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CF bulb failure

2009-02-25 15:44:39.818644+00 by Dan Lyke 6 comments

Discussion last night at the Santa Rosa Perl Mongers group included a little bit on someone who'd looked extensively at compact flourescent bulb failure. Apparently in most bulbs there's a capacitor that's spec'd for enough heat if the bulb is run tubes up, but not tubes down. So, depending on the bulb, tubes up plug down can be good for the actual claimed life span, tubes down plug up, as in a ceiling fixture, may fail in a few months.

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: made: 2009-02-25 18:52:49.747477+00 by: whump

Yes, that's consistent with what I've been seeing. I need new ceiling fixtures.

#Comment Re: made: 2009-02-25 19:38:25.140132+00 by: brennen

That explains a helluva lot. The mind boggles slightly to think that the testing for these things really might not have accounted for the possibility of ceiling fixtures...

#Comment Re: made: 2009-02-25 20:02:38.826749+00 by: Mars Saxman

That explains why my experience as an early adopter of CF bulbs was so unimpressive. The first bulbs I replaced were the ones in the ceiling fixtures, since they were all 100 or 75 watt bulbs, and CF light looks uncomfortably greenish at lower wattages. Then after all this talk about how CF bulbs would save money by lasting longer, they all burned out in six or eight months! I gave up in disgust and went back to incandescents, just as CF was starting to go mainstream...

I still think LEDs will make more sense in the long run, but I've been cajoled into giving CF another try recently, and the results are definitely less bad. The light is still harsh, but it's no longer green, and none have burnt out yet. I have different ceiling fixtures now, actually, where the bulbs are mounted sideways; maybe that accounts for it.

#Comment Re: made: 2009-02-25 21:36:49.636932+00 by: meuon [edit history]

Similiar to my experiences with CF's also, and I have stopped buying them for overhead lights. I have now bought some LED lamps from WallyWorld.. and last time I looked, at < $5 per bulb.. I'll be buying many more.

I've been putting off an install/convergence of new smart light switches/dimmers and LED bulbs until the magic formula becomes cost effective. I think it is in the near future.

#Comment Re: made: 2009-02-25 23:41:55.793403+00 by: TheSHAD0W

I've had CFs burn out quickly in ceiling fixtures where the units were horizontal, not base-up. CFs I've bought recently seem to be lasting longer in those fixtures though.

#Comment Re: made: 2009-02-26 00:03:07.684504+00 by: Dan Lyke

Shadow, yeah, that was a matter of discussion last night, horizontal still has some of the heat dissipation issues. And, yeah, CFs seem to be a lot better these days.