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'[TECH] Just how useful are CFLs ?'
2009\12\31@170442 by Russell McMahon

face picon face
> What do the enlightened readers of PICLIST have to say ?

Claiming enlightenment would be, quite possibly, too much, even on New Years
day at the very beginning of time as we leave the noughties and launch into
the teens, but I have a few thoughts thereon (CFLs and enlightenment, but
I'll reserve the latter).

_______

Full disclosure: Philips paen follows. No shares or financial interests in
Philips - I just tend to like their better products.

Extremely good and detailed CFL versus other comparison
comprehensive investigation of issues involved.
Writer is not anti CFL per se.
60+ screens.

           http://sound.westhost.com/articles/incandescent.htm#cchar

> And what about the toxic material in CFLs ?

Mercury is the most quoted toxic material.
Levels in modern well designed CFLs are lower than in many older ones
(figures available from Gargoyle and/or Philips nee Glowlampen Fabriken
(full-circle)).

Philips and their apologists (of whom I tend to be one) claim that the
Mercury levels emitted from a typical power station when producing 4 or 5
times the energy required to operate a CFL are well in excess of those
contained in the CFLs. ie burning coal etc to produce the power to operate
an incandescent bulb of equivalent light output to a CFL liberates more
mercury than is contained in the CFL. Further, the extra CO2 generated by
operating an incandescent bulb is currently considered by some, due to their
degree of enlightenment (see above) to be a net disadvantage. Also, I
understand that in th USA, but note perhaps elsewhere, yet, CO2 is poisonous
and therefore presumably also toxic. Note that this toxin does not emit from
nor is contained in the non-CFL but is produced elsewhere as a consequence
of its operation.

> The CFLs I have purchased do not reach the lifetime touted for them.
> Some fail after about 100 to 200 hours.  I have not seen a
> relationship between brand name / cost   and longevity.

As a substantial but largely domestic user I have seen some early failures
but note that name brand bulbs typically to last for extended periods. Bulbs
subject to long periods of operation often have lifetimes in excess of
manufacturers claims - sometimes much in excess. When starting a new bulb I
usually write the date on its base and I know what sort of usage each
location sees, so my lifetime assessments are not entirely anecdotal.

NZ & Australia "Consumer" (testing organisation) tests show that light
output per Watt varies between brands by up to about 2:1. Usually the
Philips "Tornado" (spiral glass) top the efficiency table. I tend nowadays
to only buy Philips Tornado CFLs and their longevity is usually good.

Philips publish a lumenr/Watt rating on the outer package. This increases
with increasing Wattage and is higher for bright-white/daylight blue bulbs
than for warm-white.

I do not know what range of PFs are produced by various CFLs but typical
figures given are around 0.5. It would be entirely doable to produce near
unity power factors electronically if the will existed. cost is liable to be
an issue.

Sample of one:  I have a CFL here which has run for about 30,000 hours
(probably about 1 month to run to reach this target). It's a Philips "Genie"
8 Watt, 3 small loops, warm white, 53 l/Watt claimed. It operates in our
hall light fitting and is operated essentially '24/7'. It was installed on
August 12th 2006. 1238 days, 29,712 hours. Turned off sometimes
semi-randomly. (Running cost at ~$NZ2/Watt is $16/year 24/7. Turning the
bulb off regularly will kill it much quicker, but running it say 12 hours /
day would save about $8/year in energy costs which is more than its capital
cost, so doing so would arguably save money. And result in a somewhat dark
hall even in daylight due to less than inspired house design.



   Russell


'[TECH] Just how useful are CFLs ?'
2010\01\21@122914 by Bob Axtell
face picon face
My experiences are that they do NOT work at an upside-down 30-degree
angle, which I had in my dining room candelabra. Two sets burned out
in less than a week (two bulbs burned out on the first day). I had to
replace them with regular tungsten bulbs.

On the other hand, CFLs work fine in the upright position.

Stated Longevity has never been met here in Tucson.

--

On Thu, Dec 31, 2009 at 3:03 PM, Russell McMahon <spam_OUTapptechnzTakeThisOuTspamgmail.com> wrote:
{Quote hidden}

>

2010\01\21@123950 by Sean Breheny

face picon face
Could this be a thermal problem? Do they expect convective cooling of
the lamp itself to NOT flow over the electronics package?

