Dusk to dawn fluorescent lighting


Hello,
Are dusk to dawn fluorescent lights good?
I've attempted to use fluorescent lights in my front porch light that, I think was originally meant for incandescent lights. When I used a CFL type bulb in it the sensor didn't last. Had to replace it and go back to using incandescent lighting.
This Hampton Bay advertises itself as a dusk to down outdoor fluorescent -
http://www.homedepot.com/h_d1/N-5yc1vZ1xi3/R-100665755/h_d2/ProductDisplay?langId=-1&storeId051&catalogId053
Hampton Bay Seville Collection 7 In. 1-Light Fluorescent Wall Lantern with Dusk-to-Dawn Photocell
Any input would be appreciated.
Thanks
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If there is a relay in the light, the fluorescent light should be fine. If it is very quiet, you can hear the relay clicking on and off with changes in illumination. If the sensor operates the light bulb directly, the fluorescent lamp will not work as the light will not come on fully, but gradually as it gets darker. Fluorescent bulbs are an all or nothing proposition unless you buy one that is meant to be dimmable, and even then I don't think it is a good idea.
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I use at several location about 30 HD cfls with a regular photocell and have no issues for 5 years, at one location I use 20 cfls on one photocell. New replacement photocells and cfls work together. If its a replacement fixture you want I have been getting maybe 6 years off the long thin style bulb, the one that has a plug in style socket, mine are inside and out in apartment buildings and it gets to -20f here. My cfls are in since 07 with 60% still fine and HD has a 7 yr warranty on them so I just return them, maybe the photocell you had go bad was just going bad. New stand alone replacement photocells are designed for flourescents, but they can die from line surges from the utility co.
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Not all cf's and photo control / dimmers get along. Cf's have a small high voltage supply in them that needs a fairly decent sine wave. Dimmers and photo cell controls generally wotk using scrs and triacs. There are cf's that work better with these and they will say dimmable. There are also cfs with built in photo controls. My guess is you used a regualr cf and it didn't like your photo control.
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Brent Bolin wrote:

http://www.homedepot.com/h_d1/N-5yc1vZ1xi3/R-100665755/h_d2/ProductDisplay?langId=-1&storeId051&catalogId053
I just got one of the low wattage units and keep it going 24/7.
Jon
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On Jun 7, 8:34am, "Jon Danniken"

You'er not really saving much energy that way. THey use about a 1/3rd of the electricity. In most regions it's dark about a 1/3rd of the day.
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jamesgangnc wrote:

My experience is that photo controls tend to turn lights on 30-45 minutes after sunset and turn them off 30-45 minutes before sunrise. That means 43-46% of the time the light would be on anyway.
Now, here's a trick to improve savings in outdoor applications for CFLs, should you find the common spiral ones to work to your satisfaction in your outdoor fixture in your location: Get ones of high color temperature, such as 5500K (Home Depot) or 6500K (Target or Lowes). The spectrum of those is richer in wavelengths that night vision is more sensitive to. Scotopic vision ("night vision") does play a significant role even when things are bright enough to see color and some detail, as bright as several lux to 10's of lux.
Because of this, in outdoor applications an incandescent can be replaced by a high color temperature CFL of around 20% of the incandescent's wattage if the CFL warms up properly and does not overheat. Make that maybe 15% if the incandescent is a 3500 hour industrial duty one or the like.
For that matter, I have seen a 5000K outdoor-rated CFL by Philips at Home Depot. I saw those there in only one wattage, however - 15 watts. And they are non-dimmable, so they are incompatible with photocell controls that are not rated to control CFLs.
--
- Don Klipstein ( snipped-for-privacy@misty.com)

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