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CFL brightness and longevity claims

Suzy Bean
steward

Joined: Apr 05, 2011
Posts: 940
Location: Stevensville, MT
    
    8
Paul and Jocelyn's podcast on planned obsolescence and the Lightbulb Conspiracy: http://www.richsoil.com/permaculture/320-podcast-041-planned-obsolescence/


www.thehappypermaculturalist.wordpress.com
Dale Hodgins
pollinator

Joined: Jul 28, 2011
Posts: 3617
Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
    
  49
  These worthless lighting devices have become mandatory in British Columbia. When the entire lifecycle of the device is taken into consideration including their toxicity there is nothing saved here. The real issue threatening our power grids is not the lighting load. It is the power used for heating and cooling. This includes cooking, hot water heating and space heating. Getting one house off of electric heat saves enough power to light 20 others! The whole mess reminds me of the urea formaldehyde insulation fiasco of the 70s and early 80s. Governments on both sides of the border had programs to install the stuff and only a few years later there were more government grants to remove it. I'm in the demolition business and I can tell you that I have never seen any contractor other than myself deal with these bulbs as the toxic waste they are. They simply get tossed into the bin and sent in to our groundwater by way of the local landfill.


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Dale Hodgins
pollinator

Joined: Jul 28, 2011
Posts: 3617
Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
    
  49
    One more point on the bulbs. Lights are used more in the dull winter months when the nights are longer. This is also the time of year when most homes use supplemental heating. And much of this heating is supplied by electricity. So the further north you go the less sense it makes to switch to toxic bulbs in order to save app pittance in electricity. When I lived in an electrically heated home we ran the lights all the time to keep the plants growing, since all that lighting didn't add anything to our electrical load. In fact heating with the lights was more efficient since the baseboard heaters are invariably placed along the wall under the window thus exposing your freshly heated air to the coldest surface in the house. The lighting gave a nice comfortable radiant heat similar to that of a wood stove. I'm certainly not advocating that we heat our homes this way since the rocket mass heater would make a lot more sense. But the fools who pass this legislation know full well what really gobbles up all of the power; poorly constructed homes of ill-suited material which use vast amounts of electricity to cope with their inherent deficiencies.
Len Ovens


Joined: Aug 26, 2010
Posts: 1270
Location: Vancouver Island
    
  15
not quite sure how this fits.... but I was working in my shop late last night when my eyes.... ok, ok... anyway, my shop/garage has a few 100w equiv. CFLs in it. I was using a drill and noticed that as soon as the drill turned on the CFLs got brighter... and stayed brighter till I shut the drill off. I did not try other tools but I think they would do the same so long as they had a DC motor in them (most hand held power tools).

I think what is happening is that the brushes breaking contact cause spikes in the power which are seen by the CFL as a voltage increase. I am not sure how this will affect the CFL longevity... however, it may be possible to have brighter CFLs by using a triac style dimmer? The CFLs might be brighter at half than at full.

Just for interest sake. I wonder if the manufacturers measure the light output on "noisy" power... on purpose.
Tom Celona


Joined: Aug 09, 2011
Posts: 37
Location: Asheville, NC
Hi there,

I know this is an oldish thread.. but it is worth mentioning some very intensive research that is being done now to answer some of the previously mentioned questions. You may be aware that for a number of years California has dumped TONS of money upstream into the CFL market. As a result Californians can buy CFL's very cheap. Of course, all things are regulated and now that the program has reached maturity it needs to be evaluated to show exactly what the state got for all it's money. So, as a part of that evaluation the state funded a very intensive regiment of testing to be done on all brands that were distributed to all parts of the State.. It effectively covers what is distributed in the US. They will be testing for all sorts of things including scenario's to destruction, lumens output. The study will be released this year if I'm not mistaken. Interested folk should keep an eye out. The results will be public. If I remember I will try to link here when the information is available.

TCel


Urban Asheville, NC - Zone 7A - 2,200 Ft elevation
Troy Rhodes


Joined: Feb 17, 2011
Posts: 163
    
    1
We use CFL on the lights that are on a lot.  When I install a bulb, I write the date on the base.  It is rare that we have to replace one, and the last one I did was dated from early 2007.  Incandescent bulbs are often rated for 800-1,000 hours.  Anything with a rating higher than that uses an extra heavy filament, which reduces efficiency significantly. 

