I've tried them for years and have also been disappointed. They are slow to
reach full brightness. I've had several burnouts. No way can you count
"long life" as an asset especially if you're paying a significant premium
for them vs. Incandescent. Over time their color temperature (and
brightness) decays toward yellows. The one exception is a special "Day
Light" rated bulb which cost me $8.95 + tax. If I could find these where I
live now (no Menards in AZ), I buy a few more but CFLs are definetly on my
"watch, don't buy." list now.
None that I have purchased in the last few years has been slow to reach
full brightness. Long life is an asset if you factor in your time to
replace burned out incandescents even at minimum wage given the large
number of incandescents you'd replace over the life of one CFL. I've not
found any notable change in color temperature or brightness except for
during the first and last ~5 hrs of CFL life, the thousands of hours in
between are quite constant. The nominal 75% power savings over the life
of the CFL more than makes up for the cost difference. Your local
lighting supplier should either have the "daylight" color spectrum CFLs
or be able to order them for you.
My last issue of Consumer Reports did a spread on CFL's. I remember reading
that the bulbs should not be used for all locations. If the light will not
be on for more that 15 minutes, it should continue to use an incandescent.
CFL's that are not kept on for 15 minutes or longer will have a shorter life
I am going to mostly agree, but with exceptions. I bought some of the
original CFLs about 6 years ago. They were two straight tubes that
formed a "U shape". Of the 3 that I bought, one was in a bedroom
light and lasted 3 to 4 years and were placed horizontal. Two were in
a kitchen fixture where they sit base at a 45deg angle upward. That
fixture is on almost 24/7. Once and awhile I shut it off during the
day, but it's always on all night as a security light. One died last
year after about 5 years, the other is still working fine. These
bulbs come on almost instantly. good color, etc. I was and still am
well pleased with them. Their only drawbacks are they are long (about
8 inches). They either dont fit in most fixtures or look kind of
stupid hanging out the end of an open fixture. Their other drawback,
they are no longer sold.
Then they came out with these spiral CFLs. In my opinion, they are
JUNK - JUNK - JUNK......
I have tried several brands. All are slow to light (some worse than
others). My biggest complaint is that they are short lived, and I
have had some literally go up in smoke. I cant complain about the
color or light output (if I get the larger wattage ones), but the full
output takes quite awhile. I cant think of one of them that has
lasted any longer than a common indecesant bulb. Some do not fit in
fixtures, but git better than those I mentioned above. In a cold
garage or shed, they are useless in winter. I just replace them in
winter with standard bulbs out there.
I am one person who was really sold on them, but am slowly getting rid
of most of them now. In my "always on" security light, I hope to be
able to find something that lasts, when my last "old" one burns out,
or I will just replace the fixture with a florescent tube. In outdoor
buildings and fixtures, most are gone now. In my bathroom, they are
gone (I want instant full brightness). In extremely flammable
situations, they are also gone after having several of them spark and
At one time I had nearly every fixture in the house and out buildings
with them. The porch light and a few other places were the only
standard bulbs. I probably had 90% of all fixtures with CFLs. Now, I
probably only have 30% of them, and as they die, I just replace them
with standard bulbs. I am very disappointed with the newest ones.
Are you talking about the 13 watt twintube? F13TT? PL-13? That plugs
into a ballast-adapter? If so, those are still sold. They are available
at home centers, electrical/lighting supply shops, and some (but not all)
Or are you talking about quadtube and 6-tube screw base models? Those
should still be available at electrical/lighting supply shops and online
lightbulb outfits such as bulbs.com.
For better life expectancy, I would:
* Get ones that have the "Energy Star" logo
* Preferably get ones of "Big 3" brands (GE, Philips, Sylvania). Target
has GE ones and Lowes has Sylvania ones. NOTE - The "usual color" of
Sylvania is not 2700K but a pinkish shade of 3000 K - it could look on the
* Be wary of Lights of America. I had a lot of early failures and saw
many die young in locations that I frequented in my delivery job.
DISCLAIMER - I have only bought one LOA since 2001.
* Do not get dollar store junkers.
* Be wary of the few remaining older stock 25 watt spirals - there was a
bad production run of those.
* Not use spirals over 19 watts or so in small enclosed fixtures or
There are special outdoor CFLs with outer bulbs. However, they have a
severe warmup requirement, even more so than bare spirals.
So far, I have only experienced spectacular burnouts of dollar store
junkers and one Lights of America unit. If the CFL is an integral ballast
one (as in the usual screw base ones, as opposed to PL types and the
like), they are normally UL listed. Avoid screw base CFLs that are not UL
listed. Most dollar store junkers are not.
Porch lights are actually a good place for CFLs since they normally have
long on-time per start. But use outdoor ones such as Philips SL/O.
It varies from brand to brand. Try a number of different ones.
They are getting better and cheaper now.
I have not measured the power factor on them, have you? I believe
that most all residential power meters are just "real" power, not
As others have mentioned, only if you have pure electric heat. Fossil
fuel heat is typically about half the cost of electricity (YMMV), so
you still have savings (but less) during heating season.
Again, it varies from brand to brand and it has gotten better.
While I get failure rates in excess of the advertised rates, I often
use CFLs in fixtures with a greater light output than the max size
incandescent that I can safely put in that fixture, and still get
Yes, the light output is spec'd for a CFL that is brand new, warmed up,
and with base down. Hardly typical. And then it is compared to the least
efficient version of an incandescent bulb that they could find.
Look past the BS marketing.
Despite their many flaws, I find CFLs useful in many places, but still
use incandescents in many other places.
Residential electric meters do indeed read only "real" power. Power
factor is not an issue there.
<EDIT FOR SPACE>
Most of the time, I find a brand-new CFL at optimum temperature to match
the output of incandescents near the high end of light output for the
claimed "equivalent wattage".
* 23 watt ones (mostly claim 100 watt equivalence, while I find them more
like "90 watt" equivalence)
* In my experience, many Lights of America and Maxlite models were dimmer
than others of same claimed light output
* Some daylight models in my experience fall a little short
* Dollar store junkers - BIGTIME!!! - along with other issues that make
them outright stool specimens!
- Don Klipstein ( firstname.lastname@example.org)
What's really annoying about mandating "energy saving" devices like that is
that for those of us that conscientiously turn off lights when leaving a
room, we wind up with higher electric bills as our lights are always on five
minutes longer than necessary , not to mention the $30 to $50 for the switch
That's fer damn sure. Anything brighter than a night-light triggers the
'morning' subroutine in my head, and I can forget about getting back to
I'll control how the lighting circuits in my damn house work, thank you very
much NannyState. I'm no wastrel- I keep things pretty dark. But <I> choose
what goes on and off, and when.
I have motion lights all over my house for "walking around light" at a
low level and once you get used to them you won't want to go back to
switches. I also have "task lighting" that is switch controlled when
you need it.
This all started with a motioned controlled light in the kitchen
because the wife and kids were using the refrigerator as a night
Oops- accidently send via e-mail instead of posting. (Gotta quit using
Usenet to distract me when sinuses wake me up at 0300....
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Tuesday, September 04, 2007 3:36 AM
Subject: Re: Motion Detecting Lights in Bathrooms - Code??
I did a quick Google search and found this:
It talks about "luminaires" and "occupant sensors". Is "luminaire"
Californiaese for "light bulb"? Sounds like it is a code requirement.
California is the place with overloaded elec. demands in hot weather, right?
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.