The 4-foot ceiling mounted flourescent light above the kitchen sink
would stop coming on reliably for a few months. I would leave the
switch on and eventually it would come on some time later. I had
changed the F40 tube before so thought perhaps it might be the ballast
instead. Went to Lowes and bought a replacement LED 4-foot light for
$35 minus coupons and replaced it this weekend.
The first thing I noticed was the old fixture's ballast was too hot to
the touch after turning it off. Not sure if that is normal, but I
didn't like the idea of it burning up and causing a fire. The next
thing I noticed is how much brighter the LED light is compared to the
old one. It is supposed to be equivalent to the old one but seems much
brighter. I also bought an LED 40 watt equivalent bulb for my desk
lamp and that one seems the same as the old one.
Wattage rating can be equivalent but K value could be higher with the
LED which will make it appear brighter. Chances are you bought a 4500,
5000 or even a 6000k LED. That's what they call daylight bulb.
At church they have 3000K, 3500K and 4100K. I find
the 3000 to be yellow. 4100 is blue white, and
the 35 are in between. I find the 4100 looks business
like, and the 3000 looks more homey.
Christopher A. Young
learn more about Jesus
I suspect the ballast was failing and the bulbs still had more life in them
that you thought given that slow start symptom.
I want to use something that's got easily accessible screw in Edison-type
bulbs with easy to remove diffusers. It seems that you can't do much better
than $2 per 60W screw-in LED but that's a lot of bulbs compared to the cost
of the tube type. The tube-type bulb doesn't eliminate the need for
broad-arm futzing and rotating (which Arthur Itis dislikes), either. Plus,
there's a ballast with every bulb. You can unscrew some in a multiple bulb
fixture and lower the light level and many 60W LED screw-in bulbs are
dimmable. I also don't know enough about the failure mode of tube light
LEDs to be able to tell if the whole bulb craps out or it just loses lumens
as individual LEDs burn out.
Those old 40W fluorescents shoplites were probably much brighter when they
I don't like the idea of the ballast heating up so much and wonder exactly
how they are powering the bulbs from the impressive selection of ballasts
out there. Ballasts and bulbs now come in a wide array of types (especially
the energy-saving ones) and many combinations are incompatible. I am not as
keen as I once was with using LED tubes in shoplights because of your
reports and others. I wouldn't be surprised if you have ballast that's
failing and about to fail completely. I suspect you're going to find out
soon, especially if it's getting so hot that you can smell melting plastic.
Soon follows the escape of the magic smoke and if you're lucky, it's
accompanied by a loud pop. That's how one died. Another began putting out
a 120kHz RF signal on the powerline that completely obliterated the X10 RF
signals I use for home automation. Had to buy a Volpmeter to diagnose that
very gnarly problem. Turned out the shoplight was plugged into an outlet
that was connected to the circuit panel with just 10' of cable. From there
the RFI went to the panel coupler and repeater and shut things down.
Some of the new LED bulbs I've purchased appear to effect the X-10 signal
negatively but it's not so bad that it's unliveable. CFL's were the same
way when the first hit the market and hopefully LED makers will follow suit
and build them not to emit RFI in the X10 band or worse, filter out the X10
signal complete. The savings is worth having to install some filters or
even reject some bulbs.
For now I am slowing down my switchover until all my CFLs die far short of
their claimed lifespan. (-:
$12.99 with a $10.00 instant rebate--cost of $1.00 per bulb.
What brand/type/model? Do you remember?
Worse than that, you've probably been already charged $20 on your power bill
in hidden fees that paid for the $10 rebate. (-: At least that's the way
it works around here.
Since it's an instant rebate (I've had it with mail-ins), I might just go to
Costco since $1 a bulb is quite a deal. Thanks!
I've had some early CFL experience that a suspicious person could conclude
were merchants dumping batches of problem bulbs and a steep rebate really
clears the deck of old stock. So I always wonder what the deal is.
But $1 per 60W of light really makes the long 40" tube (at the prices
mentioned here recently) look bad in a price per lumen comparison.
The problem now is to find or fashion a fixture that can output light
similar enough to a shoplite's to be useful and cost-effective. Of course,
there's the issue of safety and code-worthiness I have not yet addressed in
DIY lamp fixtures.
I also want to understand how these units are powered. The report of what
seems to be serious overheating in a new product like this makes me want to
wait until more long-term user reports appear.
Thanks for your input!
$12.99 with a $10.00 instant rebate--cost of $1.00 per bulb.
