I've had a couple decent brands of CFL but I'm changing over to LED.
So far all I have is one Cree and ten Osram Daylight. To me, the Cree
looks a bit dingy compared to the Osram. I've not had them long
enough to say anything about life span as the oldest is less than a
I put LED bulbs in 4 outside lamp posts and 1 LED flood. The flood light
is on the subdivision sign. The flood fixture has 2 20 watt LEDs and
looks much better than the 2 150 watt halogen tube fixtures it replaced
and has been there just a bit over a year. 2 of the lamp post units have
2 mini candelabra bulbs in each. Originally they were 60 watt
incandescent flame tip bulbs. They were replaced with 4 5 watt, frosted
lamps from Lowe's (UtiliTech). They have been a dismal failure. While
they look good, they only have lasted a few months. Lowe's made good on
the 5 year warranty, however, they seemed have stopped selling them ...
red flag??? They now only have the clear ones. So far, none of the clear
ones have quit. So maybe they just had some bad bulbs. BTW, these
fixtures are very large commercial looking units, so I don't think heat
is a problem.
Also, I have 2 post lamps on my property, which each use one Edison base
bulb. I replace these with the Utilitech (clear, Edison base, 5 watt)
units and they've been ok for over a year. Another clue that the others
may have had an inherent problem.
I've previously posted about changing out 2 utility room and 2 closet
fixtures which had 2 circline fluorescent lamps each. They were burning
out quite quickly and are pretty pricey to replace. I gutted the fixture
and put in a quad Edison socket in 3 of the fixtures. I used 4 60 watt
equivalent Crees in each. In one closet I left the Circlines because
it's rarely used and has never burned out. In the utility room there are
2 fixtures ... a bit too bright for everyday use, however, nice if you
need to do some close work. So, I put in a dimmer. In the other closet,
the 4 60 watt equivalent Crees work very well, however in all of these,
time will tell.
I also have a few other LED lamps scattered around the house, mostly
Cree and even one 3 way. They are working quite well. BTW, my local
power company (Duke) has a deal on up to 15 of the 40 or 60 watt
equivalent Crees for about $3 each. I used 12 of the 60s for the above
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All CFLs seem to be a crap-shoot as to longevity. In theory, the
fluorescent bulb lasts a long time. When they finally fail, the ends of
the tube are black, just like the old cylindrical lamps
In practice, most of the CFLs I've had fail were due to electronics
failures after a few months to a couple years of intermittent use. I
have opened up several to see if they might be repairable. One had an
obvious loose connection that was easily fixed. All the others had
parts go bad, usually resulting in their fuse blowing. One was so
incinerated that there was obviously a flame involved, although you
could not tell from the outside.
LED lights should have longer life than CFL. I suspect their life will
also be limited by their electronics. The few I have used are still
working, but it is too soon to know how they will hold up. If there is
less electrical stress involved, that could be a long time compared to
CFL. Since none have failed, I have not taken any apart.
My only complaint about LED lights has been that some cause interference
to radio reception. The dimmable lights seem to be worse than
non-dimmable. If you have a radio that can be tuned to the aeronautical
band (120 MHz AM), you can use it to compare lights.
My experience has been similar with cfl's. In addition, I've bought a
few that emit an annoying squeal. Then there were 2 with a white light
so annoying that they now reside outside where it does not matter.
My cfl's, and I suspect led's, fail when turned on and off frequently
such as in a bathroom.
I have replaced most of the bulbs in our house with CFL bulbs. The early
CFL bulbs didn't last very long, but the ones in recent years seem to be
much better. I'm not positive on the brand, but I think I have been getting
the EcoSmart brand that comes in four packs at Home Depot (60W equivalent
soft white). Some bulbs have lasted years, others die in a few months. You
never really know which ones will last and which ones won't. I even use
them in outdoor fixtures with no problems.
In the last year or two, I've started replacing the CFL bulbs with CREE
brand LED's. So far none of them have stopped working. The glass bulb did
come unglued from one of the CREE LED's in the kitchen (hangs upside down).
It still worked, but I replaced it anyway.
I just installed a couple of 75W equivalent CREE LED's in our kitchen and
it helped give off a bit more light.
I'm planning to replace all of our CFL's with the CREE LED's when the CFL's
Unfortunately, I still need to use regular incandescent bulbs in our
dimmers. I tried dimmable CFL's and the CREE LED's and neither works very
well. They dim slightly to a point, then just shut off. I am not able to
dim to the low level light needed in our living/TV room. They make dimmers
specifically for CFL and LED lights, but so far I have not found one that
is controllable by an infrared remote control.
Local hardware store had packs of 3 FEIT "60W" LEDs for $5. Big improvement
over CFLs. Brighter, whiter. I bought 1 pack because I am not a FEIT fan;
went back and bought 2 packs more after seeing the difference. No telling
how long they will last.
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