Fluorescent bulbs


In the days of the incandescent bulb, special bulbs were made for use in vibration prone lights such as ceiling fans. How about these new fluorescent bulbs? Special bulb or are they all pretty long lasting?
Thanks, Dave M.
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Fluorescents should be fine. The "heavy duty" issue with them is the mechanical bond between the tube and the base of the bulb. I've seen some bulbs that were pretty weak here. Still, they should be fine to get bumped around.
With incandescent, the filament is fragile, so heavy duty bulbs provided stronger filaments.
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I have been using them in my droplights for several years. They are actually cheaper than the rough service bulbs made for droplights and last far longer too. I think the only ones I have had fail were those that I dropped or banged enough to break the glass. Larry
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Martel wrote:

And efficiency and light output were compromised.

The CFLs marketed as "ceiling fan" models tend to be lower wattage ones with outer bulbs. Wattage is often 9 watts, and they tend to be equivalent to a 40 watt "standard" incandescent, or to a 60 watt 130V vibration-resistant superlonglife model being operated at 120 volts.
The low wattage is preferred because ceiling fan sockets are typically within somewhat flower-shaped downlights that can accumulate heat around the heat-vulnerable ballast housing portion of the CFL.
Such "ceiling fan CFLs" also tend to have outer bulbs. I see the purpose being to allow people to screw the bulbs in and out by the bulb rather than by the base without stressing the fluorescent tubing that breaks easily.
The main downsides of "ceiling fan CFLs" are light output only being about that of higher-output name-brand 40W incandescents, and CFLs with outer bulbs tend to start dim and take a minute or two to warm up. For brighter starting and faster warmup, use bare spiral CFLs. Just screw them in and out by the ballast housing as opposed to the tubing. If you have to screw them in and out by the tubing, keep your fingers crossed - doing that can crack or break the tubing. Also beware that even bare spiral CFLs of more than 14 watts may overheat in ceiling fan fixtures, and CFLs of more than 18 watts can somewhat easily overheat in ceiling fan fixtures.
CFLs over 13 watts that better take the heat of downlight use are Philips SLS/"Marathon" triple-arch non-dimmable of wattage 15 to 23 watts. These may not fit your ceiling fan fixture, and may be hard to screw in without manhandling the tubing, but 23 watt ones get at least halfway from bright side of 75 watt incandescents to bright side of 100 watt incandescents.
- Don Klipstein ( snipped-for-privacy@misty.com)
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