converting kitchen fluorescent light to recessed light


Hi all,
We have Fluorescent Light Fixtures in our kitchen and has a total of 12 tubes of 3ft long at 30 watt per tube. 4 of them already out and I have replaced almost all of the other 8 tubes, recently one or 2 of the tubes is starting to go out. Sometimes it turned on sometimes it doesn't. I was thinking would it be more economical in the long run to replace the Fluorescent Light with "Recessed Light" and use compact fluorescent bulbs instead? The Fluorescent tubes are very expensive compare to compact fluorescent bulbs. Would this be a diy job?
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Research LPW= Lumen Per Watt. incandesant are 17-19 Lpw, encompasing all flourescent you go from 40 - 100 LPW its easy to see you have options that will save you money. Some old T8 tube are around 40 LPW and CFLS are about the same, you should look at a mix of T8 of 100 Lpw of soft white and CFLs
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You should have long life from those tubes. If you don't have a good ground to the fixture, that can cause problems and poor quality ballast and sockets can also cause the problem. I would start there.
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On Jul 19, 6:36 pm, snipped-for-privacy@columbus.rr.com wrote:

Yes, I was also thinking that standard fluorescents have long life, so something must be wrong. Certainly a lot longer than the CFL indoor flood type crap ones that are made to go into recessed light fixtures. Those are the worst CFL's I've seen. The spiral bulb ones seem to last. I guess you could screw some of those into recessed light fixtures, but they would probably require extenders and look like hell. Also, if you do that, be aware that some sprial types say they can't be used pointed down.
The sealed flood type CFL's I have used have 2 big problems:
1 - They take minutes to get any reasonable amount of light, way longer than the typical spiral type.
2 - A good number of them fail after only a few months use.
Now, I know someone is going to tell me how wonderful they are, but the problem is there is no way to know which ones warm up fast, which ones last, etc. And the product lines, manufacturing, etc is changing so fast, that what someone bought 3 months ago may be different by now.
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On Sun 20 Jul 2008 03:38:51a, told us...

12
tub
it
fluorescent
Let me be the first to tell you how wonderful they are. We have 12 recessed cans in our kitchen. When we moved into the house a year and a half ago, we installed CFL flood lights. They actually contain a spiral design CFL within the flood light shaped housing. They reach full brightness in under 3 seconds (I just timed them). No, I'm not going to climb up to the ceiling to find out what brand they are. :-) We bought them at Home Depot. These are R-40 size bulb shapes with 23 watt CFLs enclosed.
--
Wayne Boatwright
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on 7/21/2008 11:54 PM Wayne Boatwright said the following:

It doesn't matter what name is on them, they are all made in China, and probably at the same plant. If you belong to a membership club, like Sam's Club, BJs, or Costco, you can get them a lot cheaper than HD or Lowes. I bought an 8 pack of GE 13 watt CFLs (= 60 watt incandescent) for about $12 and change at Sam's. Their 3 pack of GE 26 watt (R-40) CFL floods goes for $13 and change.
--

Bill
In Hamptonburgh, NY
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"Standard fluorescents" do indeed have long life; which means little maintenance, once installed. We are "hep", or whatever is today's parlance, on standard 48 inch flourescents!
But thanks for that price info; must look at our (Canadian) Wal Mart and Costco prices! Sound very reasonable for 'good' CFLs!
To the OP. Don't scrap those 48 inchers without IMO some thought!
We have great success in our kitchens etc. using two tube 48 inch fluorescent fixtures. Initially the new fixtures were reasonable cost (around $20); the tubes last for ages (many years) although used a lot. We also have a stock of slightly used tubes, and spare ballasts galore so repair if necessary is easy. The one darkish spot is over our kitchen sink counter where it might be a good idea to install an additional thin short fluorescent tube unit, probably a 24 incher? That will fit under the cabinet.
We also use 'used' (second hand) fluorescent fixtures (from a school renovation project), in our workshop, garage etc. However two, four tube, fixtures were found dumped in a gravel pit; looks like someone was intending to scrap the copper out of the ballasts but got tired! With minimal repairs those two now function above one of our 12 foot work benches. Another; which now needs new (i.e. slightly used) tubes is above an 'electronics/radio' work bench in another area. All were free.
In fact the only items bought for all this lighting was a batch of the 'newer' type 48 inch tubes for use in the some ten ex-school 'electronic ballast' fixtures; whci now provide some 40 continuous feet of lighting in main basement workshop. When we asked the contractor if we could take 'some' of the fixtures being dumped the only question was, "Can you take all of them?". So we took all twelve that weren't actually broken up and now have two spare fixtures. Unfortunately most of the tubes in the electronically ballasted fixtures had been broken but we got several that were OK. But a batch of tubes was aonly around $25 wholesale. Also since installing the used 'electronics' a couple of years ago we have had to replace only one (of the original tubes).
Using other 'used' fixtures in workshop/garage and other work areas where appearance is not first consideration during some 20+ years we have replaced, at most IIRC, two or three ballasts. Where we have needed to install used ballasts has been when 'recovering'/ refurbishing used fixtures before installing them or giving them away to neighbours etc. Right now I owe an acquaintance a used/refurbished fixture (with tubes) for his tool shed; in return for some of his tool sharpening.
So before getting rid of the 48 inchers give it some thought; most are highly reliable and give a good 'spread' of light which we find useful in kitchen and other work areas. As opposed to multiple ceiling pot lights equipped with CFLs. BTW this is single storey dwelling so that the ceiling above our kitchen is insulated and has had additional insulation added twice with no fixture heat problems (although heat probably unlikely with CFL bulbs? But understand there are code requirements for NOT having insulation around recessed ceiling fixtures?) because our fluorescents are entirely below the ceiling and within the room. Our fixtures are about four inches deep but believe you can get 'skinnier' ones that lie flatter to the ceiling?
Very easy to change tubes; took a few minutes to put two brand new tubes into our daughters kitchen other day for a few bucks; for the first time in some ten years. The two tubes cost less than $5 and they will, hopefully, last another eight to ten years.
One slight problem is that some (many?) jurisdictions consider CFLs AND fluorescent tubes as 'Hazardous waste' and while trash collectors may not notice/question the occasional dud CFL (especially if it's in the box for the new one replacing it) buried in a bag of other grabage, a dud four foot tube draws attention and/or requires carful breakage into a long cardboard box if there is no recycling service in the area. Which, is the case, at the moment in our collection zone.
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I put my 4 foot fluroscents in a outdoor garbage can with bag. break lmps with broom handle the pieces drop in the bag.
wait a little and tie bag shut. problem over.
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On Tue 22 Jul 2008 09:40:23a, terry told us...

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OTOH, 48" fluorescent fixtures aren't the most attractive thing to have on your kitchen ceiling. I could see retiring them for use in a garage or basement, but I sure wouldn't want them in my kithchen.
--
Wayne Boatwright
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