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Old 11-25-2009, 04:34 PM   #1
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CFL failed prematurely?


Hi;
I installed new lights in the bathroom, and used CFL bulbs instead of incandescents about 1 year ago.
Now, one of the CFL's is burned out.
There is a 9 year warranty on the bulbs (NVision), but I am wondering whether cycling the lamps too frequently caused the premature burnout.

I suspect that if this is true, I will see more of them burn out soon.

When the mfr states the expected life of the bulb, are they assuming that it will not be cycled more than a specified number of times?

I would consider installing a manual on, auto off switch to keep the cycling down to a minimum, but at less than $1 per bulb, I don't think the switch would be cost effective; although it might be more environmental friendly, considering the disposal of the bulb containing mercury.

Thanks for your advice

FW
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Old 11-25-2009, 04:39 PM   #2
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CFL failed prematurely?


My bathroom bulbs usually last about 4 years
I was on my 2nd bulb, but changed out the fixture as the fan died
Many of our bulbs we changed out to 6500k Daylight CFL's in the past year
Prior to that most were original installations from 6 years ago
I've simply broken more bulbs then have died
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Old 11-25-2009, 06:51 PM   #3
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CFL failed prematurely?


I have similar isues with CFLs. They never seem to last as long as they say. Last one I had was a three way that lasted 6 months. I returned it. I have taken to marking the install date on the lamps base with pencil so I can see how long they are lasting.
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Old 11-25-2009, 07:03 PM   #4
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CFL failed prematurely?


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Originally Posted by Scuba_Dave View Post
My bathroom bulbs usually last about 4 years
I was on my 2nd bulb, but changed out the fixture as the fan died
Many of our bulbs we changed out to 6500k Daylight CFL's in the past year
Prior to that most were original installations from 6 years ago
I've simply broken more bulbs then have died
How often are your bulbs cycled on and off?

Ours are going on and off as many as two dozen times per day, sometimes staying on for only a few minutes.

FW
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Old 11-25-2009, 07:04 PM   #5
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CFL failed prematurely?


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I have similar isues with CFLs. They never seem to last as long as they say. Last one I had was a three way that lasted 6 months. I returned it. I have taken to marking the install date on the lamps base with pencil so I can see how long they are lasting.
I'm going to call the number listed in the warranty for these bulbs, and find out how I get a replacement; but, if it entails returning the defective bulb, I don't think it will be worth getting a replacement, since the bulbs are cheaper than the shipping cost to return the bad one.

FW
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Old 11-25-2009, 07:10 PM   #6
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CFL failed prematurely?


I've seen CCFLs die prematurely. I've read that when one is turned on, it should be left on for at least 15 minutes. I usually try to do this but often don't. I actually have a brand new one in my crawlspace that randomly flickers and sometimes even turns off. I need to check it further when I get the chance as it may be bad wiring, I remember that socket being really hard to wire due to the amount of wires in that box. I never understood why people skimp out on basement and crawlspace lighting. There was 2 in there... I put 6 lol.

My work place also learned today that it's not a good idea to put CCFLs on dimmers. Especially 50+ of them. There's a lecture theatre and someone dimmed the lights and ALL of them popped LOL. That must of been a sight to see. They were probably flickering like nuts and making weird noises then burned one after the other. Maintenance was there changing every single one of them.

They should of changed the dimmers for regular switches beforehand.
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Old 11-26-2009, 01:03 AM   #7
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CFL failed prematurely?


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Originally Posted by Red Squirrel View Post

My work place also learned today that it's not a good idea to put CCFLs on dimmers. Especially 50+ of them. There's a lecture theatre and someone dimmed the lights and ALL of them popped LOL. That must of been a sight to see. They were probably flickering like nuts and making weird noises then burned one after the other. Maintenance was there changing every single one of them.

They should of changed the dimmers for regular switches beforehand.
That one thing with most CFL they are not set up to use the dimmer useage.

There are dimmable CFL on market but you have to double check the package to verify it.

Merci,marc
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Old 11-26-2009, 01:30 AM   #8
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CFL failed prematurely?


I have said this before. CFL is clunky technology and will be short lived when LED array bulbs, for example, get brighter and less expensive. Add to that the mercury that has to be recovered and one hopes safely dealt with somehow. I suspect there is fine print with the warranty. Maybe not though.

I represented a photographer in a past life that found Levis warranted socks for life. For years he would wear his out and then send them in and he would get new socks mailed to him. He was finally told he was but one of a few that would ever dare and take the time to mail socks back under the warranty.

I suspect the lightbulb business works the same way. The number of people willing to mail in failed lightbulbs would be about? I am guessing most CFLs are not being recycled properly either and are just going into landfills with the trash along with batteries and things?
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Old 11-26-2009, 05:50 AM   #9
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CFL failed prematurely?