Sean


On Thu, Jan 21, 2010 at 12:28 PM, Bob Axtell <.....bob.axtellKILLspamspam@spam@gmail.com> wrote:
{Quote hidden}

>> -

2010\01\21@124240 by Bob Blick

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On Thu, 21 Jan 2010 10:28:40 -0700, "Bob Axtell" <.....bob.axtellKILLspamspam.....gmail.com>
said:
> My experiences are that they do NOT work at an upside-down 30-degree
> angle, which I had in my dining room candelabra. Two sets burned out
> in less than a week (two bulbs burned out on the first day). I had to
> replace them with regular tungsten bulbs.
>
> On the other hand, CFLs work fine in the upright position.
>
> Stated Longevity has never been met here in Tucson.

Location, location, location? Just like real estate!

During design, more attention should be paid to heat dissipation. I have
lots of CFLs in my house, and it seems like summertime is when the
majority of failures occur.

Cheerful regards,

Bob

--
http://www.fastmail.fm - mmm... Fastmail...

2010\01\21@124340 by RANDY ABERNATHY

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You must have gotten some defective CFLs.  I have at least 12 of them in the exact position you mention, installed in 3 ceiling fan lights with 4 bulbs in each. They have been working for over 4 years so far and no failures.  I would have replaced regular bulbs several times over.  The ones I am using are the cheapest thing Home Depot had at the time, some no-name brand and they are still going strong.  I have changed out every single regular bulb with CFL bulbs over the past 5 years or so and have only had 3 fail, those were in lamps and in an upright position.  I also changed out all of the bulbs in my 30' x 48' shop building, using 150 watt equivalent CFLs, 4 of those are in a horizontal position and 2 in an inverted position, they have been in use for about 2 years with no failures to this point.
 
Just my experience with CFLs.

Randy Abernathy
CNC and Industrial Machinery
service, repair, installation and
design

4626 Old Stilesboro Rd NW
Acworth, GA 30101
Fax: 770-974-5295
Phone: 678-982-0235
E-mail:
EraseMErandyabernathyspam_OUTspamTakeThisOuTbellsouth.net

--- On Thu, 1/21/10, Bob Axtell <bob.axtellspamspam_OUTgmail.com> wrote:


From: Bob Axtell <@spam@bob.axtellKILLspamspamgmail.com>
Subject: Re: [TECH] Just how useful are CFLs ?
To: "Microcontroller discussion list - Public." <KILLspampiclistKILLspamspammit.edu>
Date: Thursday, January 21, 2010, 12:28 PM


My experiences are that they do NOT work at an upside-down 30-degree
angle, which I had in my dining room candelabra. Two sets burned out
in less than a week (two bulbs burned out on the first day). I had to
replace them with regular tungsten bulbs.

On the other hand, CFLs work fine in the upright position.

Stated Longevity has never been met here in Tucson.

--

On Thu, Dec 31, 2009 at 3:03 PM, Russell McMahon <RemoveMEapptechnzTakeThisOuTspamgmail.com> wrote:
{Quote hidden}

>

2010\01\21@132553 by Bob Ammerman

picon face
From: "Bob Axtell" <spamBeGonebob.axtellspamBeGonespamgmail.com>
To: "Microcontroller discussion list - Public." <TakeThisOuTpiclistEraseMEspamspam_OUTmit.edu>
Sent: Thursday, January 21, 2010 12:28 PM
Subject: Re: [TECH] Just how useful are CFLs ?


>My experiences are that they do NOT work at an upside-down 30-degree
>angle, which I had in my dining room candelabra. Two sets burned out
>in less than a week (two bulbs burned out on the first day). I had to
>replace them with regular tungsten bulbs.

They have been working just fine (several years?) in my ceiling fan lights
where they are just about at the same 30-degree downward angle described
above.

-- Bob Ammerman
RAm Systems


2010\01\21@133334 by Bob Axtell

face picon face
Randy- Did I know you at one time? I used to live in Norcross...I'm in
Tucson now.

--Bob Axtell

On Thu, Jan 21, 2010 at 10:43 AM, RANDY ABERNATHY
<RemoveMErandyabernathyspamTakeThisOuTbellsouth.net> wrote:
{Quote hidden}

>> -

2010\01\21@142236 by RANDY ABERNATHY

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Bob:
 
I worked for SCMI (now SCM Group USA) from 1984 until I resigned in '94 and went out on my own.  I still did a lot of contract work for them.  They were located in Norcross when I started with them.

