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Old 08-29-2009, 08:53 PM   #1
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CFL vs incandescent question


I recently bought a ceiling fan at Home Depot and it came with two CFL bulbs. The bulbs have the same "normal" base/threads that a regular incandescent light bulb has. However, I hate the washed out putrid light that CFLs give, even though they are better for the environment, use less wattage, blah, blah blah. But anyway, I went to put in 60w incandescent bulbs, and the warning sticker on the base of the fixture said to use "risk of fire hazard...use max 14w spiral type bulb". Normally such stickers are based on 60, 75, 100w, etc incandescent ratings. I've never seen a regular lighting fixture whose wattage rating is supposedly limited to the lower wattage CFL bulbs. My question is, has anyone ever heard of this? A 60w incandescent fits in there like every other normal light in the world, but that warning sticker is freaking me out. I'm 90+% certain that it could handle a 60w no problem, but I don't know why they'd say 14w spiral type max. Is that just a plot to try to force people into thinking they have to use CFLs, or would this appliance actually only be able to handle 14w of power safely??? I don't recall seeing anything on the box that said it was only compatible with low watter CFLs.

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Old 08-29-2009, 08:57 PM   #2
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CFL vs incandescent question


Incandescenst are on the way out - by Law
They produce 90% heat - so each of those 60w bulbs is like a 54w heater
Mfg's are starting to reset their labels & Mfg process
Probably using cheaper materials since there won't be as much of a heat issue
Or the venting could be different on the new light

CFL's come in many "flavors"
Normal (green packaging at HD) - 3300L
Next step I think is around 4500K
Daylight HD bulbs - around 5500K - bluer light
Daylight bulbs from Lowes - 6500k - what we usually buy now

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Old 08-29-2009, 09:07 PM   #3
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It sounds like a scare tactic to me:"Use CFLs or else!". Most lamp holders are stamped somewhere with the maximum wattage and voltage they can use. It may be on the back, so it means removing the socket to see. Most ceramic lamp holders are stamped "660 W, 250 V". So the socket itself can handle 660 W of load, but it is the entire assembly that limits the wattage.
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Old 08-29-2009, 09:11 PM   #4
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CFL vs incandescent question


Thanks for the reply. There is plenty of venting. The base where the lights screw it hangs down from the fan, and then a glass dome/bowl gets attached to the underside of that. So the top of the glass dome/bowl is wide open and plenty of room for heat to rise up from the bulbs. I have a hard time believing they would have actually manufactured it to only safely use 14w, instead of 60w, but I guess at some point they will start. I hope I'm not one of the unlucky ones to be the first to get a 14w max fixture.
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Old 08-29-2009, 09:14 PM   #5
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Check the socket as InPhase said - make sure its ceramic & not some sort of plastic now
See if there is any rating on the socket
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Old 08-30-2009, 10:03 AM   #6
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CFL vs incandescent question


I went around and around on this with UL.

Fixtures have a thermal resistance.
If 2 ea. 100w lamps in a surface-mount ceiling fixture heats your Romex to 90 C from a 30 C ambient, the thermal resistance is (90-30)/200 = 0.3 C/w.
Does your free-air fixture have a thermal resistance of 60/14 = ~4 C/w? I doubt it.

I saw an IKEA bathroom flourescent fixture with one 14w bulb and the instructions called for using 105 C wire, which I came to find out is only used in commercial buildings.
Then UL wanted to me to investigate why IKEA would be selling this for residential use! On my dime!
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Old 08-30-2009, 11:28 AM   #7
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CFL vs incandescent question


You can get CFL's in different color ranges (warm to cool).
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Old 08-30-2009, 06:14 PM   #8
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CFL vs incandescent question


I hate those bulbs. Im gonna get me a few crates of incandescent lights, and the government can go jump off a bridge. They have done some studies that CFL cast "dirty" light, and some people are having health issues with them being in their home. I personally just cant stand them. That is one "green" intitiative I can live without.
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Old 08-30-2009, 06:36 PM   #9
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CFL vs incandescent question


I'm one jump ahead of you BC. I already have several cases of incandescent bulbs of various sizes.

The CFLs are OK for outside lighting, and some background lighting, but I've yet to see a color temperature that I could live with on a regular basis.

Rob

P.S. I agree with InPhase, it's a scare tactic designed to get you to use only CFLs.
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Old 08-30-2009, 07:02 PM   #10
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CFL vs incandescent question


Even with the indentscent bulb verison of ceiling fan some manufacter got smart with wattage rating they put in electronic gimzo so it will check the current drawage if too much wattage it will stay off until you get correct bulb in there.

I found out not too long ago with my customer ceiling fan act pretty wonky and took me a min to figure it out why and it was controller unit that sense that so if you go with CFL it will not affect it at all.

Merci,Marc
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Old 08-30-2009, 07:46 PM   #11
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I'm on the fence on this one.
It's a
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_trap
balancing the good of society with the good of the individual. There is no solution.
And I haven't yet drilled out the flow restrictor in my 2 GPM showerhead.
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Old 08-30-2009, 08:00 PM   #12
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CFL vs incandescent question


I would say more then 90% of my hous enow has CFL bulbs installed
Kitchen hockey pocks are LED, as is the front 3 season porch light
I also have LED rope light in the kitchen

For the most part I only have incandescents in dimmer situations
Plus the front hall light that I haven't replaced yet
I'm hoping LED's get pushed more & the prices drop
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Old 08-30-2009, 08:05 PM   #13
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SD.,

I am pretty sure the LED price will drop once they slove few issue with design and colour { some peoples don't like bleuish colour at all}

I know they are more expenisve right now but slowly more item is adding along the way so the price actally drop down a little so give little more time the price will go down much lower and have more useage with the LEDs.

Merci,Marc
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Old 08-30-2009, 11:41 PM   #14
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I don't know if the led's are so great for interior lighting. They are very directional and as I recall, were comparable with cfl for lumens per watt. There's probably some other technology out there being developed right now.
I don't find the cfl's objectionable: warm is close to incandescent. They do seem to interfere with a power monitor I have that uses power line data transmission. Also, I don't have any dimmers, they don't normally work with cfls, and I'm not sure if the dimmable ones are that dimmable.

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