Who has the best CF lights


I have seen a lot of reviews however the bulbs I bought on a few magazine recommendations turned out to be garbage. Pretty much all of the soft white ones give decent light, but each of the models I purchased had issues that are making it less cost effective to purchase CF lights than to purchase standard bulbs.
A few of them come on very very dim and take forever to come on full, some started humming after a month. Some just died even though they are supposed to last for 7 - 9 years or something like it. The globes Sylvania's I purchased for my vanity came loose off the base.
I am looking for: -- 60 and 100 watt equvilants -- Come up to near full light quickly -- Don't die before I get my money's worth -- Are not larger than standar bulbs -- Can be purchased at a local store (Home Depot, Lowes, Ace, Walmart, etc)
Any recommendations
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I see those at Target.
- Don Klipstein ( snipped-for-privacy@misty.com)
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Don Klipstein wrote:

That's the only store that I have local to me that "should" carry them; unfortunately, when I went to purchase some they had filled that spot on the rack with regular non-dimmable ones, and they are not available for purchase through Target's web site. I haven't seen GE CFLs at all in any other stores.
I actually wrote to the customer service email on Target's web site and got this in reply. (yes, I keep all old emails. I'm a pack rat.)

> (xxx) xxx-xxxx to see if this item is back in stock.
Clearly the rep didn't understand that the people stocking the shelves didn't understand the difference between dimmable and non-dimmable CFLs and therefore likely didn't realize that they were out of stock. Of course, you wouldn't expect that to be the case either...
It hasn't been a big enough deal for me to drive to an out of town Target to search them out, but it is somewhat annoying.
I've never tried *any* Philips bulbs for that matter, although I've heard that their dimmables are the best of all. Is there any major chain that carries them as a regular stock item? Or are they really good enough that it's worth mail ordering?
nate
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Don, given the choice, is it better to mount CFLs base up or base down. Assume that they are are getting good ventilation and I want to get the longest life out of them even if it means a little less light. What are the pros and cons of base up vs base down re what goes on inside the discharge tube?
thanks Mark
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Mark wrote:

In the rare event that one builds one's own light fixtures to have choice of orientation of the lamp ("light bulb") - optimum orientation of a CFL with integral ballast in/near its base appears to me to be:
Vertical base-down in cooler conditions, such as in table lamps.
Horizontal in ceiling lamps (so that the tubing and ballast minimize heating each other).
The tubing is typically designed for optimum operation when the "above-base bulb portion" is in an "ambient temperature" of 25 degrees C, 77 degrees F.
Much cooler - insufficient vaporization of the mercury, and that can make the CFL run dim.
Much hotter - excessive concentration of mercury vapor, and the mercury vapor excessively absorbs its own emission of a shortwave UV wavelength that causes the phosphor coating on the inner surface of the tubing to glow. So, overheating the tubing dims the light production from the tubing. Furthermore, overheating the tubing increases rather than decreases production of violet-blue and yellowish-green wavelengths of mercury vapor - not "self-absorbed" the way the main shortwave UV wavelength of mercury vapor is. That can detract from the color appearance and the color rendering index.
- Don Klipstein ( snipped-for-privacy@misty.com)
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Home Depot carries a few Philips CFLs - though I don't remember noticeing Philips dimmable CFLs there.
bulbs.com is an online outfit where I have memory of selling Philips products, especially CFL ones.
- Don Klipstein ( snipped-for-privacy@misty.com)
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On Jan 3, 11:52pm, snipped-for-privacy@manx.misty.com (Don Klipstein) wrote:

I haven't seen them at my local HD's... and I have three of them closer than any other chain. :(
Along the same lines, are there any good "full spectrum" or "daylight" CFLs on the market? I see that GE has released a "reveal" CFL, anyone used them yet? Reviews I saw online were mixed...
nate
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N8N wrote:

For full spectrum - probably Ott, which I sometimes see at Home Depot. They are more expensive, since the buyer has to pay for the hype of "full spectrum".
"Full spectrum" fluorescents have less luminous efficiency than others, due to having significant spectral content in deeper red wavelengths that human vision is less sensitive to. I would also be concerned that the phosphors degrade faster than the ones usually used in CFLs - where the radiation intensity is greater than in non-compact fluorescents.
Also, keep in mind that there is no definition of "full spectrum" accepted by any recognized standards organization such as IES or CIE, or by "the lighting industry".
As for daylight models:
My favorite - Sylvania "Craft Light", 5000 Kelvin. I have seen it in a few supermarkets and I believe it is available at Lowes. I have seen the packages claim "full spectrum", but the spectrum is a usual CFL one.
Meanwhile, the spectrum of 5000K - 6500K CFLs of usual spectrum and CRI of 82 stimulates all known and suspected receptors in human vision in a ratio similar to that of sunlight or daylight achieving same color temp.
Back to the 5000 K Sylvania - I usually find the color an icy pure white. When my vision is adapted to warmer colors of most home lighting, 5000 K appears to me slightly bluish.
If you want color temp. slightly higher - look at the daylight CFLs at Home Depot. Check their color temperatures - may be found only on the base region of the CFL. In my experience, Home Depot usually has 5500 K ones. To me, that usually appears slightly or extremely slightly bluish, occaisionally pure white.
For higher still - there is 6500 K. I somewhat remember Lowes having Sylvania ones that high, and Target has GE ones that high. To me, 6500 K appears to me definitely a slightly to somewhat bluish shade of white.
For not-bluish but still white - that is what I think of 4100 K. That color appears to me to be that of "average direct sunlight". So far, I have found 4100 K CFLs most easily at True Value hardware stores, of the Westpointe label.
Color temp. higher than 3500 K can appear "stark" in home use. 3500 K CFLs are "a whiter shade of warm white", and are available at Lowes. (Sylvania brand "daylight" - unusual to use "daylight" for so low a color temp - verify that the CFL is 3500 K.) I also see 3500 K CFLs at Home Depot, color is called "Bright White". But check to see if it is 3500 or 4100.
- Don Klipstein ( snipped-for-privacy@misty.com)
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On Jan 4, 2:37pm, snipped-for-privacy@manx.misty.com (Don Klipstein) wrote:

Wow, thanks for the long and thoughtful reply. Reason I am asking is that the other occupant of my house is very particular about light and definitely has a preference for high color temp and high CRI lighting and can definitely tell the difference between a generic CFL and a "full spectrum" incandescent. I like the cooler running and lower current draw of a CFL but also realize that some compromises need to be made in the name of domestic harmony.
How are the Ott "bulbs" in terms of instant-on and coming up to full brightness quickly? Those are *my* two main peeves about most of the CFLs available in my area (I'm looking at you, n:vision.)
nate
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N8N wrote:

Well, I ended up at Lowe's on my way home, and wouldn't you know it, they had a small selection of the Ott bulbs there. So I picked one up and brought it home. My impression: very white, very quick turn on, gets bright quickly. Really highlights the horrific color scheme in the bedroom in which I installed it (all of my stuff in there is dark red, blue, gold, etc. while the wall color - which I obviously did not choose - can charitably be described as pale baby vomit) Really did seem to do a good job of showing true colors, however. When I moved it downstairs, it correctly showed the wall color as blue tinted, whereas the Sylvania ones don't show any blue on the wall at all but make it look reddish-orange. (all of the walls in my house are very pale colored, but each room has a subtle tint. e.g. the little bedroom is faintly tinted pale green, the tiny bedroom is pale yellow, etc. Some of the colors work for me, some, not so much.)
The girl called it "creepy." So I guess while she *says* she likes "full spectrum" what she really means is that she wants something with a higher color temp than the typical "warm white." She says that she likes the light from those blue tinted incandescents, e.g. Reveal or whatever the Philips equivalent is.
We walked around the house looking at the various lights of the motley assortment that we had (mostly Sylvania and GE,) and wouldn't you know it, the light that she actually *liked* best was the "Lightwiz" branded one in the hallway - I believe a leftover from the previous owners, because I don't recall ever having seen them for sale. Go figure.
pretty sure it's this one:
http://www.energycircle.com/store/lighting/cfl-s/lightwiz-15w-4-pack.html
The GE ones that I have are similar in turning on quickly and brightly, but the color temp is a little lower, too "warm."
The Sylvania ones are even more "warm" and also have an annoying delay/flicker on startup.
The Sylvania "dimmable" ones are frankly kinda awful, and I might just replace them with some Reveal incandescents and be done with it. VERY slow warmup and awful pinkish tint even when finally bright. Haven't tried GE ones yet but I seem to be spending a lot of money here and there trying to find an "eco-friendly" lighting solution for various places around the house, so the *financial* savings really aren't there.
The n:vision globe type ones in the bathroom are equally awful and for the same reasons, although the tint in those tends to purple.
nate
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N8N wrote:

I have one.
When I am looking white surfaces illuminated by it, I find it appears to me more incandescent-like than most CFLs.
The phosphor formulation has its green component's spectrum centered in mid-green to slightly bluish green, as opposed to the slightly yellowish green used in most CFLs. Green content is then reduced and red content is increased to maintain color of the light overall.
This CFL causes red objects to appear "brighter than normal", with the same slightly orangish rendition of reds (in comparison to incandescents) that is usual of warm-color fluorescents. It also causes skin tones and wood tones to be "more orangish-reddish than normal". It also causes orange objects to be "slightly more red than normal".
I suspect it makes food, clothing and people to be found generally more attractive in color. Other than that, I find the color rendering effects "slightly wierd".
- Don Klipstein ( snipped-for-privacy@misty.com)
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<SNIP previously quoted material>

Not fire hazards if they are UL listed and the UL listing is genuine (such as with major brands or ones sold by major big name retailers).
It is common, especially during end-of-life failure, for one end of the tubing, sometimes both ends, to get hot enough to cause the plastic to discolor. Not even char - only discolor.
If the CFL in question has genuine UL listing, then the plastic is appropriately flame retardant.

CFLs are what I have used for all of my regular home lighting since 1990. I have been happy with ones of "Big 3" brand (GE, Sylvania and Philips) and with the Energy Star logo with few exceptions:
1. A pair of GE 25 watt spirals from around 2001-2002 dying young, apparently from a lousy batch - strikingly similar to a 25 watt Lights of America one that did the same thing.
2. Many Sylvanias with the 3000 K color appear to me somewhat harsh - whitish/pinkish, or in comparison to incandescents, slightly purplish.
3. Ones with outer bulbs tend to be worse at starting dim and taking long to warm up.
Ones with the Energy Star logo are supposed to meet various performance standards.
- Don Klipstein ( snipped-for-privacy@misty.com)
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