How much is a Costco membership? I would have to have my neighbor take me
and use their card (which I like to avoid) since I am not a member. That
unfortunately has to figure into the total price as well. And as Perce
pointed out, it could be a rebate sponsored by a local utility that I am not
$2 a bulb is the lowest price I've seen for straight up purchases without
rebates. That's still a lot more "light for the buck" than the 40" models.
I suspect thost prices will drop considerably as more people adopt them.
OK. That's good to know but my buying patterns don't align with CostCo's
"mass quantities" orientation so I probably couldn't get my $ back. But I
can get my neighbor to take me although I have to then factor in the value
of a favor that needs repaying. I'll wait for the bulbs to drop in price
and for the wattage of the $2 bulbs to go beyond 60W. There are some places
that just need 75 or more watts to see clearly and safely. Besides, I have
boxes of CFLs I bought when on sale that I have to burn through first,
although I relegate them to places where the lights aren't on long (or in
the cold basement or need dimming or can't run in some fixtures because of
heat issues or don't come on quickly enough to safely illuminate the walking
Sorry I wasn't clear. I was aware that the F40's are the $19 or so bulbs.
I should have written: "Both form factors will probably drop considerably
(especially the F-40s) when they come into wider use." Unless, of course,
powering the F-40 LED bulbs from the wide array of ballasts out there turns
out to be a better theoretical, rather than practical, solution. I am
*very* worried about the report of a very hot ballast when used with the LED
I expect that LEDs account for a tiny fraction of the light market at the
moment. The cost to produce the screw-in type LED bulbs is certain to drop
lower than the cheapest CFL because of the glassblowing step CFL's require.
And I say "good riddens to mercury-laced, slow-starting rubbish" as they
head towards their final roundup in landfills across the nation.
Costco membership is $55/yr ($110 for "executive")
However, there's a sneaky way aeound it.
Ask your neighbor (pay her back, of course), to pick
up a bunch of ten dollar Costco "cash cards" (gift cards).
You can then tak one to the store and use it, without
having a membership, to buy stuff. If it's over $10,
you can pay the additional balance in cash..
Knowledge may be power, but communications is the key
It's not sneaky. Costco wants you to do this. They even mention it as a
way to allow your kids to shop at Costco without paying for another
Personally I wish Costco would offer lower cost add-on memberships for
adult children aged 17-25. This would help college students and other
young people get into the habit of shopping at Costco without the hassle
of the cash cards. My daughter goes to Costco often with the Costco cash
cards. The city she goes to college in has no Target, no Walmart, and no
Home Depot or Loews, but the Costco is very close to campus. Living
on-campus there's not much need for Costco, but once you move off campus
into a house with a lot of roommates, it becomes very useful.
Just the annual savings on gasoline offset the membership. Presently, in
my area, Costco is about 30¢/gallon less than other places. For example,
in Santa Clara, Costco is $2.48 while the next cheapest, Arco, is $2.69.
But at Costco you get a 3%-4% rebate on your Costco Amex card. We'll see
if the new Costco Visa card is as generous with gasoline rebates. In
Northern California, both Arco and Costco gasoline come from the Shell
refinery in Martinez, and it's "Top Tier" gasoline. Arco has the
contract to supply Costco, but Arco has no refinery in Northern
California and has an agreement with Shell to supply both Arco and
Costco. In southern California, Shell gets its fuel from the Arco refinery.
As soon as the CFLs are sold/replaced.
I recall when Home Depot was selling 100W CFLs for at least $15 ea.
The Ikea got 'em down to $4-$7 for 80W bulbs. Finally, I saw a 100W
bulb for $3 at a Dollar Tree. Now they are 4 100W'rs fer < $10 at WW.
The same will happen to LED bulbs.
Are these new bulbs drop in replacements? I've seen some LED 4' tubes
(admittedly early ones), where the old ballast must be removed? The
ballasts in 4' fixtures actually act as a step up transformer because
the typical 120 volts is not enough to maintain the fluorescent arc. In
Europe, the ballasts are the simple series kind, like we use for shorter
tubes. I'd be curious how these LED bulbs run on straight 120. I
wouldn't recommend that unless the manufacturer says so, but I am curious.
On Tue, 29 Sep 2015 17:56:40 +0000 (UTC), "badgolferman"
In that case, it's probably not a ballast. LED dont need a ballast. But
they do need electronics and there is likely a heat sink in there to
dissipate the heat. However if it's too hot to touch, I'd take it back,
because it's either defective or very poor quality, and will probably
burn out soon if it's THAT HOT!
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.