CF wierdness, glowing flickering turned off

Came home tonight to find my CF bulb on my exterior door light flickering and barely glowing. Assumed the new bulb was bad till I got inside to turn off the switch and found it already off.
I guess I will have to check the voltage at that outlet. How wierd.
Its hard to reach lamp is over steps:(
Anyone else have this happen?
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

socket where the bulb was horizontal, and always on, in the utility room. When I got home it was melting and sparking. Fortunately the floor was cement so no fire started.
Mysterious Traveler
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<SNIP>

Can you tell us what brand and model? Or even what brand?
I have known a few dollar store stool specimens (mostly not UL listed) to do scary things, but I have yet to see anywhere a major brand CFL do that or show signs of having done that.
BTW - I only see UL logo on light bulbs with built-in ballasts.
- Don Klipstein ( snipped-for-privacy@misty.com)
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I think about every one of one particular batch I bought had a melted balast case when the died.
It makes you wonder about them.
I don't recall which brand it was, maybe something like "Bright Ideas", but I can't remember for sure. But I do remember that I bought them in a multi-pack at Home Depot for around $10.
And I *do* remember that they *were* UL listed.
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I have remains of a cheap CFL here on the desk which fell apart!!!! However closer examination showed a loose (badly soldered wire from a component) on the little circuit board! Also the CFL base is plastic with an inside diam. a bit over one inch. It's a bit worrying to think of 115 volts circulating within that base.
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stan wrote in part:

The only CFLs that I ever had falling apart were dollar store stool specimens without UL listing.
My experience suggests that 120V lamps in USA with integral ballasts,
(other than tungsten filaments deployed inside the bulb like usual incandescent filaments, as in mercury vapor lamps with ballast filaments)
are normally subject to UL listing as "self ballasted lamp". I find that most dollar store CFLs do not have UL listing. I am aware of one of those being recalled for having its ballast housing constructed of a plastic other than industry-standard flame retardant plastic.
There are standards for spacing/clearance between conductors that have to be met in order for an integral-ballast CFL to achieve UL listing. My experience is that pretty much all other than dollar store stool specimen ones achieve UL listing, esecially if they have "Energy Star" logo and/or are of one of the "Big 3" brands (GE, Philips, Sylvania).
- Don Klipstein ( snipped-for-privacy@misty.com)
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Only with x10 electronic switches have I had it happen, maybe just a bad switch?
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On Mon, 20 Jul 2009 19:33:51 -0700 (PDT), " snipped-for-privacy@aol.com"

    Chances are there is a hot wire somewhere close to it and it was conducting a fair amount of current at that time. Even static electricity can cause any florescent lamp to give off some light.
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On Jul 21, 8:11am, snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

Static, that reminds me, in winter I had a cfl bulb sitting on the counter, that static I had in me would lite the bulb for maybe 3 seconds if I touched it, and if I grounded myself I didnt have enough static charge for a shock or spark. I guess its the high voltage needed to light them.
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Yes have seen fluorescent tubes placed in RF (radio frequency) field which glow, even though there are no connections to them whatsoever!
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Is it on a dimmer that is leaking current? Some two wire dimmers (like old X10) require a small voltage flow through the filiment at all times. X10 dimmers with a neutral connection dont have this problem. Otherwise some other wire is supplying current to the lamp socket after the switch.
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Likewise if its on a 2 wire timer that requires a filament for current flow, that would cause the CFL to blink also.
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

I've seen it happen with regular florescent fixtures when the neutral instead of the hot lead is switched. I know an idiot who thinks it's better to switch the neutral. He drinks a lot and I wont let him touch any of my wiring. *snicker*
TDD
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wrote:

I have been VERY busy but hope to look at this soon. Last nite it wasnt flickering/ Its in a outdoor light fixture.
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One of my neighbors installed a light switch to his shed in his house. Power was already in the shed so all he did was run the switch circuit back to the house. It worked fine with an incandescent bulb but made a CFC flicker when the switch was off. When it was wired to a switch in the shed it worked fine with either the CFC or the incandescent. Im thinking it must be because of the wire to wire capacitance of the cable. It may be a fun experiment to try different values of C in series with a CFC to see if this can be replicated.
Jimmie
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light is at front door at most 3 feet of wire between switch and light. not flickering tonight.
i need to rig up a adapter to check the voltage at the lamp.
its a hard place to work on staps with limited access
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