I have a hallway light in a globe that used to burn out a bulb
at least every 6 months before I switched to CFL's. I put a CFL
in it about 2 years ago and it hasn't burned out yet.
I also tried some of the three way bulbs in a three way lamp
and have not been as lucky with them. I was lucky to get 2
months out of them, so I stopped using them.
Use a Sharpie to write the date of installation and the source on the bulb's
base. When (if) it fails, return it.
It's possible that, if enough people do that, we'll see truth in labeling.
Or maybe not.
I have no problem with one in a kitchen fixture like this. Been there
2-3 years where with incandescent's, I was replacing maybe every 6
months. Closed fixtures don't like a lot of heat but cfl's give off
less than incandescent's.
What I don't like is use in short term fixtures like bathrooms. By the
time you get them up to full light, you're out of the bathroom. I just
had one burn out after less than 6 months.
Also, I've noticed they all tend to hum. It can be annoying if you are
working close to the cfl and there is no background noise.
Personally I like them in inaccessible places where light burns for long
periods but don't like the government mandate that will ban
incandescent's as cfl's are not a panacea and are annoying with their
hum and trying to use for short lighting periods.
Have more than 120 CFL's installed, some over 5 years. Base up,
horizontal, enclosed, open, some with many on/off cycles through the
day, driveway post lanterns, gagage door openers (3 w/ 2 CFL's each),
paddle fan lights, various table lamps. Every area except floodlights
on security system. I have had 3 failures in the period. Two in master
bath and one in basement. All 3 were in open fixtures, 2 w/base up and
1 w/base horizontal. Several brands, GE, Sylvania, Bright Star, etc,
but regardless of branding, all are listed as made in China.
Last week bought package of eight 13W @ Sam's Club for $1.86. GE
branded but made in China.
Enclosed fixtures accumulate heat. CFLs in ceiling fixtures can
overheat, depending on the fixture and orientation of the CFL. (Base-up
is worst, base-down is best.)
I have about 20 years of experience with an enclosed kitchen ceiling
fixture, roughly hockey-puck-shaped, about 8 inches in diameter and about
4.5 inches tall/deep. In that one, I use two 13-watt CFLs. In my
experience, they get about 4,000-5,000 hours life expectancy in that
fixture, about half they were rated for. It appears to me that in most
of the failures, heat is shortening the lives of the electronics inside
Maybe you could try replacing your 23W CFL with an 18W one. In the
likely event the 23W was overheating quite a bit, its light output was
reduced a little by the overheating. CFLs produce full light output only
when their tubing has temperature at or somewhat close to optimum. An
18W CFL is likely to produce only slightly less light than a 23W one does
in that fixture, once the fixture heats up.
While you are up to trying a different CFL, if you were using 2700 K
ones, you may want to try a 3500K one if you want a "whiter shade of warm
white". I would advise against color temps. higher than 3500K in most
home use - those usually cause a "stark" or a "dreary gray" effect at
usual home illumination levels.
Both Lowes and Home Depot have 3500K CFLs.
- Don Klipstein ( firstname.lastname@example.org)
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