Compact Fluorescent light bulbs?

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Howdy, anyone here have any experience with Compact Fluorescent light bulbs? My wife just had an Oprah moment and is singing their praises.
http://www.servicelighting.com/catalog_product_list.cfm?cat_num 0203&link_c=light-bulbs-fluorescents
I'm sure that there is an energy saving, not sure about the type of light - if its annoying to anyone etc.
Thanks...
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http://www.servicelighting.com/catalog_product_list.cfm?cat_num 0203&link_c=light-bulbs-fluorescents
Sort of a cold light, but lamp shades tend to warm it a bit. And, if you have any digital timers for outdoor lights, check the instructions carefully. Some timers will self-destruct with compact fluorescents.
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And most CFs will self destruct if used with a photo control.
--
Rich Greenberg Marietta, GA, USA richgr atsign panix.com + 1 770 321 6507
Eastern time. N6LRT I speak for myself & my dogs only. VM\'er since CP-67
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I recently replaced a few of my incandescents with the compact fluorescent type and they put out the same amount of light. At first glance, the light appears to be more "yellow" than white, but I've gotten used to it after a day or two. The good thing is that it isn't the harsh "hard-white" light that's typically associated with fluorescents. No noticeable flicker that some fluorescents can do too. If the ratings on the bulb and EPA website are to be believed, it has the same light output as a 60W bulb, but only requires 14W to do so. So, it's a roughly a 60% savings per bulb.
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Mine have a cold color. What brand are you using?
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Yes, that's a good question. Do brands matter? Westinghouse, Panasonic, Sylvania, TCP etc.?
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I would expect brand and price (in the same store of the same brand) to matter in respect to color and reliability. The major brands you listed are probably similar in reliability (color?) but there are also plenty of off brands especially at the lower price end. I get them for about $1 per bulb because the power company discounts them (according to sticker on the package) but these are not always in stock.
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Yes, quite a bit. I bought single bulbs for a while until I found some that I liked, and then I bought a bunch of them in 6-packs. The bulbs really vary in terms of startup time, flicker, and color.
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You can get different colour CFLs from a single manufacturer. Basically, some give you the choice of whether you want a colder or warmer colour. Philips, for example, sells soft white and daylight versions.
You can also get instant-on, dimmable, pot light replacements and others. Some electronic ballast versions can handle temperatures down to -29C and are suitable for outdoor use.
There are many types and different features available. If you're close to a few big box reno stores, a visit and some reading of the fine print on the packaging can tell you a lot. Google as well.
Mike
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Brands matter a lot, both in terms of actual lumen output and in terms of bulb life. Lights of America is the biggest offender, at least based upon my direct experiences, those of friends, and the testers at Consumers' Union (ie, Consumer Reports).
The folks at LOA are aware that the word is getting out about the poor quality of their products, so they have resorted to marketing many of their products under pseudonyms. Check the back of the package on many low cost off-brands and you are likely to read that the manufacturer is actually LOA.
All brands of bulbs start off dim & yellow, especially in cold applications such as garages or outdoors. But I've been extremely happy with them once they warm up.
We buy the 60w and 100w equivalents at Sam's Club in 6 packs, and we purchase the bigger, 200w equivalents at Walmart. We've got some of the extremely low power lights and I believe those were bought at Sam's Club in 3 packs.
I believe that the most recent 6 packs of 100w equivalents that we purchased at Sam's Club cost $15.50, give or take a few cents. I'm also fairly certain that the 200w equivalents are $8.88 each at Walmart.
Unfortunately, the purchase price per watt tends to be disproportionately high for both the low output lights and the high output lights. For many of our table lamps we have been able to install one or more "Y" adapters so that we can install multiple 100w equivalent bulbs.
Full spectrum bulbs are also more expensive at all output levels, but some folks that I know feel that the natural light is worth the extra cost. The bulbs are reported to be very effective in treating season depression in some people, but I've also heard that large doses of vitamin D are equally effective.
In addition to the savings in direct energy consumption, there are other advantages to the CFs. One is the fact that they produce a lot less heat, which is important for those of us who run the AC much of the year.
Another advantage is the fact that lamp sockets and wiring last a lot longer since the fixture is carrying about 75% less current.
One warning: The CFs emit a considerable amount of stray RF noise, so nearby electronics such as radios may be negatively impacted. I don't have a wireless LAN setup, but I would imagine that CFs could cause interference for some folks' wireless Internet systems at home.
Good luck, Gideon
=========================== BE wrote Yes, that's a good question. Do brands matter? Westinghouse, Panasonic, Sylvania, TCP etc.?
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Doug Kanter wrote:

I think they're TCP. They are the spiral tube type. Sold in a 6-pack at that "Walmart of home improvement stores" ... Home Depot. I've not noticed any need for the bulb to warm up when first turned on - seems to be almost instantaneous. I'm sold on it. I'll be changing every bulb in the overhead lighting to these except, as I mentioned any specialty bulbs like vanity lighting and decorative bulbs.
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BE,
I have used them for several years, indoors and outdoors. When installed indoors they take less than a second to come on. They start at about 80% brightness but reach full brightness in a minute or two. Outside it takes longer to reach full brightness when cold. I love them. They use a lot less electricity and last years.
Stretch
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upside down, or inside a globe. The electronic get too hot and will brun themselves out. I have them in my outdoor lights and they work great. Also through out the house.
Tom
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Trekking Tom wrote:

?
I've had them in my bathrooms and upside down for three years with no problems, and the CFL FAQ at http://www.ci.fort-collins.co.us/utilities/powertosave/lighting-faq.php#use says only this:
"Are there any locations where CFL bulbs are NOT recommended?
CFL bulbs are not the best choice for:
* fixtures controlled by standard dimming controls; * fixtures controlled by certain types of electronic timers or photo-sensors; * tightly enclosed light fixtures, where heat from the lamp can be trapped (leading to early bulb failure); and * fixtures needing tight beam control (e.g. to highlight artwork)."
And GE's site here: http://www.gelighting.com/na/home_lighting/ask_us/faq_compact.htm#enclosed says only:
"Can I use a compact fluorescent light bulb in an enclosed light fixture?
Compact fluorescent light bulbs may generally be used in enclosed fixtures as long as the enclosed fixture is not recessed. Totally enclosed recessed fixtures (for example, a ceiling can light with a cover over the bulb) create temperatures that are too high to allow the use of a compact fluorescent bulb."
So... I'm not sure where you're getting the no-bathrooms and no-upside-down parts.
-- Jennifer
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I'm using one with an electric timer, not an electronic one.
But I thought both were either totally off or totally on. I don't see how they could damage the bulb. The electric one at least just has a mechanical switch controlled by a moving wheel.
(Of course it's only been 2 weeks, one cycle per day.)
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That's fine. What you want to avoid is anything where the power switching is done electronically like with a triac. Even that would probably be ok if you could be sure that it passed the full waveform when on but unless you put a scope on it you may not know. Light dimmers fall into this category...their dimming action is due to not passing the full waveform.
Some but not all photoelectric switches work this way. I have one like that and it was notable for turning a lamp (regular incandescant) on and off gradually--as daylight changed--it dimmed the bulb up or down. I recently replaced it with one that was full on / full off with an internal relay. I suppose there may be some electronic timers designed specifically for incandescents lights that work the same way. But if the electronics drives a relay to do the actual switching, or certainly an electromechanical timer, will be just fine.
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That last sentence if dubious, although well intended. Intermatic makes a digital timer which uses a small relay to actually switch the light. The package says it's OK to use with compact fluorescent bulbs, but I had 3 of these timers go bad on me. The company said the relay was just too small for <don't recall this part> blah blah blah, and they wouldn't have it modified and ready for sale until next year. They ended up sending me a different model whose final switching stage is non-mechanical, and I'm back to using an incandescent bulb for my porch. If I had the time, I'd run a line to the cellar and install the old-style timer - the kind in the grey metal box with a wheel inside.
Anyway, you have to check the instructions that come with a timer, and even then, it still may not work.
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On Fri, 28 Oct 2005 04:20:25 GMT, Steve Kraus

Thanks. I didn't know about the triac stuff etc. I guess I've never had one.

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We had problems with installation orientation when we first purchased Lights of America bulbs. Some burned out in just a few hours use upside down. We've had no problems with any other brand.
Gideon
============= Trekking Tom wrote Do not install them in a wet environment ( bathroom) or installed upside down, or inside a globe. The electronic get too hot and will brun themselves out. I have them in my outdoor lights and they work great. Also through out the house.
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http://www.servicelighting.com/catalog_product_list.cfm?cat_num 0203&link_c=light-bulbs-fluorescents>

Three years ago we changed about 40 bulbs throughout the house with compact fluorescents, and only one has burnt out. The lights are instant-on, do not flicker, are a pleasing yellow-white light, and take less than 1/4 the juice to run, vs incandescents, so payout at two dollars a whack (common on-sale price) is impressively short.. You get the drift . . . .we've become total fans. Please be aware on the website you post, the prices shown at service lighting are outrageous. We pay about 2 bucks a bulb or less, when you get six packs, say, at Home Depot. Our local ACE hardware sells the same models for 6-8 bucks per bulb. Don't get it. Also, be aware that the "covered" bulbs have less light output, and heat up more. We always get the exposed spiral shaped compacts - the covered ones only for exterior exposed areas.
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