Compact fluorescent lamps failing

I just had to replace my second mini-spiral compact fluorescent lamp in 3
weeks (it's the third within 6 months). They were all 20w (100w tungsten
equivalent) in different light-fittings. Two were well ventilated; the other
was not well ventilated, but the fitting is fairly large (ceiling, glass
bowl 40 cm diameter and 8 cm deep). All lamps were mounted sideways. They
had all been in use for less than 2 years, with intermittent usage for
usually no more than a hour or two a day.
On examining them, it looks to me like the usual reason for failure of a
fluorescent lamp - the glass is very black by the filament, suggesting it
has burnt out.
I reckon they have lasted for less time than a tungsten bulb in the same
situation! True they save power, but they are 10x as expensive to purchase.
Also, they are no doubt much more energy intensive to manufacture, and I
would guess far more difficult to dispose of or recycle.
The ordinary "hoop" style of folded compact fluorescent lamp seems to last
ages, even enclosed in a small fitment. Does the mini-spiral perhaps have
an inbuilt design fault in that it gets too hot and overheats?
Some interesting reports (US) can be found at:
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wondered what the experience is of others with mini spirals.
Reply to
Jeff Layman
In message , Jeff Layman wrote
My experience with the spiral type is not good. I've had 3 that have lasted about a year - one expired with a loud bang.
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Reply to
95% of my house has been fitted with mini spiral fluorescents for many years. I have never had to replace one and find them to be very satisfactory. I must have saved hundreds of pounds over those years. The start-up time these days is very fast and they are as cheap as chips. However, I think the claims that a 20W fluorescent to be equivalent to a 100W tunsgten is misleading. I think that a 25-30W would be more appropriate as an equivalent.
I think that legislation should be introduced to make these bulbs compulsory or banning tungsten bulbs or placing a prohibitive tax on them. If all households used them, it would be equivalent to the output of several power stations. The main problem is that the majority of people really just don't care, sadly. Another problem could be the environmental problem of disposal of old lamps, but I'm sure this could be overcome.
Terry D.
Reply to
Terry D
I care, but the actual light quality is poor in my experience.
Compact fluorescent lamps are far more environmentally damaging, but you don't hear MPs talking about that (yet...)
Reply to
Colin Wilson
You must have hundreds of them unless you like living in the black hole of Calcutta,
It may well be, but don't expect that to happen without something of a fight.
The main problem is that these things are rubbish and that the amount of energy saved is a drop in the ocean. Focus on the wrong thing for ideological reasons.
I suppose that they could be swept under the carpet......
Reply to
Andy Hall
That's about normal.
So they say ...
They lie.
You've been *USING* them ? Oh, well ...
Not exactly the case.
That's also normal (Unless you are Dynamo Hansen, when it *NEVER* ever happens, and all tubes last 25 years, it's the law) but doesn't necessarily indicate the mode of failure. The black is the emmission mix which has been blasted off the cathodes. When it's mostly all gone this raises the striking voltage of the tube and ballasts may eventually fail through over voltage. That aside the high frequency electronic ballasts die pretty quickly in the heat of an enclosed fitting anyway, and have a poor lifetime even without a heat retaining fitting. They are actually literally dirt cheap when you think about it, and you get what you pay for.
It's the same as yours and as reported on those pages. The poor quality bilious grey light output measures about 33% down from what the sales literature promises when they are brand new and then tails off from there. My experience across several brands is down 48% (From the initial 33% down) in 12 months. Service life is about 6 -18 months if you are lucky.
A 60W tungsten lamp is 16p from Tesco.
Fill your car with them before this power crazed control freak government bans them.
You know it makes sense.
Reply to
Derek Geldard
Options 1&2 force everyone with dimmer switches to throw them in the landfill, and buy replacement switches made out of plastic and refined metals. Also, some light fittings and shades do not suit a bulb that is so long.
Reply to
Bob Smith
Thus spake Terry D ( unto the assembled multitudes:
A portion of chips at a chippy usually being over a quid, I'm not sure that that little saying applies anymore. Either that or it now has the opposite meaning to the original intended :-)
Reply to
The latest two are Omicron (Ex QVS) and Pluslite. The earlier one was probably an Omicron too. The current replacements are GE.
According to those (US) websites in my OP, spiral CF failure seems to go across many brands.
Reply to
Jeff Layman
Some of these bases are getting incredibly small, so compounding the overheating problem.
They are actually literally dirt cheap when you think about
Not sure that you do. Some of these lamps are much more expensive than others, and seem to fail just as readily!
Ah well, high-power mains voltage leds will be more readily available soon. They will no doubt cost even more, and fail in some "mysterious" way to live up to light or life expectations.
Now where did I put that candle?...
Reply to
Jeff Layman
On Sun, 18 Nov 2007 20:35:12 -0000 someone who may be Colin Wilson wrote this:-
A few weeks ago an MP had a latter in the paper pointing out that the mercury contained in compact fluorescent lamps is nothing compared to the mercury emitted from power station chimneys generating the extra electricity needed to power incandescent lamps.
I assume the comparison was based on typical fuel proportions, presumably over a year.
Reply to
David Hansen
On Sun, 18 Nov 2007 22:14:16 +0000 someone who may be Derek Geldard wrote this:-
Yawn. It's also mildly amusing when the best someone can do is distort what someone else has said and then attack that distortion.
Please indicate in which posting I said all tubes last 25 years. If you cannot find one then readers can assume it was a distortion and safely tune you out.
Reply to
David Hansen
In article , says...
Not for here it isn't. Our CFLs are still in frequent use after nearing seven years, in that time we've had a couple fail. We've not had the spiral sort that long - the oldest is perhaps three years old and is on for a few hours a day.
Reply to
So how much mercury do wind turbines produce? Our power comes largely from those...any use of CFLs will increase our mercury footprint.
(anyway, I have a very large stock of incandescent bulbs...)
Reply to
Bob Eager
Putting a 20w in an enclosed fitting is begging for premature failure.
Power equivalence is closer to 3-3.5x than 5x, so your 20w will be closer to 60w equivalent.
The electricity saving is many times the bulb cost, so even with early failures due to incorrect use, you usually still save money.
It would be very easy to make a range of CFLs suited to enclosed fittings, its odd no-one does.
Reply to
Many claims of this nature seem to emanate from US based figures assuming the bulk of the generation is from coal fired power stations (and not necessarily the cleanest coal technology available either).
Reply to
John Rumm

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