How compact fluorescents may affect your electronics


http://209.85.165.104/search?q che:0OvbPfiY4xMJ:fl-ink.com/phantom.htm+technics+sa-r277+manual&hl=en&gl=us&ct=clnk&cd=6&lr=lang_en|lang_iw|lang_es&client=firefox-a
... Neither company had any idea what was causing the problem, although each assured me it couldn't possibly be their units. Three cable boxes and two remotes later the problem still persisted. In a typical incident, the cable box, apparently unhappy with the movie we were watching, started jumping randomly from channel to channel; the remote control had no affect on it at all.
It can't be all three boxes, I mused. Something must be interfering with the remote's signal to the box. Or maybe it's the signal from the cable. Everything seemed to work fine during the day, but not in the morning or evening. What was different? Feeling a bit foolish I turned off all the lights. To my delight, the remote worked again. Turning the lights on one at a time narrowed the problem down to the new energy saving fluorescent lights we had installed several months back, in midsummer, when we weren't watching much TV.
Apparently, the new fluorescents produced a broader spectrum of light than the standard incandescent bulbs they replaced. They seemed to be producing an infrared signal that blinded our cable box and occasionally mimicked the remote control's signals.
Energy efficient fluorescent lights are manufactured by many companies. I contacted several of the leading manufacturers and all acknowledged the problem. Though it is widespread, fluorescent light interference with remotes is so intermittent and unpredictable that nobody I spoke with could indicate how many homes might be affected.
"Yes, we have had some complaints," Scott Mack, a spokesman for Philips Lighting told me. Don Lowry, Director of Engineering for Matsushita Electronics (parent of Panasonic, Quasar, Technics) also acknowledged that, "We have had some problems." However, Lowry added that Matsushita feels "we have the problem well in hand in our product line," and is working to help define standards for the industry.
Compared with the energy savings fluorescent lights can yield, remote control interference "is a minor inconvenience,"** Mack asserted. His
best advice was to move the lamp to a different electrical circuit and make sure it was at least ten feet away from any equipment. When I pointed out the impracticality of his solution, he assured me the problem is being worked on, and Philips hoped to have a solution soon. ...
Unlike most webpages, this one actually has evidence of the date, 1994. !!! I don't even remember there being CF?s back then. In fact I don't remember the whole year. So maybe this isn't a problem anymore. Does anyone know?
It's a darn good thing he gave a date, or I'd be thinking it was in the last year or two, the only time I've pondered cf?s.
**==> I'm as cheap as anyone, but paying extra for electricity is only money, it's no inconcvenience. But having the station change when someone is in the middle of an imprtant sentence can be an enormous inconvience. I've been watching tv through a different VCR lately, using the tuner, and it turns off after an hour for no apparent reason. It gives about 15 seconds warning, and I'm usually in another room.
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Oops. This was never about COMPACT fluorescents, just about fluorescents. They mentioned traditional and non-traditional, and I was thinking about this year. When I saw the date, 1994, I didn't make full use of that info!
http://209.85.165.104/search?q che:0OvbPfiY4xMJ:fl-ink.com/phantom.htm+technics+sa-r277+manual&hl=en&gl=us&ct=clnk&cd=6&lr=lang_en|lang_iw|lang_es&client=firefox-a
... Neither company had any idea what was causing the problem, although each assured me it couldn't possibly be their units. Three cable boxes and two remotes later the problem still persisted. In a typical incident, the cable box, apparently unhappy with the movie we were watching, started jumping randomly from channel to channel; the remote control had no affect on it at all.
It can't be all three boxes, I mused. Something must be interfering with the remote's signal to the box. Or maybe it's the signal from the cable. Everything seemed to work fine during the day, but not in the morning or evening. What was different? Feeling a bit foolish I turned off all the lights. To my delight, the remote worked again. Turning the lights on one at a time narrowed the problem down to the new energy saving fluorescent lights we had installed several months back, in midsummer, when we weren't watching much TV.
Apparently, the new fluorescents produced a broader spectrum of light than the standard incandescent bulbs they replaced. They seemed to be producing an infrared signal that blinded our cable box and occasionally mimicked the remote control's signals.
Energy efficient fluorescent lights are manufactured by many companies. I contacted several of the leading manufacturers and all acknowledged the problem. Though it is widespread, fluorescent light interference with remotes is so intermittent and unpredictable that nobody I spoke with could indicate how many homes might be affected.
"Yes, we have had some complaints," Scott Mack, a spokesman for Philips Lighting told me. Don Lowry, Director of Engineering for Matsushita Electronics (parent of Panasonic, Quasar, Technics) also acknowledged that, "We have had some problems." However, Lowry added that Matsushita feels "we have the problem well in hand in our product line," and is working to help define standards for the industry.
Compared with the energy savings fluorescent lights can yield, remote control interference "is a minor inconvenience,"** Mack asserted. His
best advice was to move the lamp to a different electrical circuit and make sure it was at least ten feet away from any equipment. When I pointed out the impracticality of his solution, he assured me the problem is being worked on, and Philips hoped to have a solution soon. ...
Unlike most webpages, this one actually has evidence of the date, 1994. !!! I don't even remember there being CF?s back then. In fact I don't remember the whole year. So maybe this isn't a problem anymore. Does anyone know?
It's a darn good thing he gave a date, or I'd be thinking it was in the last year or two, the only time I've pondered cf?s.
**==> I'm as cheap as anyone, but paying extra for electricity is only money, it's no inconcvenience. But having the station change when someone is in the middle of an imprtant sentence can be an enormous inconvience. I've been watching tv through a different VCR lately, using the tuner, and it turns off after an hour for no apparent reason. It gives about 15 seconds warning, and I'm usually in another room.
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mm wrote:

http://209.85.165.104/search?q che:0OvbPfiY4xMJ:fl-ink.com/phantom.htm+technics+sa-r277+manual&hl=en&gl=us&ct=clnk&cd=6&lr=lang_en|lang_iw|lang_es&client=firefox-a
It isn't the spectrum, it's the high frequency flickering. This has been a known issue for years, I personally don't experience any difficulties but some more poorly designed equipment may, especially older stuff made before CFLs were common. A different brand of CFL may also solve the problem as the ballast may run at a different frequency.
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wrote:

That was more of a problem in early compacts and early electronics. Both manufacturers of lights and electronics are cognizant of this and working to resolve the problems. In the meantime, you can often just shield the receiving sensor from direct light and eliminate the problem.
Compact fluorescent's are pretty good, but they are not "broad spectrum." Use a compact disc as a diffraction grating and look at the spectrum from the lamps versus incandescent lamps and sunlight if you don't believe it.
-
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Modern ones use a trichromatic phosphor, which is a blend of red, green and blue emitting phosphors in the correct proportions to produce the desired color temperature. Some fluorescents are much more of a broad spectrum source but the halophosphate phosphors are less able to hold up to the high power density of the compact lamps.
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I have serious doubts of need of "broad spectrum". I surely consider "good enough" high color rendering index as well as stimulating all known and suspected photoreceptors in human eyes in ratio roughly similar to that of the "desired broad spectrum light sources", and that is easily enough achieved with a spiky spectrum. Color and appearance of the light and rated color rendering index are good indicators of these issues.
- Don Klipstein ( snipped-for-privacy@misty.com)
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mm wrote:

http://209.85.165.104/search?q che:0OvbPfiY4xMJ:fl-ink.com/phantom.htm+technics+sa-r277+manual&hl=en&gl=us&ct=clnk&cd=6&lr=lang_en|lang_iw|lang_es&client=firefox-a
It might have been true 15 years ago when CFLs weighted a pound each and used low frequency magnetic ballasts, but today its just not a problem.
NT
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i got a budweiser neon sign that screws the hell out of my satellite receiver and TV. i got to have the remote right up at the device to control it. so that thing emits infrared like crazy then. :-)
turn the sign off, all is fine.

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wrote:

Does it at least receive Busdweiser when it won't get the remote right?
Anyhow, as I said in the next post, which I'm afraid someone might have missed, I'm sorry. This was never about COMPACT fluorescents, just about fluorescents. They mentioned traditional and non-traditional, and I was thinking in this year's mode of thinking. Even when I saw the date, 1994, it didn't make me figure things out as I should have. Thank goodness they had the date on the webpage or I'd still be confuse.

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mm wrote:

Really ? I thought it was.
Never had any such trouble myself with them though.
Graham
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The issue is mostly with fluorescents powered by electronic ballasts. In home use, this is mostly with compact ones.
However, I do believe that in the past several years the more reputable manufacturers have been taking this issue into account and making their integral-electronic-ballast CFLs non-problematic in this area!
- Don Klipstein ( snipped-for-privacy@misty.com)
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Don Klipstein wrote:

Indeed. I've been using these extensively for many years.

Sounds sensible.
Graham
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I spent a winter in Arizona, traveling in a large Motor Home !!
When the 12Volt DC. Fluorescent Lights were On, The TV remote controllers were blocked !!! unless the Remote Control Receivers' Sensors were shaded from the light from the Fluorescent Tubes.
A few moments of analysis concluded that the ~15KC modulation of the remote controllers were probably overwhelmed by the ~15KC Modulation of the Fluorescent Tubes being driven by the 12Volt DC. Ballasts ! Just shading the R/C Sensors from the direct output of the Fluorescent Tubes solved the immediate problems. I presume that this is the nature of the Beast that you are attempting to describe. I made no attempt to measure the frequencies involved, since the Sunshades solved most of the problems. It wouldn't take much effort to hook up a Scope to measure the frequency of the R/C, the 12Volt Ballast operated Fluorescent Lamps would be a little more difficult due to the distances involved !
Yukio YANO VE5YS

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