I'll have to plug one into the Kill-a-watt and see how close it matches advertised wattage.  If you were using 100 watt incandescent bulbs and switch to 100 watt equivalent CF, it is unavoidable that you will save electricity.  If you don't notice it on your electric bill, it's because lighting is such a small percentage of your usage.  Tungsten mining is not without problems by the way, and the tiny amount of mercury in the CF is more than offset by the mercury NOT put into the atmosphere by burning coal to make electricity to drive the incandescent.

I find the light quality and brightness to be very adequate in the GE 100 watt equivalent bulbs.  If I walk into a room lit with incandescent bulbs, I often notice how yellow/brown the room looks by comparison.

Some brands had terrible quality control issues and durability problems, like Lights Of America, which I think is either gone, or rebranded.  This is to be expected in any new industry, and has improved noticeably.

If you want electric heat, with 4-6% light as a byproduct, the incandescent is perfect.  I use 4 of them in my food dehydrator.  Works spiffy, and heats my shop too.  They are great for closets where they are only on for a minute or two.  CF's don't like being turned on and off a lot.  Although the new electronic ballasts are much better about that now.  They are great for cold spots like unheated garages where the CF's take a long time to come on and make full brightness.

I remain unconvinced that they don't save energy.


Finest regards,

troy
paul wheaton
steward

Joined: Apr 01, 2005
Posts: 14840
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
    ∞
I started a kickstarter campaign to buy the gear to finish the video:

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/paulwheaton/farmer-laboratory-light-bulbs-at-30-seconds



sign up for my daily-ish email / rocket mass heater 4-DVD set / permaculture playing cards
Paula Jakobs


Joined: Oct 10, 2011
Posts: 6
Location: Central Texas, zone 8
Good luck with your project! Can you explain the 30 seconds thing? Why only test it being on for 30 seconds at a time?
paul wheaton
steward

Joined: Apr 01, 2005
Posts: 14840
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
    ∞
When the CFL first comes on, it produces much less light.  Far less than is claimed on the box.  Further, the claim on the box is for stuff like 8000 hours.  Which I suspect is true if your lights are on 24x7.  Or even just 4 hours a day.  But at 30 seconds per use, I suspect that the lifespan is much shorter.
Troy Rhodes


Joined: Feb 17, 2011
Posts: 163
    
    1
I don't think anyone in the industry claims that they make full rated light immediately when you turn them on.

And it's an established fact that rapid on/off cycles shortens their life, although that is improving somewhat.

Where I use them, they are on for more than a few minutes.

Finest regards,

troy
paul wheaton
steward

Joined: Apr 01, 2005
Posts: 14840
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
    ∞
I got this as a PM on kickstarter:

Hi Paul, what has brought you to the conclusion that homes that don't waste energy use a light bulb for 30 seconds or less?Surely location/use of the light is a big consideration? If I graphed the average time my cellar light is on I'm sure that would be very different from the average time my kitchen light was on which would be different from my bedroom light.


So I went to my kickstarter thing to see what I might have said that led to this.  Here it is:

I suspect that CFLs perform poorly when used for 30 seconds or less. Which is how most light bulbs are used in a home that does not waste energy.


I guess I am really confused by the question. 

I think I am stating that most light bulb use in a house where people are not wasteful of energy, are often on for just 30 seconds or so at a time.  I think the word "most" leaves room for a few that are left on longer. 

And the question seems ask how I came to this conclusion when the questioner seems to come to the same conclusion.  ??

My concern is rooted in my power company sending me stuff once or twice a month going on about how CFLs are so awesome, that if I replace ALL of the lights in my house with CFLs then I will have massive power savings.  In fact, they will pay for the light bulbs.  Or send me coupons for light bulbs.  Of course, they raise my rates to pay for the light bulbs, the mailings, the people to manage the mailings and the light bulbs stuff. 

I estimate that I currently spend about $1 per month on lighting.  I further estimate that I currently spend about $3 per month to get all this CFL news from my power company - and that is without taking them up on their offers.

There is one light in the house that I turn on for about three hours every night.  The rest of the lights in the house are typically on for just a few seconds each time I need them. 

Consider a light in the closet.  I might turn it on for about 15 seconds to find something.  All of the use I give it for all time might be hundreds of uses, but always less than 30 seconds.  I speculate that a CFL in this spot will not perform as well as an incandescent.  Especially if you take away the CFL subsidies.  I hope the video will show that.



