I swapped out my incandescent lights for the spiral fluorescent
lights. They are rated for 5 years (some maybe 7years) at 4 hours
usage per day. In both my old house and in my new home, I am not
getting anywhere near that. My longest one, the one least used lasted
With the initial higher cost of the bulb, I'm GUESSING I would need
the bulb to last close to at least 4 years to pay for itself. The
bulbs run about $7 for 3ea 100 watt equivalent (they use 26 watts)
Maybe someone could help me on this math or show me how to figure out
how long they'd need to last to be a better buy then incandescents.
Is anyone else using these fluorescent lights? I get them at Wal-Mart
so it is whatever brand they carry. My current bad bulb is made by
Commercial Electric. It had a 7 year guarantee. It was installed
2005-01-06. At the rated 4 hours a day, I should have gotten 10,192
hours of use. I had the bulb for about 19,000 hours. If I ran it non
stop, day and night, I could have burned it out. But why the heck
would I buy an energy saving bulb if I wasn't trying to save energy.
What kind of hours are YOU getting? Have you folks in CA switched yet
before it becomes law?
Also, does anyone know of any light sources that use LEDs for the
home? I saw one at Lowe's ( like a Home Depo/Builders Square ) but it
seemed to be more for ambient light then to light a room or task
lighting. But some kind of device with a few dozen LEDs in it that
screwed into a standard socket would be pretty cool. I hear that LEDs
are as more efficient then fluorescent. Don't know if it is true but
I THINK I saw something that claimed the difference in efficiency
between LEDs and fluorescent's was about the same as the difference
between fluorescent's and incandescents. But that doesn't seem right
to me because fluorescent's are in the 90-95% efficiency range, right?
Again, I don't know, but I have started my search for better
fluorescent and LED lights.
But I would like your feed back - mainly on the life of your
fluorescent lights, but all the other stuff too.
( Got to remember to take the ambien after I write the emails. Wait,
did I take it yet? Well, better to be sure and take one more.)
I got some of those GE brand ones at Walmart and all I have is trouble
with them. I just installed one about 5 weeks ago and last week it
began to go on and off all the time.
I have some of the original straight U shaped CF's that have been in
my home for 5 years and they still work fine. One of them is left on
all night every night. These new spiral ones are garbage, at least
the GE brans sold at Walmart. I just complained to the company, and
they said they want me to send the bulb and a receipt. I can send the
bulb (as long as they payt the shipping), but I dont save receipts for
small items. I got more important things to do with my time than
collect paper. I think I am going back to common lightbulbs.
On Tue, 03 Apr 2007 01:51:58 -0400, Bonnie Peebles
Well, it all depends upon what you are willing to do to enforce the
manufacturers make. If you are willing to do enough, you will make out
fine; if not, you'll
get screwed ( thats a pun with respect to light bulbs which I did not
intend, but its still funny.)
Me, I really don't like to let a manufacturer or a marketer get away
with misrepresentations. YMMV.
I buy the compact flourescents in bulk at Costco. I staple the Costco
recept to the blister pack.
When I install a CFL I use a black sharpie to mark the installation
date on the bulb base. If the
bulb fails in less than 5 or 7 or whatever years as marked on the
package, I have a canned
letter in my word processor system which I send to Costco in Kirkland,
WA and the bulb
manufacturer. In every instance I have received a replacement buld at
I started this with a bunch of Phillips CFL bulbs which failed
miserably in less s than 6 months.
I had fortitously ( naw, honestly its a real junk pile out in the
garage and I was just lucky)
kept the bulb package and the receipt. After that experience I won't
let the mfgrs. or the
vendors screw me on the bulb life representations they choose o make.
If a mfgr makes a
representation / promise on bulb life, they need to live up to it.
Side note, other than a canderlabra / chandelier fixture for which I
have found no replacement
CFL fluted bulbs, and the outdoor security lights where ambient
temperature works against CFLs,
I have replaced every incandescent bulb in the house with CFLs. I have
literally cut my KWH
monthly by 33 %. Sadly, because of the rate increases ( Portland, OR -
Portland General Electric),
I haven't cut my bill by that much, but without the massive CFL
replacement, and consequent
KWH decline, my bill would be a whole lot higher. IU wuldn't co back
to incandescents. .
Again, its a function of what you are willing to do, both for aggressive
CFL replacement of
incandescents and record keeping to keep the CFL manufacturers and
I am looking forward to reasonably priced LEDs.
