I just had the third one of the CFL's (compact flourescent lights) go
bad within about a year... Wondering if one brand of CFL bulbs are
better than others?? The old incandescent bulbs last way longer it
Welcome to my world. I bought into the be-green-use-CFL hype, and ended up
spending a lot of money on CFL bulbs that for the most part don't last a
year. Yes, they have warranties. I don't bother with them though - it's not
worth the trouble and I don't want another crap bulb that will burn out in
Like you, I'd like to know what brand of bulbs actually last the 5-10 years
they are supposed to last.
Odd, I've had a regular indoor CFL (because that's what I had handy)
in my front porch for over a year and it's still going. I expected it
to fail but it hasn't yet. I think I have only replaced one CFL, ever
(installed at bottom of basement steps; might have been bumped by
moving stuff around)
I have one in my front porch that has been there for 3 years. However, I
don't turn my porch light on very often, so that probably isn't a good test
of longevity. I used to use them in my bathroom, but got tired of them
burning out. Same for dining room and kitchen. It doesn't seem to matter
where/how they are used.
I have a lot that is supposed to be for high temp locations. So far they
seem to be doing well, but it was a one-time purchase at HD, and I'll
probalby never see the brand again.
On Fri, 13 Mar 2009 13:29:22 -0700, in alt.home.repair, "Zootal"
When I bought my house seven years ago, I bought a bunch of the cheapest
CFLs that Lowe's offered (Sylvania brand, 13 watt). I installed them almost
everywhere. Some didn't last long, but most did. The ones that failed did
so within the first year. The rest are still installed, working and being
used more or less every day.
Where I used them is places where they are turned on and left on for hours
at a time. I didn't put CFLs where lighting is needed infrequently and/or
only for short periods each day (closets, bathrooms, most exterior
locations). I don't know if that's a false economy. And there were places
where standard fluorescent lighting was the right choice (kitchen, garage).
One CFL I wouldn't waste my money on again is a 3-way CFL. Its three levels
are "dim", "slightly less dim", and "no brighter than the last level".
Maybe that particular technology has improved since then, though.
I put CFLs in two ceiling fans, and I've been pleasantly surprised at how
well they tolerate that environment.
On Sat, 14 Mar 2009 00:33:06 GMT, firstname.lastname@example.org (Scott) wrote:
I second the recommendation for Sylvania, and I also have had very
good results with Phillips (I've got one that's going on 7 years of
service now, and several others surpassing 5 years). Also agree on
assigning CFLs to locations where the bulbs will remain on for
extended periods of time, not on and off like in closets or bathrooms.
I broke open the base of a failed CFL.
There were over a dozen electronic components packed in there.
I'm guessing that many of the premature failures occur
because the lamp enclosure isn't vented enough.
and is running too hot.
The heat must be hell on the components in a CFL.
They don't have to worry about this in incandescant encloures.
It would be interesting to measure the temp near the base
after the lamp's been on a while.
The ones that have gone bad for me have just been in a socket out in
the open in my basement. They don't seem to actually burn out but the
electronics in them must go bad because all of my bad ones will
eventually light up if I leave the switch on for a long time (up to an
hour). I have a couple locations where the lights are on and off
frequently but they are some of the longest lasting CFL's that I
have. Go figure.
Most of mine appear to be some sort of bulb burnout/damage. The base of the
bulb itself is usually discolored. I'm guessing, of course, I don't know if
that was why it failed. A few also show signs of getting hot - discolored
bases, mostly, even though they are in a well ventilated location. I suspect
that the electronics aren't ventilated properly and can't take the heat, and
the manufactures haven't all figured that out yet (or don't care).
Remember back in the late 1970s and 1980s when car makers were playing with
electronic ignition and electronic engine control? At first they put the
control box under the hood. What idiot figured that you can take electronic
components and put them in a place that gets up to 150 degrees or more?
Needless to say, they went bad right and left. Then some genious (wasn't VW
the first, followed by the Japanese?) figured that if you put the control
box in the passenger compartment, it won't get too hot, and now they last
20+ years instead of 2 or 3.
Eventually the makers of CFLs will figure out that, duh, you have to keep
the electronics from getting too hot...
Not the HD brand thats for sure. I spent big bucks to replace 9
ceiling can PAR floods (6 inch cans) with dimmable CFL's (100 watt
equiv light output). I have some old halogen ones in some other cans
that are used just as frequently. Well, all 9 of the dimmable CFL
floods bulbs stopped working after about 4 to 6 months. The halogen
PAR floods in the other cans have been going for about 5 years with
only one replacement. Both circuits use the same brand high-wattage
I think the new dimmable CFL's are something you definitely want to
stay away from. Since my town now charges extra for people to recycle
(no profit in recycling anymore I guess), my CFL's will be in a
The best use for CFL's I experienced to date is in outdoor lighting,
they do last much longer in severe conditions like that, and I hate
changing the outdoor bulbs (mud, ladders, dropping the thumbscrews,
The newer bulbs tend to last longer. The published life is based on a
minimum 4 hour burn time. The more you turn them on and off, the
quicker they'll burn out. But before everybody freaks out, you should
know that even if a bulb burns out 75% faster than advertised and you
don't recycle them properly, you STILL prevent more mecury from
getting into the environment--AND, you'll save enough money on
electricity charges to buy another CFL and still have change left
over. The electricity to burn a standard incandescent bulb (from a
coal fired plant) pollutes almost twice as much.
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