James Driscoll


Joined: Oct 31, 2011
Posts: 13
Location: UK Zone 8a
(53.81°N, 1.55° W )
Hi Paul- I guess I'm trying to say use the right bulb for the right place.
Isn't measuring if CFL are inefficient if on for 30 seconds at a time only half the story?
Kitchen lights, for example, might be on for short periods < 30 seconds and long periods (>15 minutes) At some point in time the efficiency lines for bulbs cross and one should switch from one to the other. If I switch the light on for < 30 seconds 10 times a day but 15-30 minutes once a day what bulb is more efficient? Perhaps bathrooms and kitchens are the trickiest places to do the experiment since they are both rooms that are lit for both short and long periods? or maybe you are saying it's only the lights that are always on for short times that don't deserve to be CFL?
Troy Rhodes


Joined: Feb 17, 2011
Posts: 163
    
    1
"Of course, they raise my rates to pay for the light bulbs, the mailings, the people to manage the mailings and the light bulbs stuff. I estimate that I currently spend about $1 per month on lighting.  I further estimate that I currently spend about $3 per month to get all this CFL news from my power company - and that is without taking them up on their offers."

We must have the same utility company...I could almost heat my house with all the crap they mail me about energy savings by burning it in the wood stove.

Or maybe we're both dealing with virtual, if not actual monopolies, which are famous for being unconcerned about running efficiently or doing things to reduce costs for the customer.

They could do a lot more good by educating folks on the "one person = one light" rule that most of the off gridders adhere to.  But it's so much more convenient to just leave every light on in the house so you don't have to look for those handy convenient switches next to every door.  Plenty of room for education.  For people who just leave lights on everywhere all the time, cfl's "save" lots of energy.

Good luck with your efforts to reform the utility company and their customers. 

People will really start paying attention when the cost per kwh double or triples.  Then you'll suddenly look like an overnight genius.

Finest regards,

troy
Len Ovens


Joined: Aug 26, 2010
Posts: 1270
Location: Vancouver Island
    
  15
solarguy2003 wrote:
But it's so much more convenient to just leave every light on in the house so you don't have to look for those handy convenient switches next to every door.  Plenty of room for education.  For people who just leave lights on everywhere all the time, cfl's "save" lots of energy.


Or the people who have had the police suggest that they leave "lots" of "bright" lights on all the time because there have been a few break ins (one actually) in the neighbourhood ... as happened to my mother. Next we will be expected to have moving silhouettes running around our rooms all the time.
paul wheaton
steward

Joined: Apr 01, 2005
Posts: 14840
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
    ∞
Isn't measuring if CFL are inefficient if on for 30 seconds at a time only half the story?


I'm guessing more than half, but I get your point.

I think this half (30 seconds or less) has been woefully not covered.  A lot of the information is out there, but no power company is sending out mailings about it once or twice a month.  Basically, nobody gets rich talking about it, so it doesn't get said. 

There is enough going on here to warrant a 60 minute documentary, but at the moment, I am powerfully compelled to make a five minute youtube video.  For now, I'm gonna focus on the 30-seconds-and-less angle.

paul wheaton
steward

Joined: Apr 01, 2005
Posts: 14840
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
    ∞
Then you'll suddenly look like an overnight genius.


More likely that some celebrity will get to appear like a genius.

But hey, as long I'm right! 

paul wheaton
steward

Joined: Apr 01, 2005
Posts: 14840
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
    ∞
Welcome to day 15 of testing.

A bank of seven light bulbs is set up with a timer. They are on for 30 seconds and off for two minutes.

So the lights are on for one minute every five minutes. 12 minutes every hour. 288 minutes every day. 4.8 hours per day.

So, for 15 days, that's 72 hours.

Out of the seven light bulbs, there are four CFLs, two incandescent and one LED. Today, one of the CFLs is dead.

The funny part is that this CFL is labeled that it will last 12,000 hours and that it will save $74 in electricity.

It claimed 12,000 hours and didn't even make it to 100.

More news as events warrant.
Bruce Brummitt


Joined: Dec 11, 2011
Posts: 5
Could you provide brand information, wattage and voltage please? I run both 12 volt and 120 volt CFL bulbs...have had some failures with early 12 volt....but generally they do well and draw much less electricity, which is important to someone on a battery system. I am slowly switching over to LED bulbs, which are wonderful in the right applications.


