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Old 11-14-2010, 02:09 AM   #1
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CFL issues

Hi all,

I had a contractor install recessed lights (CFLs) in our living room and noticed a couple of things, which concerns me. The CFL bulbs used are plug-in type with 4 pins, 26w ones. IC-rated casings for CFLs where used since we have insulation in the attic (Halo H272RICAT)

(1) I noticed that when I plugged in a bulb, the bulb flashed (turned on and then off really quickly) even with the switch off. I actually noticed this a few times with different sockets. Is this normal or does this indicate some bad wiring?

(2) This evening, one of the lights suddenly went off. I was suspecting the bulb was burnt out (it was a brand new one though) and tried it into another socket, but it was actually working okay. So I plugged it back in and turned on/off a couple of times, but each time it went off after being on for a short amount of time.

Then I realized that the casing has some thermal protection and thought it might have been overheated (although I didn't turn it on for a long time). So I waited a little and tried again. This time it went off again immediately and I actually heard some noise, so I checked the bulb and found that it got cracked.

So I removed the bulb and put another one in there and it is working okay till now.

Should I worry? Is it not rare that a CFL bulb gets cracked when turned on? Also, can it be overheated easily to have thermal protection to kick in? Or some bad wiring can cause overheating as well?

I am not sure if it was due to some shady work by the contractor or I am overreacting over something that is normal and expected for CFLs. I'm a novice in this area, so any help would be appreciated. Both incidents concern me greatly.


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Old 11-14-2010, 08:22 AM   #2
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What type of switch are you using to turn these lights on and off?



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Old 11-14-2010, 08:25 AM   #3
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Electronic ballasts will do that.
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Old 11-14-2010, 09:53 AM   #4
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Every once in awhile a compact fluorescent bulb has a thin spot in the glass and can break with the least bit of rough handling. To prevent this kind of problem, hold it by the plastic base when inserting and removing it.
The good conscientious technician or serviceperson will carry extra oils and lubricants in case the new pump did not come with oil or the oil was accidentally spilled, so the service call can be completed without an extra visit.
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Old 11-14-2010, 09:58 AM   #5
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I have purchaesd several CFLs that were bad. They had shorts or didn't work at all. They came from WalMart. I assume every store will have some bad ones.
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Old 11-14-2010, 04:45 PM   #6
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Thanks for all the answers. The switch is just plain on-off switch, not a dimmer (don't know if there are other types). And I am not sure if the crack was caused by my handling or made when the bulb went off (cause I heard some sound then).
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Old 11-14-2010, 05:15 PM   #7
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Static electricity can cause those bulbs to flash when installing `em.



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