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slownsteady 08-01-2009 04:17 PM

Compact Florescent bulbs
For some reason, i do not get the long-life promised by makers of CFL bulbs. I get nowhere near the five to seven years that they advertise. I'm lucky to get a year out some bulbs. I'm not running them 24/7 or anything like that. I've tried different brands and I have them in many fixtures throughout the house. Possibly the shortest-living ones are in ceiling cans.

Is this a common problem, or do I have an issue with my circuits (like voltage spikes or something)?

Nestor_Kelebay 08-01-2009 05:42 PM

If you look at the "guarantee" on CF bulbs to last 7 years, it also say that the 7 years is based on a usage of 3 hours per day. If you use the bulbs more than that, you can expect a shorter life.

shan2themax 08-01-2009 07:49 PM

I use the walmart brand and have had the same ones since July of 2007, with pretty heavy usage.

woodchuck 08-01-2009 09:09 PM

I also get the occasional bulb that doesn't last very long or starts blinking. I write the date on them with a marker when in put them in. I'm saving them intending on sending them in for replacement when I get a few. I have two different brands but both are made in China.

mudmixer 08-02-2009 09:32 AM

I found a good use for CFLs. My garage door opener eats bulbs alive. Even a heavy duty bulb filament will only last a week or so - less for a normal filament bulb. Hard to tell if it is electrical or due to vibration, but my son-in law is in the door business went over the door alignment and suggested using a CFL and it lasted about 3 years before it died. - It was from China, but I would never complain after the improvement. The downside is that in very cold weather (-0 F), the bulb is a little dim when it starts, but it works good enough - fine after a few minutes.

In my townhouse, the circuit the opener is plugged into is the same circuit that my bedroom and computer are on, with no apparent problems.

Apparently, the CFLs handle vibration better even when not used vertically.

People buy on price and that is why they come from China, since they can make anything to the purchasers/importers standards.

Much of the Walmart (and others) shipments came to the U.S. on a huge modern ship that is too fast, too big and too long to get through most canals, but it is several days faster across the Pacific and has crew of only 13 (plus cooks). I would think that light bulbs would be the last thing to ship that way because of the space they take, but they might be good to fill up space if the rest of the shipment is heavy.


slownsteady 08-02-2009 02:08 PM

I am not even close to 3 hours/day on some of these bulbs, but they still blow. I started dating some of them (well, I really mean putting dates on them - i don't really take them on dates :) ). I don't think it makes a diff where you buy them. And i can't blame it on the brand either.

Woodchuck - have you returned any bulbs before? I imagine it is a hassle. I have many blown out bulbs in a box in the garage, waiting for a safe way to dispose of them.

mudmixer 08-02-2009 04:04 PM

It will cost you more to drive to the store and return them unless you paid "top shelf" prices.

woodchuck 08-02-2009 05:42 PM

I haven't returned any yet as I'm waiting for a full box. You're supposed to mail Ge to Ohio and Sylvania to KY with the receipt. Info is on the box.

edlank 08-13-2009 12:29 PM

I have had no problem except 2 "3 way" Sylvanias. They did not last over 2 months of occasional use. Return shipped, and got coupons worth more than the price and shipping. Other 3 ways, also Sylvanias, are working after more than a year, and single intensity are trouble free after about 2 years.

locknut 08-14-2009 05:10 AM

So far I have not had any reason to complain. In normal usage around the house they seem to live up to the claims made for them. I used one in a set of 4 under-eave lamps. Replaced 2 incadescents over a 5 year period, but the CFL burns on. Actually that CFL is not rated for outside usage and the lamp set is on a dimmer. It's running on about 90V and yet it still works fine. Also have PAR CFLs in other exterior locations and they are outliving the incadescents.

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