Fluorescent light lifetime is affected by how often it gets switched on
and off. They're most effective when used for lights that stay on for a
long time once they're turned on.
It only takes the equivalent of about 20-30 seconds worth of electrical
power to turn on a fluorescent, but the more frequently you cycle them
the faster they die.
Just did some more digging.
Mythbusters did an episode where they actually measured it.
They found that for a standard fluorescent lamp (they didn't specify
ballast type) it took about 23 seconds to make up for the startup surge.
With a CFL, however, it took 0.015 seconds.
Some other sources specified a 5-second time for fluorescent lamps.
However, these also looked at the deterioriation due to the actual
switching and concluded that once you factor in lamp replacement you're
better off leaving it running if you're going to need it in 15-20 minutes.
Where did this "starting surge" thing come from? I've worked with
fluorescent ballasts for 30+ years and never saw anything in the
specifications or on a 'scope to indicate there was more than a minor
current pulse (a few milliseconds) at turn-on. For most CFLs you can't even
Incandescent lamps are much, much worse. They can draw 20 times normal
current at start-up from cold for the first cycle or two; but even that
doesn't translate into anyting that shows up on the electric bill.
There's a reference called the Illuminating Engineering Society Handbook
(8th. Ed.) which has all the curves. Unfortunately, it's not on line; but
it is usually in technical libraries.
Sounds bogus. For one thing, they wrote about "watts per hour" (meaningless
in this context), until corrected. For another, it looks like they tested
a 10 watt (very small) fluorescent, and they only measured the startup
current, vs the energy, including the power factor.
If a lamp really used a lot more starting than running power, it would
likely blow breakers on startup.
You ask someone for references, they go to the trouble of getting
references for you, and then you continue spouting your lazy
I've always understood that fluorescents are better for extended use.
The practice of leaving fluorescents on for extended periods of time
in order to gain efficiency is well known and common, it's no secret
to most of us. Modern ballasts still burn out, and that's full-size
easy to design models.
Mine is obviously not intended for short term use, considering the
fact it takes about one minute to fully shine.
On Apr 3, 1:31 pm, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
Not unless was very small breaker or very large (or large numbers of)
100W bulb draws nominally 1A or less at 120V. Typical minimum house
wiring is 15A 14 ga and breakers include a time-delay so a 15A breaker
is designed to not trip (iirc) on 30A for something like a couple of
seconds. (I didn't look up the actual manufacturer/UL testing specs,
but I believe the recollection isn't far off.) Fluorescents being
more efficient on a per lumen basis gives them even larger margin even
given the ballast starting.
SO, if I go in the bathroom for a total of one half hour per night and
have two 60W indecesant bulbs in the fixtures, then I consume a total
of 60W per day. If these same two fixtures each have 15W CF bulbs
(equivalant to 60W), but have to leave them on 24/7, I am using 720W
per day. That is far from being a savings, particularly when you
consider the CF bulb costs $3 or so, and the indec bulb costs 25
cents. Until they come up with a CF bulb that can last as long as
advertised, and can be turned on and off as needed, I will not buy any
more of them. Besides the one that I mentioned yesterday that lasted
5 or 6 weeks, or less than 100 hours, I have had another one flare up,
causing sparks and a bathroom filled with stinky smoke. Luckily no
fire, but the smoke was terrible and seeing sparks blowing around the
room is not my idea of fun. Additionally, this is not the first bulb
that has died before its rated time. In fact, almost all of these
spiral types are dying in short time, whereas the original straight
CFs seem to last and last and last. I dont even see that type sold
I would imagine that Chris was suggesting that fluorescent lighting was
better used in locations where there would be longer use of the lights.
When I was in college many years ago we computed that the lights they
were using at that time had to be off for more than 48 minutes to break even
cost wise, not counting the cost of labor of replacement.
Today's lamps are far different and the penalty for short time usage is
far less for the better lamps available today. However not all lamps
available today are any better and I suspect some are worse. I suspect the
differences we are seeing in results from CFs and other newer lamps has a
lot to do with the quality of their design and build.
On Wed, 04 Apr 2007 01:36:28 -0500, email@example.com wrote:
I put a string of 35 yellow LED holiday lights in my bathroom. These
give off enough light I almost never need the regular light.
Those lights consume about 1.8W. Multiplied by 24 hours, that's 43.2
BTW, I always thought that "24/7" stuff sounded stupid. It's ALL THE
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