Charles Mingus said: 'Making the simple complicated is commonplace; making the complicated simple, awesomely simple, that's creativity.'
paul wheaton
steward

Joined: Apr 01, 2005
Posts: 14840
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
    ∞
pics



[Thumbnail for bulbs-1.JPG]


[Thumbnail for bulbs-cfl.png]

Bruce Brummitt


Joined: Dec 11, 2011
Posts: 5
Something I'd like to mention about CFLs (and would make this 'test' not real world relevant)...they have ballasts which aren't designed to be cycled on and off in such radical measures. Incandescents are resistance elements and create a lot of heat, but their cycling doesn't much matter. LEDs, on the other hand, don't give a wit.

I've had a strand of LEDs on constantly, 24/7, since December of 2007...don't even register on my amp meter (well, hardly a bit)
paul wheaton
steward

Joined: Apr 01, 2005
Posts: 14840
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
    ∞
And that is the point.

CFLs don't tolerate being turned on and off a lot. And yet, there are uses in the house where that is the primary use.

And the ignorance of this is so vast that the government is banning incandescent bulbs.
Bruce Brummitt


Joined: Dec 11, 2011
Posts: 5
We need more R&D into LED lighting...banning incandescents (which is becoming more common throughout the world...http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phase-out_of_incandescent_light_bulbs) may spur more technological development in that direction. As for the topic matter, I agree with most who believe we need more light and less heat.
                            


Joined: Jun 10, 2011
Posts: 55
I personally prefer LED or incandescent. I won't use CFL's anywhere I spend any amount of time.

Whether this is accurate or propaganda against the truth, I know I feel like shit when I am around CFL and regular florescent lights for any extended period of time. I also sleep better when I put a filter on the power socket near my nightstand (with alarm clock and things plugged in). Power filters do such wonders for music only your ear can understand, by the way.

The very first generation fluorescents where actually unbearable to most people. They had to drastically modify them into today's more tolerable version.
Bruce Brummitt


Joined: Dec 11, 2011
Posts: 5
Everything on alternating current pulses. Modern, electronically ballasted CFLs refresh themselves at between 10,000 and 40,000 cycles per second.

I do prefer analog to digital music.
                            


Joined: Jun 10, 2011
Posts: 55
Bruce Brummitt wrote:Everything on alternating current pulses. Modern, electronically ballasted CFLs refresh themselves at between 10,000 and 40,000 cycles per second.

I do prefer analog to digital music.


There is a big difference between just 60hz and an extended plethora of frequencies that come along with it in the typical setting where AC power is available.

Digital music goes through a lot of IC's that create even patterns of distortion at levels that are detectable and some only audibly noticeable over extended periods of time because they are not distinguishable onto themselves. I can however promise the "edge" it creates can be removed to the point where your fatigue level tolerance of listening to CD's (not low quality MP3's) will never be exhausted because you will have to eat, sleep, work, etc. It is all dependent on a good DAC and power conditioning. That being said I gave up on buying used DVD players because they die too fast, so I just use vinyl now despite circumventing all fatiguing nature. Hell even with vinyl you will still get fatigue because of the unclean power going though anything, literally; just not near the level of digital.

If my own personal filter for next to my bed stand works out, perhaps I will post pictures etc in case anyone wants to try it. I figure people here are pretty bold at trying things that say have remote danger to them (AC power from the wall is no joke).
Bruce Brummitt


Joined: Dec 11, 2011
Posts: 5
EMFs are definitely no joke.

I like making music with friends. Around the fire is really nice.
                      


Joined: Dec 02, 2011
Posts: 6
Location: New Hampshire
Come on, Paul. So you've proven that hardware can be broken. How much 30 second light bulb usage do people actually have? I don't have much in my house. If I did, I wouldn't bother using a CFL in that socket because it takes a bit to come to full brightness and I'd also be destroying it. I'd get a halogen bulb, probably.

As it is, I've thrown out more CFLs because of my 2 year old son than because of natural causes. There's one lamp that he just loves to knock over. Once I figured out that they came in different "colors" and got the right ones, I've been happy with them.
paul wheaton
steward

Joined: Apr 01, 2005
Posts: 14840
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
    ∞
Fat Charlie wrote:Come on, Paul.


Really? Did you really just say that? To me?

This sentence is part of your argument?

I think of this phrase as a "jedi mind trick". It really does work on the weak minded: "let's go to the movies!" "no" "Aw, c'mon!" "ok".

So, embedded in the message is "I think you are weak minded."


How much 30 second light bulb usage do people actually have?


A lot.

