Spiral fluorescent lighting - not getting anywhere near the 5 to 7 year life - anyone else?

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I swapped out my incandescent lights for the spiral fluorescent lights. They are rated for 5 years (some maybe 7years) at 4 hours usage per day. In both my old house and in my new home, I am not getting anywhere near that. My longest one, the one least used lasted 2 years.
With the initial higher cost of the bulb, I'm GUESSING I would need the bulb to last close to at least 4 years to pay for itself. The bulbs run about $7 for 3ea 100 watt equivalent (they use 26 watts) Maybe someone could help me on this math or show me how to figure out how long they'd need to last to be a better buy then incandescents.
Is anyone else using these fluorescent lights? I get them at Wal-Mart so it is whatever brand they carry. My current bad bulb is made by Commercial Electric. It had a 7 year guarantee. It was installed 2005-01-06. At the rated 4 hours a day, I should have gotten 10,192 hours of use. I had the bulb for about 19,000 hours. If I ran it non stop, day and night, I could have burned it out. But why the heck would I buy an energy saving bulb if I wasn't trying to save energy.
What kind of hours are YOU getting? Have you folks in CA switched yet before it becomes law?
Also, does anyone know of any light sources that use LEDs for the home? I saw one at Lowe's ( like a Home Depo/Builders Square ) but it seemed to be more for ambient light then to light a room or task lighting. But some kind of device with a few dozen LEDs in it that screwed into a standard socket would be pretty cool. I hear that LEDs are as more efficient then fluorescent. Don't know if it is true but I THINK I saw something that claimed the difference in efficiency between LEDs and fluorescent's was about the same as the difference between fluorescent's and incandescents. But that doesn't seem right to me because fluorescent's are in the 90-95% efficiency range, right? Again, I don't know, but I have started my search for better fluorescent and LED lights.
But I would like your feed back - mainly on the life of your fluorescent lights, but all the other stuff too.
( Got to remember to take the ambien after I write the emails. Wait, did I take it yet? Well, better to be sure and take one more.)
Thanks
Bonnie lass
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I got some of those GE brand ones at Walmart and all I have is trouble with them. I just installed one about 5 weeks ago and last week it began to go on and off all the time.
I have some of the original straight U shaped CF's that have been in my home for 5 years and they still work fine. One of them is left on all night every night. These new spiral ones are garbage, at least the GE brans sold at Walmart. I just complained to the company, and they said they want me to send the bulb and a receipt. I can send the bulb (as long as they payt the shipping), but I dont save receipts for small items. I got more important things to do with my time than collect paper. I think I am going back to common lightbulbs.
On Tue, 03 Apr 2007 01:51:58 -0400, Bonnie Peebles

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snipped-for-privacy@nomail.com wrote:

Well, it all depends upon what you are willing to do to enforce the representations the manufacturers make. If you are willing to do enough, you will make out fine; if not, you'll get screwed ( thats a pun with respect to light bulbs which I did not intend, but its still funny.) Me, I really don't like to let a manufacturer or a marketer get away with misrepresentations. YMMV.
I buy the compact flourescents in bulk at Costco. I staple the Costco recept to the blister pack. When I install a CFL I use a black sharpie to mark the installation date on the bulb base. If the bulb fails in less than 5 or 7 or whatever years as marked on the package, I have a canned letter in my word processor system which I send to Costco in Kirkland, WA and the bulb manufacturer. In every instance I have received a replacement buld at o cost.
I started this with a bunch of Phillips CFL bulbs which failed miserably in less s than 6 months. I had fortitously ( naw, honestly its a real junk pile out in the garage and I was just lucky) kept the bulb package and the receipt. After that experience I won't let the mfgrs. or the vendors screw me on the bulb life representations they choose o make. If a mfgr makes a representation / promise on bulb life, they need to live up to it.
Side note, other than a canderlabra / chandelier fixture for which I have found no replacement CFL fluted bulbs, and the outdoor security lights where ambient temperature works against CFLs, I have replaced every incandescent bulb in the house with CFLs. I have literally cut my KWH monthly by 33 %. Sadly, because of the rate increases ( Portland, OR - Portland General Electric), I haven't cut my bill by that much, but without the massive CFL replacement, and consequent KWH decline, my bill would be a whole lot higher. IU wuldn't co back to incandescents. .
Again, its a function of what you are willing to do, both for aggressive CFL replacement of incandescents and record keeping to keep the CFL manufacturers and vendors honest.
I am looking forward to reasonably priced LEDs.
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Bonnie Peebles wrote:

Fluorescent light lifetime is affected by how often it gets switched on and off. They're most effective when used for lights that stay on for a long time once they're turned on.
It only takes the equivalent of about 20-30 seconds worth of electrical power to turn on a fluorescent, but the more frequently you cycle them the faster they die.
Chris
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Each start uses up about 6 minutes of their 10K-20K hour lifetime.

