Flourescent lights humming?


I just put 3 flourescent replacement lights in my bathroom (shaped like a spiral, meant to replace the incandescent bulb in the same socket).
When I turn on the power there is a very audible hum. I know that flourescent's can hum but did not think it would be this bad. Is the humming a possible indactor of another problem? I can't have a bulb that makes this sound in a small bathroom.
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I forgot to say I needed silent lights where all is calm and all is bright.
badampa
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The spirals normally do not do this humming, bit I have found a couple that did. One was a 27 watt model and the other was a 30 watt model.
I have also known heat buildup problems in some fixtures with higher wattages, and even some complaints of early failures of 42 watt ones operated base-up apparently resulting from heat. I also saw a possibly heat-related failure of a 24 watt spiral, and those have been replaced by 23 watt ones due to improvements in efficiency of the electronics.
In addition, I have seen a slight trend of color of spirals being slightly harsher with higher wattages as wattage increases past 23 watts.
As a result of all of this data, I might suggest to use 23 watt ones if you were using a higher wattage. 23 watt spirals have light output a little over halfway from "75 watts" to "100 watts" of "standard incandescent" "equivalence".
The next step down in wattage in spirals is the 18-20 watt range, with 18 or 19 now being the norm here. Those have light output about that of 75 watt 120V "standard incandescents".
- Don Klipstein ( snipped-for-privacy@misty.com)
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Thanks for the info. These are 23 watt bulbs (100 watt equivalent), brand is "Bright Effects" item# 153972. I tried in a diffrent socket and all for bulbs (was a 4-pack) still have the hum.
Will have to take them back to Lowe's. I hope they don't give me any problems becase the package is mangled.
Sounds like you are saying that going with a lower wattage might reduce the hum. I like the brightness though so I might try another brand and see if I get lucky since you and others say that a hum is not typical.
Thanks for the reply.
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(To condense greatly to edit for space, he got 23 watt ones while my response before I knew this was to go for lower wattages such as 23 watts or less)
I aslo advise that results will gnenerally be better if:
1. The CFLs are of one of the "Big 3" major brands. They have a lot to lose from bad products having negative impact on their reputations. These are GE, Philips and Sylvania (in the USA).
2. The CFLs have an "Energy Star" rating/qualification. This means that the CFLs in question have achieved good energy efficiency and good usage when used as directed. The color is either in some specifiable way reasonably incandescent-like or "adequately" described as being a "specialty color" (my words) such as "3500K" (a whiter shade of "warm white") or sunlight-like or daylighht-like. Electrical and functional reliability have to be reasonably at least half-decent (my words).
- Don Klipstein ( snipped-for-privacy@misty.com)
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Don Klipstein wrote:

I've had the worst experience with the major brands. Sylvania and GE bulbs in particular have given me nothing but grief (two GE three-ways and one Sylvania died within a week of purchase, out of four bulbs purchased total). The off-brands bought from the store haven't done great either, though. I've had better success with bulbs bought online. Greenlite has been the best to me so far, with eight or so bulbs doing very well (though they're older, mechanically ballasted, so some of them buzz a tiny bit).

Agreed. This is the best way to ensure that the bulbs will be instant-on, flicker-free, silent, and reliable.
-Chris Snyder
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These had Engergy Star on the package. Go figure.
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Chad wrote:

Hmm... Those should have had electronic ballasts, which don't hum. It's possible, I guess, that the bulbs were older stock, and passed an earlier version of the Energy Star specification that didn't allowed mechanical ballasts.
-Chris
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I have used plenty of various sizes and brands, but never had one hum Try it in a different fixture. If it still hums take it back and try a different one. If it doesn't hum in the second fixture, well.. I am not sure what to say.
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They do hum in a different fixture also. Will have to take them back. Thanks for the reply.
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Chad spake thus:

As others have said, take it back where you bought it.
I've used all kinds of compact fluorescents, a real mongrel collection including some I got for a buck from one of those everything-made-in-China dollar stores, and *none* of them have ever hummed. (Nor whistled.)
The most annoying CFLs I have are the 20-watters I got at Ikea, back when they were the cheapest place to get them. They light OK, but they take several seconds to come on. I can get halfway across the room before they light up.
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Nebenzahl wrote in part:

I have tried 57 "models" of 19 "brands" of $.99-$2 compact fluorescents from dollar stores, and none have met their claims of light output. Some that I got fell short of claimed light output by a factor of more than 3, regardless of time spent warming up and room temperature. None significantly outshone a 40 watt 120V "standard" incandescent. Most did not claim to be UL listed, and most did not have FCC IDs. Some that came in packages saying "softwarm white light" produced a cold bluish "daylight" light. Most of the few that actually had a warm color had low color rendering index. A couple of them failed quickly and spectacularly.
I would advise to use compact fluorescents other than $.99-$2 ones from dollar stores.
- Don Klipstein ( snipped-for-privacy@misty.com)
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Don Klipstein spake thus:

Well, you're addressing an issue I didn't raise, but since you did, I have to say that even the dollar-store specimens I've bought put out the amount of light claimed. But yes, some of them had just horrible colors, ghastly bluish/greenish. Won't buy those again.
Never seen any of those infant mortalities you describe. Guess I'm just lucky.
'Round heah' (SF Bay Area), the best deals on CFLs are at various places where stores sell bulbs subsidized by the local greedy bastards^H^H^H^H utility company (Pacific Gas & Electric in this case); my favorite electronics shop in Bezerkeley is selling the 23-watters for $1.25 each.
And regarding brands, you can safely ignore the advice given by someone here to only buy big name brands (GE, Sylvania, etc.). The ones I've been buying both at this electronics place and at Home Despot are by Feit Electric, and they work fine.
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Chad wrote:

Do you by chance have an X10 wall switch that controls the lights? I've found that CFL bulbs aren't compatible with regular X10 wall switches or controllers.
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Ahem! "Fluorescent ......................." !
Must be one of the most misspelled words around?
But my spell checker catches it every time I do!
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terry wrote:

Why are you correcting me? I didn't even attempt to use the word.
I used the term "CFL"; any spelling errors of The Sacred Word were made by the original poster.
I merely quoted.
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

. I didn't. Just posted the 'next' numbered message in the thread to point out to all that the spelling in the origin of the thread was incorrect. Apologies if any offence was assumed.
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no X10 here
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