CFL blew out, literally

Lights of America, 32W base up in a desk lamp.
I heard a pop and found the two parts of that form the base separated with the bulb dangling from a pair of internal wires, and a scorch mark on the shade. Near the edge of the circuit board there is a DIP with pin 6 completely gone--just a hole surrounded by black emanating to the edge of the board. Another nearby component (whose type escapes me 94-4944 042P 2671) has scorch marks on its heat sink and a little bump poking out of the packaging.
m
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It's not uncommon. From your description, it sounds like a capacitor failure on the ballast circuit board. It's scary because you can see the damage and sometimes smell a bit of smoke and see the flash. All electronic fluorescent lamp ballasts have capacitors. Now, with the circuitry almost exposed on CFL lamps, failures are noticed. When the ballast is inside a metal can inside an enclosed fixture, there isn't as much of a "show" when something fails.
If the CFL is UL listed (most are), the design has been tested so that it is not likely it will start a fire or be an electrical safety hazard; but with electricity anything can happen sometimes. Flick a drop of water on a standard 100 watt incandescent bulb that's been burning a while and be prepared for fireworks and flying glass. On second thought, don't do that; it's dangerous. And standard light bulbs are not UL listed for safety.
Tomsic
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Son's shop went to CFL's for all work lights exposed to splash. Water or oil. Even triggering an air tool can blow a nearby incandescent.
--Vic
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Wasn't there an epidemic of bad caps going around a few years ago? Anyway, none of the things I think look like capacitors look blown.
I think that bulb dates back to the Enron blackouts of 2001. It was getting ready to die. The last few weeks it would spontaneously go out until I jostled the lamp (or just walked over to it).
m
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My experience with LOA is to avoid them whenever possible
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Fake ID wrote the following:

Uh Oh, Notify the EPA and evacuate the building and everyone within a mile of your house.
--
Bill
In Hamptonburgh, NY
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Don't laugh. That's next.
Christopher A. Young Learn more about Jesus www.lds.org .
Fake ID wrote the following:

Uh Oh, Notify the EPA and evacuate the building and everyone within a mile of your house.
--
Bill
In Hamptonburgh, NY
  Click to see the full signature.
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I got the autofucos issues worked out on my PointOrShoot camera and took some pictures of the aftermath. The macro mode images of the blown DIP look even more dramatic than with the naked eye. Some rudimentary html and the images can be found at:
http://www.sonic.net/~mball/CFL /
m
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Fake ID wrote the following:

Great pictures.
--
Bill
In Hamptonburgh, NY
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snipped-for-privacy@sonic.net (Fake ID) writes:

Neat, thanks.
--
Dan Espen

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(Fake ID) writes:

Yes, great pix. Looks like it may have been the electronics rather than the usual capacitor failure; but it looks like a normal failure. I don't like the part about the lamp coming off the base; but other than being a bit startling, the failure does't appear likely to be extensive enough to cause damage or hurt someone.
Tomsic
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control chip. (uba2021p) - looks like the connection to the resistor beside it overheated and opened up causing the chip to lock on, vapourizing the lead..
Pin 9 is the current monitor . Looks like it is pin 9 that has blown off.
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I built a digital meter once for dc. My brother tried to measure ac line. The chip blew, and it made a hole in the mini box it was in.
Greg
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WOW! What kind of Nikon? That's a classic textbook picture of a pin blow out. IMHO, that shouldn't happen - a fusible link of some sort should open. People with CPD can get a good blast of very nasty fumes when a CFL dies. She removes all bulbs in her sewing/office areas when they either show blackening or start humming (that's a few, now) to avoid breathing that stuff in during yet-another smoky CFL bulb failure. I'm hoping "death by stinkout" is something they really get squared away in the future. The worst an incandescent bulb has done around here is flare out.
Anyway, your "PointOrShoot" seems to have done a remarkable job. Some cameras can't get close without resorting to tricks (my favorite is holding a large magnifying glass in front of the camera lens). I've bought a lot of digicams - not one of them is a do-it-all camera. I go back to using my Sony TRV video-tape cam because the smaller, higher-res cams have hard-to-work menus in place of the discrete buttons on the Sony.
-- Bobby G.
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I have a camera with super macro. The field of view is exceptional in those pics. I would want to stop down the lens to get that good.
Greg
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On 18 Jan 2012 09:25:03 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@sonic.net (Fake ID) wrote:

I was on a website recently where people post serious problems with CFLs, such as yours. There are quite a few of them mentioning things such as what you bulb did. At the time I was on that site, I was busy and wanted to read more later, as well as post about the two of them that "blew up" on me. I thought I bookmarked the website, but I guess I didn't. Now I cant find the site.
I think the link to that site came from a message on this group (but which one)....
I had one (60W equiv) in my bathroom emit a shower of sparks and smoke immediately after turning it on. I shut the switch off. The base was burned away in a spot and the glass part was separated, but still in place (the bulb pointed upward). I had another one in the garage (100W equiv) on the ceiling. It was working, when suddenly it got dim, I heard a loud pop, and smoke started pouring out of it. I shut that one off too. That one pointed downward. The glass stayed in the base but was loose and soot covered. This garage bulb had about 2 hours of use at most.
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