No. Less than a second's worth of electrical energy.
Nick
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snipped-for-privacy@ece.villanova.edu wrote:

I'd love to see your sources on that. The lowest I've seen is about 5 seconds worth of running energy to turn it on, with most places giving the numbers I presented.
Chris
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Where did you find those numbers? :-)
Nick
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snipped-for-privacy@ece.villanova.edu wrote:

Just did some more digging.
Mythbusters did an episode where they actually measured it.
http://kwc.org/mythbusters/2006/12/episode_69_22000_foot_fall_lig.html
They found that for a standard fluorescent lamp (they didn't specify ballast type) it took about 23 seconds to make up for the startup surge. With a CFL, however, it took 0.015 seconds.
Some other sources specified a 5-second time for fluorescent lamps. However, these also looked at the deterioriation due to the actual switching and concluded that once you factor in lamp replacement you're better off leaving it running if you're going to need it in 15-20 minutes.
http://lightingdesignlab.com/articles/switching/switching_fluorescent.htm http://www.eere.energy.gov/consumer/your_home/lighting_daylighting/index.cfm/mytopic280 http://oee.nrcan.gc.ca/energystar/english/consumers/fluorescent-lighting.cfm?text=N&printview=N
Chris
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wrote:

http://www.eere.energy.gov/consumer/your_home/lighting_daylighting/index.cfm/mytopic280
http://oee.nrcan.gc.ca/energystar/english/consumers/fluorescent-lighting.cfm?text=N&printview=N
Where did this "starting surge" thing come from? I've worked with fluorescent ballasts for 30+ years and never saw anything in the specifications or on a 'scope to indicate there was more than a minor current pulse (a few milliseconds) at turn-on. For most CFLs you can't even see that.
Incandescent lamps are much, much worse. They can draw 20 times normal current at start-up from cold for the first cycle or two; but even that doesn't translate into anyting that shows up on the electric bill.
There's a reference called the Illuminating Engineering Society Handbook (8th. Ed.) which has all the curves. Unfortunately, it's not on line; but it is usually in technical libraries.
TKM
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http://kwc.org/mythbusters/2006/12/episode_69_22000_foot_fall_lig.html
Sounds bogus. For one thing, they wrote about "watts per hour" (meaningless in this context), until corrected. For another, it looks like they tested a 10 watt (very small) fluorescent, and they only measured the startup current, vs the energy, including the power factor.
If a lamp really used a lot more starting than running power, it would likely blow breakers on startup.
Nick
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nicksanspam ece.villanova.edu wrote:

That's just silly.

corp.supernews.com> <euu0gl$ga3 acadia.ece.villanova.edu> <131546ehgvnit29 corp.supernews.com>

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nicksanspam ece.villanova.edu wrote:

http://kwc.org/mythbusters/2006/12/episode_69_22000_foot_fall_lig.html

You ask someone for references, they go to the trouble of getting references for you, and then you continue spouting your lazy unsubstantiated opinion.
I've always understood that fluorescents are better for extended use.
The practice of leaving fluorescents on for extended periods of time in order to gain efficiency is well known and common, it's no secret to most of us. Modern ballasts still burn out, and that's full-size easy to design models.
Mine is obviously not intended for short term use, considering the fact it takes about one minute to fully shine.

corp.supernews.com> <euu0gl$ga3 acadia.ece.villanova.edu> <131546ehgvnit29 corp.supernews.com>

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It's not a secret. It's an old wive's tale :-)
Nick
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On Apr 3, 1:31 pm, snipped-for-privacy@ece.villanova.edu wrote:

Not unless was very small breaker or very large (or large numbers of) lamp(s)...
100W bulb draws nominally 1A or less at 120V. Typical minimum house wiring is 15A 14 ga and breakers include a time-delay so a 15A breaker is designed to not trip (iirc) on 30A for something like a couple of seconds. (I didn't look up the actual manufacturer/UL testing specs, but I believe the recollection isn't far off.) Fluorescents being more efficient on a per lumen basis gives them even larger margin even given the ballast starting.
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On Tue, 03 Apr 2007 01:07:02 -0600, Chris Friesen

SO, if I go in the bathroom for a total of one half hour per night and have two 60W indecesant bulbs in the fixtures, then I consume a total of 60W per day. If these same two fixtures each have 15W CF bulbs (equivalant to 60W), but have to leave them on 24/7, I am using 720W per day. That is far from being a savings, particularly when you consider the CF bulb costs $3 or so, and the indec bulb costs 25 cents. Until they come up with a CF bulb that can last as long as advertised, and can be turned on and off as needed, I will not buy any more of them. Besides the one that I mentioned yesterday that lasted 5 or 6 weeks, or less than 100 hours, I have had another one flare up, causing sparks and a bathroom filled with stinky smoke. Luckily no fire, but the smoke was terrible and seeing sparks blowing around the room is not my idea of fun. Additionally, this is not the first bulb that has died before its rated time. In fact, almost all of these spiral types are dying in short time, whereas the original straight CFs seem to last and last and last. I dont even see that type sold anymore.
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snipped-for-privacy@nomail.com wrote:

Watt hours ???? :-)

I would imagine that Chris was suggesting that fluorescent lighting was better used in locations where there would be longer use of the lights.
When I was in college many years ago we computed that the lights they were using at that time had to be off for more than 48 minutes to break even cost wise, not counting the cost of labor of replacement.
Today's lamps are far different and the penalty for short time usage is far less for the better lamps available today. However not all lamps available today are any better and I suspect some are worse. I suspect the differences we are seeing in results from CFs and other newer lamps has a lot to do with the quality of their design and build.
--
Joseph Meehan

Dia \'s Muire duit
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On Wed, 04 Apr 2007 01:36:28 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@nomail.com wrote:

I put a string of 35 yellow LED holiday lights in my bathroom. These give off enough light I almost never need the regular light.
Those lights consume about 1.8W. Multiplied by 24 hours, that's 43.2 watt-hours.
BTW, I always thought that "24/7" stuff sounded stupid. It's ALL THE TIME!
--
Mark Lloyd
http://notstupid.laughingsquid.com
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Mark Lloyd wrote:

That's 'cause you left off the /365 part.
--
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That\'s why stereo has two channels.
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As in "24/7/365"? I get the idea people who use that think they're describing one year, not the SEVEN that are actually there (365 WEEKS).
--
Mark Lloyd
http://notstupid.laughingsquid.com
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On Wed, 04 Apr 2007 12:26:01 -0500, Mark Lloyd

leprocy !!!!! :)

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