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ModelAFan 09-14-2013 02:57 PM

CFL Bulb Question
We have CFL bulbs in my house and I have a question about them.

1. I've heard rumors of them catching on fire. Should I be concerned? Some of the bulbs are yellowed around the base of the bulb.

These things already are a pain in the a$$ because they burn out quicker and when they break they break into little, nearly microscopic pieces and releases toxic fumes into the air.

Oso954 09-14-2013 03:05 PM

If you don't like CFL's, why are you using them ? Or, are you just trolling ?

You can always buy LED's.

ModelAFan 09-14-2013 03:12 PM

I'm just wandering are they dangerous?

They are not only in use at my house, but they are also in use at my grandparent's house. Is there anything to worry about or do they catch on fire?

kbsparky 09-14-2013 03:24 PM

Anything can catch on fire if it gets hot enough.

Some of the el-cheap-o CFL bulbs have been known to "burn up" -- literally -- when the electronics in the base go ker-flooey.

ModelAFan 09-14-2013 03:35 PM

We have Sylvania and GE bulbs. Are these known to catch on fire?

Oso954 09-14-2013 03:38 PM

Some "light" reading for you.

SPS-1 09-14-2013 04:10 PM

I have never heard of CFLs catching on fire. They run much cooler than incandescent bulbs, so I find it hard to believe they are a greater fire risk than incandescent bulbs. What is your source for suggesting they are a fire risk?

ModelAFan 09-14-2013 05:02 PM

I just heard that they can catch on fire.

Thanks, now I don't have to worry about walking in and finding a huge fireball on the ceiling.

ddawg16 09-14-2013 05:08 PM

Urban myths....

There is a photo of one burned up CFL floating around the net...but given the millions and millions of CFL's installed and working....if it was an issue, I'm sure someone would have produced more than one picture of one.

I think we can accurately say that there are move CFL's in operation than many car fires have you seen? Are you afraid to ride in cars now?

SPS-1 09-14-2013 05:15 PM

I have three pendant fixtures in my kitchen. Originally they had mini halogen bulbs in them. Those halogens ran so hot that the first 4-5 inches of the cable that they hung from charred and turned black. I put new sockets in them and now have 27 Watt CFLs in them. Couldn't find a similar cable, so I cut 5" off the cable, and they are now a little higher. Makes more light, uses less power, and no problems with the cables turning black.

Those halogens were perhaps a fire risk, but not the CFLs.

ddawg16 09-14-2013 05:22 PM

A little note about Halogens....

A halogen bulb is nothing more than an incandescent bulb with halogen gas it it. The principle idea behind the chemistry is that when the bulb gets hot...the tungsten starts spitting off particles (notice that gray coating on the inside of a dead bulb? That is tunsten)....

If you use halogen gas and get it hotter....the halogen gas helps to redeposit the tungsten back onto the filament....this improves the life somewhat and the hotter temps improves the efficiency by about 10%.

However, if you use those halogens with dimmers....when dimmed the temperature that the bulb needs to for halogen gas to do it's job is too now a dimmed halogen is nothing more than a plain ol' incandescent bulb.

Remember all those floor lamps with the halogen bulb and the light pointed up? Notice you can't buy them any more? They've been outlawed......those lights have caused a lot more fires than any CFL light.

Oso954 09-14-2013 05:53 PM


Notice you can't buy them any more? They've been outlawed....
They are still around. The CPSC has issued some regulations on them to add safety (eg bulb guards).

Some Universities have banned them. And there may be some localities that have. But in most of the states, they are still legal.

Kyle_in_rure 09-14-2013 09:31 PM

I've used a lot of CFLs, I've experienced maybe 3 burning out. Two just quit working one day but I did have one turn black at the base of one side of the tube and start buzzing :eek:
My two cents...

bobelectric 09-15-2013 01:13 AM

Nothing like a G.E. 60 watt Basic lightbulb. A glass globe with a filament. 960 lumens ,no frills, no problems.

Kyle_in_rure 09-15-2013 01:17 AM


Originally Posted by bobelectric
Nothing like a G.E. 60 watt Basic lightbulb. A glass globe with a filament. 960 lumens ,no frills, no problems.

You certainly don't have to worry about mercury when you drop it...

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