Good CFL, bad CFL...user recommendations

Discussion in 'Environmental Discussion' started by Celtic Blue, Dec 30, 2008.

  1. Boo

    Boo Boola Boola Member

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    Shawn,

    Thanks. Great thread. Very useful info.

    * * * * * * *

    My current biggest problem with CFLs are finding CFLs that are equivalent to 100 watt incandescents in brightness (about 1500 to 1700 lumens), but that will fit in a couple of lamps of mine:

    -- One has a shade bracket that effectively limits the length of a bulb to that of a regular light bulb, i.e., approximately 4.5 inches; so it needs a CFL (could be a mini-spiral) that does not exceed 4.5 inches in length.

    -- One has a shade that clamps onto a regular light bulb; so it needs an enclosed CFL where (1) the enclosure is the shape of and no wider than a regular light bulb, and (2) for stylistic reasons, the length does not exceed 5 inches (though it would be preferable that it not exceed the approximately 4.5 inches length of a regular light bulb).

    Both types of shades are common. But I don't think either CFL bulb exists right now. Maybe next year ....
     
  2. msirach

    msirach Member

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    I used a KWH rate of $.10 which is a common residential rate around here.

    26w CFL x 24hrs/day x $.10 =$.06/day, $22.78/year x 100 lamps x 6 units = $13,668/year

    100w incandescent x 24hrs/day x $.10 =$.24/day, $87.60/year x 100 lamps x 6 units = $52,560/year

    $52,560 - $13,668 = $38,892 savings

    There is even more savings realized on such a large scale since the incandescent had to be changed out an average of 10 times per year.
    Cost of labor, cost of product and impact of disposal could be factored to make the spread even greater.
    The figures above were enough to convince the department heads and purchasing to put cfl's on the stock item list.
    That brought on another battle that I fought as well. The intial test used Sam's club 5 packs. Purchasing ordered Phillips bulbs for about $11 each from an electrical supplier.
    I had to make the small effort of showing the yearly difference of buying the 5 packs for a couple more dollars than for the price of one bulb from the supplier.
    Sam's Club is now on our approved vendors list.




     
  3. Yankees251

    Yankees251 Black Touring HI Package

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    Man I am so jealous of all this talk of CFL's, I bought such a large stockpile of incandescents a few years ago and am almost out of stock. I am so ready for CFL's, but i just couldn't justify junking perfectly good light bulbs and creating unnecessary trash.
     
  4. Celtic Blue

    Celtic Blue New Member

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    I might not be much help as I recently sold my lamps with similar issues (the lamps and shades were in pretty sorry shape so it wasn't a tough decision.)

    There are harp extenders for bulky 3-way CFL's but it doesn't sound like that is what you need.

    The "Commercial Electric" 23W bulbs I have claim to be 100W equivalent and 1600 lumens. I haven't tried to quantify them vs. the GE's but expect that they are more like a 90W equivalent. These are my oldest CFL's purchased in late 2004/early 2005 as memory serves. O.A.L is a little under 4-3/4", with 3-3/4" of that above the thread base. O.D. of the spiral appears to be a hair under 2-3/8". There have been numerous complaints of melt failures (with pictures) but I've not experienced that. My very first package had every bulb quit within two weeks, none of the replacements have failed except when mechanically damaged. I have about 8-10 total.

    Sylvania makes a 23w "Micro-Mini Spiral CFL Bulb" with 4.5" length and 2.1" width. Sounds like it might be a fit for your first application. I haven't tried it. Someone mentioned using them in garage door openers...this is something I have not yet converted.
     
  5. Celtic Blue

    Celtic Blue New Member

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    That sounds familiar. :ballchain: It takes somebody stubborn and willing to fight the red tape to get things on the approved vendors list.

    I remember having a valve in our stores system that was serious safety hazard, leaking profusely whenever the temperature dropped into the teens. I talked to the vendor and he pointed out we just needed to spec a slightly modified type from the same manufacturer at roughly the same price. I retrofitted a pilot unit with them and they cured the problem (no more high pressure hydrogen and CO leaks, yay!) But it was like pulling teeth to get stores to stop carrying the old one, and stock the new one. I think SAP was part of the problem...
     
  6. Boo

    Boo Boola Boola Member

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    Whoa, thanks Shawn! If those are the true dimensions then it will definitely fit in a couple of pricey lamps that I have and which are used and located in places that really need 1500+ lumens. I'm going to look for those bulbs as soon as I can.
     
  7. tripp

    tripp Which it's a 'ybrid, ain't it?

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    Ditch 'em now. The operating costs are probably higher than the cost of new CFLs + the CFL operating costs, esp if your electricity is pricey. What's a typical rate in CT?
     
  8. tripp

    tripp Which it's a 'ybrid, ain't it?

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    The panasonics that I have in the bathroom sound vastly superior to the ones you've tried. The commercial electric globes that were there originally sound like they are similar to your experience. They were awful.

