Compact Florescent bulbs

Discussion in 'Electrical and Wiring' started by slownsteady, Aug 1, 2009.

  1. Aug 1, 2009 #1

    slownsteady

    slownsteady

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    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)?
     
  2. Aug 2, 2009 #2

    Nestor_Kelebay

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    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.
     
  3. Aug 2, 2009 #3

    shan2themax

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    I use the walmart brand and have had the same ones since July of 2007, with pretty heavy usage.
     
  4. Aug 2, 2009 #4

    woodchuck

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    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.
     
  5. Aug 2, 2009 #5

    mudmixer

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    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.

    Dick
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2009
  6. Aug 2, 2009 #6

    slownsteady

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    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.
     
  7. Aug 2, 2009 #7

    mudmixer

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    It will cost you more to drive to the store and return them unless you paid "top shelf" prices.
     
  8. Aug 3, 2009 #8

    woodchuck

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    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.
     
  9. Aug 13, 2009 #9

    edlank

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    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.
     
  10. Aug 14, 2009 #10

    locknut

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    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.
     
  11. Aug 18, 2009 #11

    slownsteady

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    So what can I blame my bad luck on? Could I have some sort of voltage issue or other variable in my system?
     
  12. Aug 19, 2009 #12

    macro01

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    a normal CFL bulb has a a lifespan of 16,000 hour..if you use it more every day, it is sure that the lifespan would be less than the rated lifespan of the bulb
     
  13. Jun 20, 2010 #13

    edlank

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    I cannot decipher that last sentence. I cannot use my imagination to guess the thought intended, either.

    What some people are writing is that some CFLs have an observed life of a few dozen to a hundred hours.
     
  14. Jun 22, 2010 #14

    handyguys

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    Yeah, use a sharpie, write the date installed on the base. Save the box and receipt. Put them back in the box when they blow. When you have a full box take them back. A friend of mine does that, he NEVER buys bulbs anymore. They always blow for him before the date on the guarantee.
     
  15. Jun 22, 2010 #15

    Zachary

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    That is a great idea! We have CFLs of various wattages in ever light in the house here and since they were put in none have burned out yet. For me the advantage, aside from the lower electricity usage, is also the different kids of lighting. You can't match the color of light from a 6500k CFL with an incandescent.
     

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