A fluorescent bulb; replacing an incandescent.

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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 package. 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). Cheers. Terry.
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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.
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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.
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Terry wrote:

Many fluorescents work dimly and poorly in cold temperatures. Halogen would be best for you.

You haven't? It's the size I use most commonly- they are everywhere. And many fluorescents produce lots of RFI.
John H.
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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. Des

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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.
Regards,
Phil
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Terry wrote:

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.
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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.
Mike
*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.
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Michael Daly wrote:

I saw some at the dollar store for a buck.
--
We now return you to our normally scheduled programming.

Take a look at this little cutie! ;-)
  Click to see the full signature.
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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. Mark Oppat

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It's called an Edison base. Anyone in an antique-radio group should know this. <grin>
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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.
Mark Oppat

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On Sat, 17 Jan 2004 22:56:56 -0500 "Mark Oppat"

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 snipped-for-privacy@vwtype3.org Madison, WI 53711 USA -----------------------------------------------
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WE have a WINNER! Jim Adney! Yes, "eighths of and inch" is what PAR numbers call out the diameter of the bulb in, and Parabolic Aluminized Reflector is what PAR means.

Mark Oppat

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On Sun, 18 Jan 2004 02:36:22 -0500 "Mark Oppat"

Wow, what do I win?
Note my separate post looking for a Magnoval socket, hint, hint....
;-)
- ----------------------------------------------- Jim Adney snipped-for-privacy@vwtype3.org Madison, WI 53711 USA -----------------------------------------------
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Mark Oppat wrote:

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On Sat, 17 Jan 2004 22:56:56 -0500, "Mark Oppat"

Parabolic Anodized Reflector. -- John Willis (Remove the Primes before e-mailing me)
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Sure. "PAR" is something like Parabolic Reflector, and "38" is 3.8-inch bulb diameter. Who doesn't know that :-) ?
Bill Jeffrey =================== Mark Oppat wrote:

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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.
Hound Dog
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Hound Dog wrote:

has been subsidivising(sp) CFLs lately. Final cost around a buck or two. And no significant RFI.
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