    The panasonics come on a little slow (0.5-1.0 s) but are quite brite from the get-go. I've had them there for almost 2 years now. The colour temp is very nice too. They were expensive, something like $9.50 per bulb. With shipping I think I paid something like $34 for the 3 of them (they're 14W bulbs).
     
  9. Celtic Blue

    Celtic Blue New Member

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    I agree. It is hard to abandon the incandescents you have but it pays off really quickly. My advice is to try a CFL pack in high use areas. If you have any problems with that pack, take it back and test another manufacturer until you find what you need.

    In the past years when we moved I took all of my CFL's with me. No, it's not the greenest thing to do (Icarus will probably lecture me again), but I replace them with the cheapest incandescents I can find. My wife spent about 40 cents (total, not each!) for the dozen or more incandescent bulbs we needed one time--had some sort of coupon and there was a super low cost sale.
     
  10. galaxee

    galaxee mostly benevolent

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    we've had poor luck with the 3-way bulbs we installed in our floor lamps a couple years back. the brightest setting gets all flickery, so we just use the two lower settings. kinda defeats the purpose... will have to check the brand later.
     
  11. Celtic Blue

    Celtic Blue New Member

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    I haven't tried the Panasonics. Have you tried any R20/R30 style reflector/projector bulbs from them? The switch-on lag would be acceptable if I could actually see anything with them for the first minute or so they were on.

    I've only got one huge ugly fixture left that takes globe style and it will be gone just as soon as I can find the double vanity fixture style I want to replace it. Globe free is what I hope to be! (The present one has 8 lights...I'm going to rewire for two 3-light standard bulb/CFL fixtures when the weather warms.) I've already vanquished 10 other globe bulbs in two baths this way.
     
  12. Yankees251

    Yankees251 Black Touring HI Package

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    Current Rates for generation and distribution are 17 to 18 cents. Pricey. I just can't ever bring myself to throwing away perfectly good bulbs. My next house, which should be within a few months, will be getting a lighting overhaul the minute we move in.
     
  13. msirach

    msirach Member

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    At 17 to 18 cents, your cost savings by changing to cfl's would be substantial. Here is a great KWH calculator that can show your power costs per fixture or appliance.


     
  14. tripp

    tripp Which it's a 'ybrid, ain't it?

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    Sorry, mate. Those globes are the only panasonic ones I've ever tried. The rest of my CFLs are commercial electrics (which seem to either be mint or shite). I think I have one GE in the garage and a really old phillips somewhere.
     
  15. hobbit

    hobbit Senior Member

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    Wow, where do you get the 60-watt-actual units?? I'm actually
    looking for stuff to use in a temporary area-light solution that
    isn't 500W inkie worklights.
    .
    Remember that pretty much *all* the CFLs are made you-know-where,
    including "lights of america", heh. Usual build quality issues,
    leading to infant-death in most cases. Spectra are all over the
    place, with many of the CFLs producing some really ugly yellows
    esp. in digital photographs that are *hard* to balance away.
    Newer cool-white or even pinkish units are more pleasing when
    used, say, to light art-show hanging panels that used to be
    strictly the domain of halogen until the better CFLs emerged.
    .
    _H*
     
  16. Celtic Blue

    Celtic Blue New Member

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    "Bright Effects" are a Lowes brand as best I can tell. I've seen them a time or two. I didn't purchase them, they were already here. In colder weather they are starting a little dim (maybe 50%, I haven't checked with a lux meter) since they are in the garage, but they warm up after a while.

    I couldn't believe the previous owner left them.
     
  17. Celtic Blue

    Celtic Blue New Member

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    Check Lowes, I saw them there this evening. The price wasn't bad either (they don't seem to be listed online at Lowes.) The dimensions do look smaller particularly the diameter. The spirals seem to be smaller tubes in a tighter wrap.
     
  18. galaxee

    galaxee mostly benevolent

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    the crappy 3-way bulbs we have are by GE.
     
  19. tripp

    tripp Which it's a 'ybrid, ain't it?

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    The panasonics I bought were mfg'd in Indonesia. :)
     
  20. JSH

    JSH Senior Member

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    We now have some LED bulbs in the house. My wife brought home some Lights of America LED bulbs from Costco last night. These were to replace the CFL bulbs in the living room ceiling fan. Both are 40W equivalent but the LED's are a spectacular failure. They are very dim and in typical LED's fashion are very directional. The result was a grouping of little light circles on the wall in front of the bulb and not much else.

    All was not lost though. We have a 3-way touch lamp next to the bed that I had completely forgotten about since we don't use it much. The LEDs fit great and give a nice mood lighting effect. :D The bulbs say "not for use in dimming circuits" so life will be a question.

    Lights of America
    Model# 2025LEDE12-30K
    120V-60 Hz 1.5W-30mA
    $15 for 3 at Costco