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I have said this before. CFL is clunky technology and will be short lived when LED array bulbs, for example, get brighter and less expensive. Add to that the mercury that has to be recovered and one hopes safely dealt with somehow. I suspect there is fine print with the warranty. Maybe not though.

I represented a photographer in a past life that found Levis warranted socks for life. For years he would wear his out and then send them in and he would get new socks mailed to him. He was finally told he was but one of a few that would ever dare and take the time to mail socks back under the warranty.

I suspect the lightbulb business works the same way. The number of people willing to mail in failed lightbulbs would be about? I am guessing most CFLs are not being recycled properly either and are just going into landfills with the trash along with batteries and things?
I'm sure the only people making any money on warranty returns of such items are the shippers.
I will simply drop mine off at Home Depot. They have a drop for CFL's and other fluorescents.

FW
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Old 11-26-2009, 05:52 AM   #10
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CFL failed prematurely?


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Originally Posted by Red Squirrel View Post
I've seen CCFLs die prematurely. I've read that when one is turned on, it should be left on for at least 15 minutes. I usually try to do this but often don't. I actually have a brand new one in my crawlspace that randomly flickers and sometimes even turns off. I need to check it further when I get the chance as it may be bad wiring, I remember that socket being really hard to wire due to the amount of wires in that box. I never understood why people skimp out on basement and crawlspace lighting. There was 2 in there... I put 6 lol.

My work place also learned today that it's not a good idea to put CCFLs on dimmers. Especially 50+ of them. There's a lecture theatre and someone dimmed the lights and ALL of them popped LOL. That must of been a sight to see. They were probably flickering like nuts and making weird noises then burned one after the other. Maintenance was there changing every single one of them.

They should of changed the dimmers for regular switches beforehand.
I would check the socket / wiring. When I put one in a very old fixture, it flickered erratically, and wasn't as bright as I expected it to be.
I moved it to the other socket in the same fixture, and it has been working fine there ever since.

FW
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Old 11-26-2009, 11:55 AM   #11
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CFL failed prematurely?


The one that failed for me was not the socket because I had just replaced the socket and bulb do to the previous one burning up from arcing in the bottom of the socket.

That's another issue I have CFLs. The knob on the bottom is often too large to let them screw into a fixture properly.
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Old 11-26-2009, 12:49 PM   #12
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CFL failed prematurely?


Quote:
Originally Posted by frenchelectrican View Post
That one thing with most CFL they are not set up to use the dimmer useage.

There are dimmable CFL on market but you have to double check the package to verify it.

Merci,marc
I tend to agree 100% with Frenchelectr. The cycling IS an issue with fluorescents in general, but the clincher is that they (CFLs) are by definition an INDUCTIVE load and standard dimmers are not made to work on inductives, only on RESISTIVE loads. (No matter what) Don't Drink and Drive, Ever!!!
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Old 11-26-2009, 03:50 PM   #13
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CFL failed prematurely?


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Originally Posted by KE2KB View Post
wondering whether cycling the lamps too frequently caused the premature burnout.
"The life of a CFL is significantly shorter if it is only turned on for a few minutes at a time: In the case of a 5-minute on/off cycle the lifespan of a CFL can be up to 85% shorter, reducing its lifespan to "close to that of incandescent light bulbs".[11]"
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Old 11-26-2009, 08:39 PM   #14
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CFL failed prematurely?


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Originally Posted by sdsester View Post
I have said this before. CFL is clunky technology and will be short lived when LED array bulbs, for example, get brighter and less expensive. Add to that the mercury that has to be recovered and one hopes safely dealt with somehow. I suspect there is fine print with the warranty. Maybe not though.

I represented a photographer in a past life that found Levis warranted socks for life. For years he would wear his out and then send them in and he would get new socks mailed to him. He was finally told he was but one of a few that would ever dare and take the time to mail socks back under the warranty.

I suspect the lightbulb business works the same way. The number of people willing to mail in failed lightbulbs would be about? I am guessing most CFLs are not being recycled properly either and are just going into landfills with the trash along with batteries and things?
CFL's work much better now then when they 1st came out
I use a $4 Instant coupon from Lowes to buy a 4pk of CFL's from Home Depot for $3.68
My cost after the instant rebate = 0
So LED's are going to have to drop a LOT for me to buy them

BY using CFL's LESS mercury is released overall into the environment due to less electricy being produced.
I would bring my failed light bulbs back to HD if I had any
I also mark the bases with the date installed

Going on 7 years here with almost every light a CFL
This includes approx 200 in my Christmas display
In that time period I have had 2 or 3 burn out
I have broken probably 6 or 7, all have been returned to be recycled at HD

I used to replace incandescents a LOT more then I have had to replace CFL's
Cheap incandescents...smaller filaments...they were burning out faster
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Old 11-26-2009, 10:07 PM   #15
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CFL failed prematurely?


lol yeah I've broken my fair share. I have this 2 gang box with a switch and plug which I use as a "work light" and it's been knocked over countless times. most of the time the bulb survived, other times not.
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