Recently attracted by the low price ($2.99) for a single fluorescent (screw
in replacement for a regular lamp/bulb) package I decided to try one in the
outside fixture over our front door. Previously I had only seen them in
packages of two ranging in price from $10 to $19.
The package claims such things as "Uses 15 watts but gives as much light as
75 watts". (Not that I've ever seen a 75 watt bulb AFIK).
I've understood that these 'fluorescents' last longest and work best when
left on continuously. Since our outdoor light is usually on all night it
seemed like good bet!
And might save some electricity.
So I removed the 'long life' incandescent, which I understand is basically a
130 volt bulb running on 115 volts? That lighting circuit is served from a
circuit breaker sub-panel next to the kitchen at one end of the house.
Changing the lamp requires the use of a step ladder; so in the current
winter weather the idea of a long life bulb was also attractive!
The results were disappointing to say the least.
Even after an hour or so when the lamp/bulb had warmed up the light out put
was low; less, I estimated than a cheap 40 watt incandescent. The colour of
the light was poor; a sort of washed out white.
The lamp is also physically longer so it won't fit in some fixtures unless
one were to modify them.
However; and the main reason for posting this here, is that it caused
significant radio interference to the bedside radio some 50 feet away
plugged into a wall socket fed from a completely separate circuit from the
main circuit breaker panel. The interference was not sufficient to interfere
with the local broadcast stations some miles away, when tuned exactly to a
station; but if the orientation of the radio with its built in antenna was
changed interference was apparent on a number of frequencies particularly in
the low end of the AM 'Broadcast Band' e.g. around 600 to 900 kilohertz.
Unfortunately I discarded the package, but I'm pretty sure it was labeled
"Complies with UL and CSA (Canadian Standards Association)".
I intend to go back to the store and get the details from an identical
Unless I happened to buy the one defective unit bought randomly, in a batch,
it seems strange that a device that radiates such noticeable interference
should be sold in North America.
Anyone have similar experience? And maybe this comment may avoid some
unintentional RFI (Radio Frequency Interference).
You shouldn't use them outside unless they mention it on the label. Some
can't take cold. Seeing your .ca, that seems like it might be your problem.
Some are real crap and don't last as long as they should, but I have never
had a problem with them like you describe, and I have them all over my
house. I even have two in outside fixtures at my cottage, but they are only
on in the summer.
For $10 at Home Depot you can get a 3 pack of 100W (I think they use
~23 watts of electricity) comact flourescents. They work fine in my
basement, and even the rest of my house where it's often 50 degrees.
Don't use them outside! And I get the warm white. Also, they take
about 30 seconds to maybe 1 minute to get to full light output.
If you want to save electricity, consider not having the light on all
the time outdside. I know some people do that, but I'm not sure why.
Yeah, they interfere with my AM radio too.
While they are SOLD in North America, the fluorescent bulbs are NOT MADE in
North America. Perhaps that accounts for the interference problem. In a
situation like yours where you leave the light on all night, I would go back
to a standard bulb.
About a year ago, I used compact flourescents to replace four incandescent
bulbs in a bank of lights directly over my workbench. I assumed that they
would create some interference, but I haven't noticed any problems at all,
either for radio or TV reception in the workshop. Perhaps the brand & type
used makes some difference -- there seem to be quite a few flavors
available at this time.
I've bought 13W lamps that say they are the equivalent of
60W, so 15W lamps equivalent to 75W sounds about right.
However, the claims are high. It use to be that fluorescent
lamps provide the same light output as incandescent lamps
with 4 times the wattage. In my experience that is still
true. My 13 W lamps were dimmer than a 60 W incandescent
and I would say it is close to a 50W incandescent light
output. If your 15W lamp is equivalent to only a 40W
incandescent, then it is a very poor lamp.
I was very pleased with the color of mine which was a little
warm as I generally dislike fluorescent lights. However,
they will not work in a high heat fixture such as parallel
arm desk lamps with a closed funnel type of reflector. I
put one in and after a few weeks it sputtered and the base
burned up. It seems to me that the best application is
fixtures where the base is down. They worked well in
bathroom horizontal fixture and in an outside fixture, but
my wife did not like the limited light output and a larger
fluorescent would not fit, so I took them out.
The continuous on idea is just the remnants of an old
fiction. When fluorescents first came out we were told that
it was much better to leave them on and not switch them on
and off if you were coming back into the room in an hour or
two. It wasn't correct then and it isn't correct now from
an economic point. The current recommendation is anything
under a 10 minute interval, you should leave them on.
I didn't find any RFI from my bulbs when they were
installed. I just tested one of them again at the bottom of
the AM dial. There is hum there, probably from my computer,
but turning the bulb on and off made no difference and the
bulb was only 2 feet from the radio.
I'm tempted to say you got what you paid for. I use CFLs almost exclusively
and haven't had problems as you describe. No radio interference, reasonably
bright (though not as bright as they claim*) etc.
The ones I use outdoors are rated to -29C. If yours are indoor CFLs, then
they will perform poorly in the cold.
I've only used the more expensive types, usually bought on sale. I've never
seen any at $2.99 - I pay about $8-$10 apiece.
You can find some that are not much larger than a conventional bulb - they
are the spiral tube type. Check the packaging carefully to see if it's
rated for cold temps. I haven't been disappointed with CFLs in general,
though I have come across a dud once.
*I downplay the wattage ratings a bit. I'd say they are about 20-25%
less bright than claimed. I think that the colour spectrum output
probably has an effect on apparent brightness compared to what they
measure. CFL and incandescent aren't the same colour.
I have been getting the spiral version screw in subs here in Detroit area 4
for $7 +change IIRC, no noise problems. But, when started in cold
locations, they start very dim, take about 2 mins to come up to full.
I KNOW that! But, you have mogul bases, medium bases, etc too. I wanted to
make it simple, as opposed to the bi-pin versions, common in europe, and we
have international readers here.. who may not know it by the Edison name.
In my past life as a sound, lighting and stage tech, I hung my share of PAR
cans too. You know the industry standard designations of PAR lights? For
instance, a USA home type outdoor spot is a PAR 38 bulb. The most common DJ
light bulbs are PAR 46. The most common stage lighting bulbs were the PAR
56 or 64 cans.
Can anyone guess what those numbers mean??? And what PAR means?
No fair googling or such. Brains only.
I know the answer. Stay tuned.
Parabolic Aluminized Reflector.
I'd have to guess that the numbers were a measure of diameter,
probably in something like 8ths of an inch.
Jim Adney firstname.lastname@example.org
Madison, WI 53711 USA
Wow, what do I win?
Note my separate post looking for a Magnoval socket, hint, hint....
Jim Adney email@example.com
Madison, WI 53711 USA
Been using them for several years. The only one I had any problems with at
all was one that was from some unknown company, and cost much less than what
the others did.
As some one else on this thread mentioned, I guess you get what you pay for.
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