Randy Abernathy
CNC and Industrial Machinery
service, repair, installation and
design

4626 Old Stilesboro Rd NW
Acworth, GA 30101
Fax: 770-974-5295
Phone: 678-982-0235
E-mail:
EraseMErandyabernathyspamspamspamBeGonebellsouth.net

--- On Thu, 1/21/10, Bob Axtell <RemoveMEbob.axtellKILLspamspamgmail.com> wrote:


From: Bob Axtell <bob.axtellSTOPspamspamspam_OUTgmail.com>
Subject: Re: [TECH] Just how useful are CFLs ?
To: "Microcontroller discussion list - Public." <spamBeGonepiclistSTOPspamspamEraseMEmit.edu>
Date: Thursday, January 21, 2010, 1:32 PM


Randy- Did I know you at one time? I used to live in Norcross...I'm in
Tucson now.

--Bob Axtell

On Thu, Jan 21, 2010 at 10:43 AM, RANDY ABERNATHY
<KILLspamrandyabernathyspamBeGonespambellsouth.net> wrote:
{Quote hidden}

>> -

2010\01\21@170129 by Dwayne Reid

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face
Sorry for reviving an old thread.

Most of the bulbs in my house are CFL.  The only bulbs that are still
incandescent are those that are on dimmers or in fixtures that accept
only candelabra bases.  I hope to replace all of those fixtures soon.

Both upstairs bathrooms have a long light-bar that holds 8
bulbs.  Those used to be 60W but were changed to 9W CFLs.  I'm
*really* happy with the light from those - and, more importantly, so
is my wife <grin>.  These mount 'sideways' (90 degrees).  Many people
have commented favorably upon seeing them for the first time - there
is a LOT of very-high quality light coming out of those bulbs.

All outside lamps were changed to CFL: 13W for the front and back
doors (base UP), 25W for the lamps on the outside of the garage (base DOWN).

Kitchen light used to be a 100W incandescent, was then a 25W CFL for
several years, was recently changed to a Phillips 42W CFL (base
UP).  I'm not real happy with the recent change (the Phillips bulb
takes several minutes to reach full intensity) and may change back to
the original 25W CFL.

All table lamps have been 13W CFL bulbs for years now - all of these
are base DOWN.

For what its worth, pretty much all of the CFL bulbs I'm currently
using are Noma brand purchased from Canadian Tire here in
Canada.  The Noma bulbs have been just excellent - I believe that
I've installed significantly more than 100 bulbs in several
households over the past 5 years and I can't recall having replaced
any of them so far.  Most of the other brands of CFL bulbs that I
have purchased have failed within a year or two of installation.

The cool thing (pun not necessarily intended) is that these Noma
bulbs appear to reach full intensity within a second or two upon
being turned ON (room temperature).  That's a big deal for me.  Far
too many of the other brands seem to take forever to reach full
intensity upon being energized.

On the other hand, the Noma bulbs installed outside take a LONG time
to reach full intensity when turned on while sitting at ambient
temperature of -20 or -30.  I now leave the back door bulb on 24
hours a day during the winter months just so that I have light
whenever I need it.  I figure that I can afford the ~13W consumption
given how much energy I save with the rest of the CFL bulbs we have.

As an interesting aside, I recently purchased a 3W LED light from
Home Depot and currently have it installed in a pot-light fixture at
the bottom of the stairs at my shop.  It has 3 LED chips and is in a
funky die-cast metal enclosure.  Although expensive, I hope it lasts
long enough to pay for itself.  It has much less light output than a
9W CFL but I don't need much light where I'm currently using it.

I also saw some interesting LED light clusters at Costco last week:
3- LED bulbs for about $20.  Each bulb has a cluster of 5mm white
LEDs (I didn't bother counting how many).  They have candelabra bases
but come with standard-size Edison base adapters.  I think that I'm
going to purchase some of those to use in my hallway light fixtures,
at least until I get around to replacing the fixtures.  I'll post
here what I think of them when I do install them.

dwayne


At 10:28 AM 1/21/2010, Bob Axtell wrote:
>My experiences are that they do NOT work at an upside-down 30-degree
>angle, which I had in my dining room candelabra. Two sets burned out
>in less than a week (two bulbs burned out on the first day). I had to
>replace them with regular tungsten bulbs.
>
>On the other hand, CFLs work fine in the upright position.


--
Dwayne Reid   <TakeThisOuTdwaynerKILLspamspamspamplanet.eon.net>
Trinity Electronics Systems Ltd    Edmonton, AB, CANADA
(780) 489-3199 voice          (780) 487-6397 fax
http://www.trinity-electronics.com
Custom Electronics Design and Manufacturing

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