So much, that I have already recorded a gob of video footage going into that. We have even had discussions where people timed themselves peeing so we can get an idea of how long a light might be on in the bathroom. Hallways, staircases, closets, going to the kitchen to get a snack. Of course, this all assumes that people turn off the lights when not in use.

(and I'm still pissed about "come on")




Jeanne Boyarsky
steward

Joined: Mar 13, 2008
Posts: 260
    
  51
Just curious: have you noticed an increase in your electric bill from the experiment? (might be too early to know.) I'm curious how much power turning on and off a light quickly uses.
paul wheaton
steward

Joined: Apr 01, 2005
Posts: 14840
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
    ∞
I suspect it makes almost no change because the heat from the experiment will reduce my need for electric heat.
Jeanne Boyarsky
steward

Joined: Mar 13, 2008
Posts: 260
    
  51
That makes sense. And you do have an incandescent busy creating heat.
                      


Joined: Dec 02, 2011
Posts: 6
Location: New Hampshire
I'm sorry for that, Paul, it's not what I was trying to do. I said it badly and no insult was intended. I'm learning a lot from you and don't want a badly phrased point to be taken that way.

I was questioning the not the goal of the test but the interpretation of the first result. You did a really useful job documenting a well known shortcoming of CFLs, but you present it as an exposé. Fluorescent lighting's dislike for short uses has never been a secret, and your test does put hard numbers to that. Still, you're documenting that one particular product isn't the best product for every application. If CFLs were really everything, then LEDs wouldn't be making such strides.

Yes, the CFL industry wants to have all the tests involve being turned on once and running until failure. That's okay, it's their job to want it that way. At the moment, though, they probably are the best default bulb for most Americans and the way they use lights. In a "leave the lights on all the time" culture, the light that comes in at the best price and uses the least power over the longest time is king. Even in applications where they aren't best, say a closet or hallway that's only on for 30 seconds at a time, they aren't all that bad. Your day 15 failure ran 288 minutes a day- that's 4,320 minutes. If I'm in that closet looking for something every morning and again putting it away every night, the bulb should last 4,320 days- 11 years and nine months! That's pretty respectable for a bulb getting abused like that. Sylvania just might cite your test in their next "Treat it badly and still don't buy another bulb for 12 years" ad. What looks like horrible performance from one perspective might be something to be proud of from another perspective.
paul wheaton
steward

Joined: Apr 01, 2005
Posts: 14840
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
    ∞
Hey Charlie,

It's awesome to see somebody stick their foot in their mouth and own it. You're giving me big hope for the world. Thanks!

As for CFLs vs incandescents: The problem is large and multi-faceted. Hence my huge article on the topic. Currently, I would guess that 98% of the population is unaware of the shortened lifecycle thing, and yet they make decisions based on the "12,000 hours" on the box as accurate under all conditions. I have even had some people tell me that because of the life shortening thing and because the CFLs use so little power that they just leave them all on 24x7.

I try to tell people about these shortcomings and a vast majority tell me that I am a lying sack of shit. So, the video should help at dispelling a lot of myths in this space.

I think there is nothing wrong with projecting the truth.

As for the closet scenario: you buy a bulb that says "replaces a 100 watt bulb and uses 27 watts" but for the first 30 seconds the light output averages about half that. So you get less light, and (I predict) the bulb lasts half the time that the incandescent would. And while you paid $2 for the bulb at the store you also paid $23 for that same bulb through taxation and higher power rates. And then there is the toxicity - especially if the bulb breaks. Are you eating tuna these days? Good ole tuna loaded with mercury ..... Oh yeah, the reason that we are doing all this is to save energy - and we wanna save energy to have a lighter footprint. how much energy went into making the CFL?

Apparently, I am too fucking stupid to be able to make light bulb choices, so laws are passed to reduce my choices. And yet I suspect that my power consumption is far less than the average.

There is a lot of information that is not finding its way to the general public, so I feel good about making this video.


Lolly Knowles


Joined: Aug 22, 2011
Posts: 159
I have a CFL in use as an outdoor light next to the door so I can see the keyhole. It is on 24/7 and this bulb has been in use for about two years. But once the outdoor temps get below 45 degrees, the light diminishes quite a bit. They are not made to work well in low temperature settings, IMO.
Len Ovens


Joined: Aug 26, 2010
Posts: 1270
Location: Vancouver Island
    
  15
Fat Charlie wrote:
If I'm in that closet looking for something every morning and again putting it away every night, the bulb should last 4,320 days- 11 years and nine months! That's pretty respectable for a bulb getting abused like that. Sylvania just might cite your test in their next "Treat it badly and still don't buy another bulb for 12 years" ad. What looks like horrible performance from one perspective might be something to be proud of from another perspective.


