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Forum topic by Gene Howe posted 03-30-2009 08:38 PM 1164 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Gene Howe

8098 posts in 2849 days

03-30-2009 08:38 PM

Topic tags/keywords: humor

Read the whole article. Especially the 6th paragraph. Then go back and re read it. This time replace the word “bulb” with “government run health care”.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

12 replies so far

View HokieMojo's profile


2103 posts in 3148 days

#1 posted 03-30-2009 09:40 PM

well, without getting involved in the healthcare debate, I can say that I found the article to be spot on with what they are talking about. I’ve literally had bulbs catch fire in my home. To say that this concerns me is an understatement (I’m pretty sure these were all “lights of america” bulbs I got at sams’ club. At the same time thoguh, I’ve notices the GE’s I bought have performed without fail and have been going for several year now and none have burned out. I’m planning to get more, but I’m sticking with reliable brand names, even if I can’t find places that carry in bulk. The jury is still out on the homedepot ones I have been using.

My favorite is the 250 watt equivalent I have in my garage/shop. While I still need task lighting, that one little bulb puts out some serious light and barely uses any power! plus, its been 2 yrs now and haven’t replaced it yet (which is nice considering its a 16ft ceiling)!

View Hrolfr's profile


174 posts in 3086 days

#2 posted 03-30-2009 10:38 PM

The compact florescent bulbs are horrible for migraine sufferers….ok well all florescent lite can be hard on them as well…....

-- Hrolfr

View Robert's profile


32 posts in 3043 days

#3 posted 03-30-2009 11:26 PM

We’ve been buying CFLs for several years. We’ve replaced one CFL for another once (and that one was replaced by the store), otherwise it is just replace the incandescent ones as they burn out. We tend to buy ‘on sale’ from a variety of mass-markets (IKEA, HomeDep, Lowes, Target).

One or two take longer to reach full output than the rest.

I use 3 or 4 in photo reflectors. I made sure to buy all the same brand, then used my camera to make sure the color temp was the same on them. Otherwise there would be color imbalances from one side or top, etc.. There are a lot of different ‘warm white, sunlight, cool white, etc variations out there.

Actually, beyond the failures mentioned in the article, color is one area of complaint. Unfortunately, the higher efficiency bulbs tend to be bluer and most people don’t like that balance for home lighting.

I know there are issues and problems with the bulbs, but if they were ‘that terrible’ retailers would be having so many returns, distributors would be dealing with manufacturers, that the market wouldn’t really be sustained. Also, some ‘problems’ are just things that come from habit or design. We have CFLs in the kitchen, but have one incandescent on a separate switch. Cooking dinner? All the lights. Glass of water or check the fridge for a snack? Flip the other switch

To some extent, CFLs are becoming a moot point; the LEDs are dropping in price, and with their longer life and even more efficient energy use are already a better deal economically and ecologically.

View marcb's profile


768 posts in 3093 days

#4 posted 03-31-2009 01:10 AM

Don’t buy the cheap ones, thats their problem. If you buy a cheap bulb, you get a cheap bulb

View Padre's profile


930 posts in 2909 days

#5 posted 03-31-2009 02:11 AM

We have been using CFL’s in our house for at least 4 years now. The savings is significant, and I have found they work great. I have not had any premature burnouts, fires, explosions, pops, bangs or any other type of problem. I get all of my bulbs through the Energy Federation at Smartliving, and they are inexpensive but high quality.

-- Chip ----------- 6:8

View modestmouser's profile


42 posts in 2967 days

#6 posted 03-31-2009 02:51 AM

great article by an electrical engineer

View dusty2's profile


321 posts in 2849 days

#7 posted 03-31-2009 02:52 AM

I would imagine that these bulbs are no different than anything else. You get what you pay for. If that really special offering at the borg caught your eye and you bought a shopping cart full – you may have a problem.

On the other hand, if you are buying quality components (CFLs) you may not have a problem.

I haven’t purchased any yet and now I think I might wait a while.

-- Making Sawdust Safely

View marcb's profile


768 posts in 3093 days

#8 posted 03-31-2009 03:32 AM

I’ve used them for a long time(ish). Bought my first one in 2001. The part I like the best is that I can bump up my wattage on weaker fixtures. Pop a 75 watt in a 60 watt fixture. Still a net savings.

Dimmers, multivoltage and a few other unique setups cannot use them, but just don’t put them there.

View Bureaucrat's profile


18337 posts in 3072 days

#9 posted 03-31-2009 04:22 AM

hokieMojo: I have 2 85 watt CFLs in the shop, the equivalent of 1500 watt incandescents. I have to use some task lighting too.

I have found the CFLs to be a better bulb in garage door openers as there is no filament to vibrate off.

One area that I’ve seen lead to consistent failure is putting CFLs in an enclosed fixture. Putting a 23 watt CFL in an enclosed fixture rated for 60 watt incandescent has led to very short lifetimes for the CFL, probably shorter than the 60 watt incandescent.

-- Gary D. Stoughton, WI

View oldskoolmodder's profile


799 posts in 3100 days

#10 posted 03-31-2009 04:42 AM

Two different experiences for people in my family, with CFL’s from Sam’s Club. Kind of.

My Mom swears by them, as she’s constantly got lights on all over the place, including rooms she may not go into for weeks if not longer. Why? I don’t know and it does no good to ask. She uses (has me install for her) Sam’s CFL’s in her outdoor lights near the street, 5 bulbs (think old style street lights). For the longest time they’d go out within weeks, until I found out there were holes in the plastic covers allowing water to get in, and it had no place to go, except right next to the sockets. I sealed those up and haven’t had to change on yet. Who knew water wasn’t good for light bulbs? ;)

My Aunt on the other hand claims she’ll never use a CFL again, after getting an 8 pack at Sam’s for $12 or something like that. She put one in a broken socket, and it started smoking one night. I’m sure it would have caught fire if we’d have left it alone, but how do you know at that point, if it’s the bulbs or the socket? The socket has been there since before she moved in in ‘76 and it’s been broken for at least half that time, she won’t let anyone replace it. The wiring is nearly as old as the house too. Could be the wiring and or socket, or could be the bulb or who knows what. She’s gonna be in for a rude awakening when you can no longer buy regular bulbs in a few years. Guess she’ll have to stock up on them.

I personally swear by them, no matter where I get them from, they haven’t failed me yet, and my electric bills are much better for using them. I don’t however use them when I’m making a project though. I have a nice halogen 1000 watt work light IF I need to see something that well. Which when you think about it, often offsets the savings of the smaller CFL’s. hehehe

-- Respect your shop tools and they will respect you - Ric

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


17575 posts in 3096 days

#11 posted 03-31-2009 07:00 AM

I haven’t done lighting for 25 years, but I do know there is a wide variation in quality. I use them, but not where they should be installed and not on dimmer circuits. Mater of fact, I took one out so we could use them in those fixtures. They do have mercury which could be a problem if the lamp is broken and the user is unaware. I didn’t read the whole thing, but the engineer’s article looks very comprehensive.

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View modestmouser's profile


42 posts in 2967 days

#12 posted 03-31-2009 11:23 PM

i’ve got the very same bulb with the very same failure as in that article i posted by the elec engineer in australia.

burned & melted. kind of freaky.

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