2008, 07:43 AM
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Default Compact fluorescent lamps

Its all about energy efficiency...
Hybrid vehicles, home insulation...and among many other things, compact fluorescent lights.

About 3 years ago, i completely replaced all my home's lights with CFLs. Except the bathroom and other high humidity areas, of course.
I don't mind the higher price, they pay themselves with higher efficiency and longer life...or do they???
For the efficiency, I have absolutely no doubt. I measured them and they are indeed use 50% to 60& less energy.
However, for the longer life...that is an outright lie.
In every single bulb, I label them with the date installed, as such I have seen that best case, they last over two years, worst case just three weeks.
What is your experience?
Old 07-31-2008, 07:47 AM
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Default Re: Compact fluorescent lamps

I have changed two in 12 years of use. Both on the same socket. They are very relaible. I use them in all the heavy used areas. H
Old 07-31-2008, 08:33 AM
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Default Re: Compact fluorescent lamps

I've found that it depends on the brand. The $1.99 Walmart bulbs are pretty crappy. Where the $4.99 GE bulbs just keep going. The majority of my house are CFL's, with the exception of the various lights that are on dimmers. Hell, I've even replaced all the night-lights in the house with LED based units. In the 7 years of owning my home, I've only had to replace two of because of failures. Both in the hallway where the lights gets turned on and off dozens of times a day. I have replaced others in the house, but only because newer and brighter CFL's have been made available. We even have them in the bathrooms, with no issues at all.
Old 07-31-2008, 09:54 AM
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Default Re: Compact fluorescent lamps

I have about a dozen or so in my house. One lamp chews through them at about 1 per year, so my hunch is that there is a problem with the internal wiring which is causing irregular voltage.

The rest of them have been going long enough that I had to double check that they were CFLs.

The areas where I'm disappointed in the CFLs are my outdoor spotlights. In the summer it is fine, but come the winter it can take 30-60 seconds for the bulb to warm up enough to give off enough light to see. I've had to go half and half on CFLs and incandescents outside so I can see my way to the house.
Old 07-31-2008, 11:59 AM
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Default Re: Compact fluorescent lamps

I have been replacing lamps with CFLs as they burn out. The one's on my night stands are going on 12 years. I even have one of the old 'ring' style bulbs in my garage for that has lasted 10 years (although it replaced one that lasted 6 months).
Old 07-31-2008, 12:18 PM
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Default Re: Compact fluorescent lamps

I made the mistake of buying the dimmable CFL R30 type flood lights for some of the recessed lighting spots in my home. Home Depot was selling them. I've had 3 of the 4 burn out in 6 months (some 1 within a day). Home Depot must have noticed because they had stopped selling them when I brought the last one back.

Old 07-31-2008, 12:52 PM
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Default Re: Compact fluorescent lamps

Thanks for all your responses. What I should have specified is magnetic-type CFLs versus Electronic-type CFLs.
The magnetics are the older technology and are ultra reliable. I still have the original two I installed since I purchased my home back in 1996.

The problems I've had are with the electronic ones. Those are a hit and miss proposition. Of course, the units bought at the dollar store I knew would not be very reliable. .But I've also bought some of the "brand" ones and still had some early life failures. In one instance one of them failed with a loud bang and smoke.
Old 07-31-2008, 01:07 PM
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Default Re: Compact fluorescent lamps

My experience seems to parallel "dantheman" and "Intrus". Nine years ago Home Depot was the only place that was selling multi-packs (4 or more) at decent prices. However, I had about a 1 in 5 fallout short term and another 1 of the remaining 4 within a month or two. The failing bulbs would either not illuminate or partially illuminate, like when your starter/cap is dead on a traditional fluorescent bulb. I assume these were tested at manufacturer in China, maybe. These were an brand I hadn't heard of, something like American Light Solutions.

However, I have recently switched to GE's and they seem significantly better. No failures with up to 5 years of use. FWIW, a local Electric Utility is giving away a dozen 75W equivalent GE CFLs per customer. I am sure this is a fairly common practice, although I am waiting for my EU to make the offer.

Overall I started installing CFLs 9 years ago as the incandescent failed and except the CFLs that failed in the first few days or month, I haven't replaced any. One other note, I have been fortunate in never experiencing any damage to electronic components from our daily summer thunderstorms and my UPSes report very clean power. So that may help my CFLs longevity (maybe).
Old 07-31-2008, 07:47 PM
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Default Re: Compact fluorescent lamps

I have been buying the n:vision fluorescent bulbs from Home Depot for several years, and I do not recall ever having to replace one yet, so I am quite satisfied. They seem to be the best value out there at $6.88 for 4 bulbs. Two days ago, I had a regular bulb burn-out, and I realized that I ran out of fluorescent bulbs and need to go to Home Depot this weekend to pick-up some more.

I have been using LED night light bulbs since moving into my new house about 7-months ago, since I have been buying more efficient products (i.e., front load washer, compact fluorescent bulbs, my FEH, etc.). The ones that I bought from Walmart made by Meridian Electric Company that are actual bulbs that you can screw in as replacements for regular night light bulbs have been terrible. I bought two 2-packs, and, of the first pack that I opened, one lasted a few days and the other lasted 2-weeks. They have a lifetime warranty where you can mail them back for new ones if they ever fail, and that is just what I did, even though it cost me as much to mail them back as to buy new ones...It was the principle of the matter. Of the second 2-pack, one burned out within a few weeks, and the other is still going. I will not return those two, even though I saved the first. I ended up buying the LED night lights (the bulb can not be replaced) where they have a sensor to turn on and off by themselves, which are made by the same company and also sold at Walmart, and they have been working great. They too come with a lifetime warranty, and they were the same price as just the bulbs.
Old 07-31-2008, 09:35 PM
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Default Re: Compact fluorescent lamps

Originally Posted by doasc View Post
These were an brand I hadn't heard of, something like American Light Solutions.
Not only bad grammar, but bad memory. The brand was "Commercial Electric" and more recently HD has added the "n:vision" brand that Escape_from_Hanover is using. However both brands are manufactured by TCP.

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