Of coarse to get the same light... assuming we start with a 40w I-bulb... put an 8w cfl at 10 times the cost (or more, gov incentives removed... that is manufacture cost). We use it only a few sec and are happy... so the 40w bulb was more than needed... maybe 20w would do. Now the cfl is only saving less than 2/3rds... it lasts 12 years. the 20w I-bulb lasts for the rest of your life... even if you are only 20. I am really starting to wonder about using any CFLs... for anything.
John Polk
steward

Joined: Feb 20, 2011
Posts: 6432
Location: Moving to: NE Washington USDA zone 5 Western steppes to the Rockies
    
132
Awhile back, the local 'Bog Box Store" had a subsidy from the electric company, and was selling a 4-pack of the 60W 'equiv' CFLs for $1.29. Since I had several burned out bulbs, I bought several packs. I replaced the bulbs in the kitchen, bedroom, closets, and the living room (which was on 8-12 hours per day). I moved out 3 years later, and all were still burning, except the 2 closets which had each been replaced twice. The short cycling certainly proved itself to me. I noticed no measurable difference in my electric bill.

Jocelyn Campbell
steward

Joined: Nov 09, 2008
Posts: 2450
Location: Missoula, MT
    
  60
This image is priceless. From As the World Burns: 50 Simple Things You Can Do to Stay in Denial - A Graphic Novel



[Thumbnail for Jensen-McMillan's_As-The-World-Burns_graphic_novel_image.png]


Hands-on workshops in all shades of green - Cascadia & Seattle Eco Events Calendar | QuickBooks Consulting and Accounting Services - www.jocelyncampbell.com
Albert Johnston


Joined: Aug 21, 2011
Posts: 10
I've been using CFL's for about twenty years. Overall they have been very disappointing. The only positive that I can say is they are ok where the light has to stay on for long periods of time AND there isn't a human there being tortured by the weirdness of the light. I have one above the front porch and one above the kitchen sink. In the bathroom the light quality is okay but you get about one year per bulb. That's about 60 hours per bulb.
Paul Gardner


Joined: Dec 13, 2011
Posts: 5
When CFL's first started coming out, I decided that I wanted to save all this money. It was a hard pill to swallow to spend $6 - $12 a bulb (at that time) but hey... to save $50 - $80 over the life time? Great!

Well, It seemed that the CFL's were requiring replacement long before the "8 Year" (or so) life time. So much so, that I started marking the bases with the installation dates. Some of have lasted for several years (around 4) most are dead within 2 years. What happened to my 8 years?

A little more investigating and I find that CFL's are not recommended in an "Enclosed" space. WTF.... MOST lights (usually for asthetics) in my house with the exception of a handful of table laps have some sort of "Globe" or enclosed space.

I was (and I stress WAS) such a CFL Advocate (before my non-scientific empirical results) that I even put the "Outdoor" Halogen replacement (CFL) bulbs in our back yard so the dogs could see when they had to do their business at night. They worked Ok, that is until Winter hit. (I live in Northeast Pennsylvania). Since the light was on a motion sensor, when they would go out it would come on. In the winter, a bic lighter would give off more light until these things warmed up 5, 10, 15 minutes later. They were horrible for letting the dogs (or us) see at night. They were even WORSE as a Security light. No worry about figuring out the life span of these... They have are over 8 years old, but that's because I have them and don't use them any more.

I still have CFLs in my house and I will use them in those areas where the light will be on (generally) for an extended period, but otherwise, I am switching to LED lights. Although they are significantly more expensive the both Incandescent AND CFLs, I truly believe they will last longer the both of them (combined) and I know they use significantly less power then both. I suppose the down side is, is that I can no longer use them to supplement my heat in my house.

I truly appreciate this forum and all that are providing insight in to this (and other) topic(s).

Paul Gardner
--------------------------
eschew obfuscation
Albert Johnston


Joined: Aug 21, 2011
Posts: 10
Has anyone tried using incandescent lights in series? That should increase the turn-on time of the bulb and extend it's life. Or use a dimmer switch. I like the ceiling fan controller because they are more rugged and should last a long time. I have some ceramic fixtures that can be wired in series for experiments.
 
 
subject: CFL brightness and longevity claims
 
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