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Old 10-25-2007, 05:03 PM   #41
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Like all fluorescent lamps, CFLs contain a small amount of mercury—an average of 5
milligrams (mg) per bulb. By comparison, some watch batteries contain 25mg of mercury, and many manual thermostats contain up to 3,000mg.


Although the daylight color isn't as warm and fuzzy feeling, I find that it's best for reading.
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Old 10-25-2007, 08:45 PM   #42
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Its a lot easier to contain a little bit of properly disposed mercury than a whole #^@#%load of pollution from generating 3-4x the electricity...
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Old 10-26-2007, 12:53 AM   #43
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Its a lot easier to contain a little bit of properly disposed mercury than a whole #^@#%load of pollution from generating 3-4x the electricity...
Correct. I just hope they really set up good recycling programs for them.

In my neck of the woods, you may need to wait for an assigned 'recycling day' with limited hours for certain things, then drive maybe 15 miles, and then wait in line to properly dispose of some things (fluorescent lights included). I do it, but I imagine that many people with less time on their hands, or just less motivation, just throw them in the trash. I can hardly blame them, but I still will.

-ERD50
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Old 10-26-2007, 09:07 AM   #44
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I also have replaced all the heavily used lamps with CFL. I was an early adapter but did it slowly as they got better and cheaper. The dimming over time is the most annoying part. One lamp in the living room we use for reading was finally converted a few years ago when they came out with good 100W equivalent bulbs. This lamp is on anytime we are in the living room and I find it really needs to be replaced every 6-12 months depending on when I remember to pick up a replacement. I then shuffle the dimmed 100W equivalent to a location that I would have used a 60W in.

We have several light fixtures that have the frosted glass chimneys to make them look like oil lamps. I fine the long U shaped bulbs work great in them. Since they are in hallways it is easier to justify leaving those lights on in the evening since they don't use much power and two are in hard to reach spots so the long life is nice.

We designed a lot of indirect florescent lighting into house when we built it 25+ years ago including a double 8 footer in the living room that we use when we need more light. It is hidden from view unless you look up close to the wall. For those that did not know, if you go to a bigger electrical supply they sell the long tubes (4' and 8') in different color temperatures, they cost more but the one intended to blend into tungsten lighting look very good. And I have only replaced them once in 25 years. The ones in the kitchen were picked to be whiter than the normal greenish florescence to make food look good.

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Old 10-26-2007, 09:42 AM   #45
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Up the road, near Redwood National Park, there's a small place with a number of cabins that just opened up. They're positioning themselves for eco-tourism. They had a grand opening tour, and I noticed there wasn't a fluorescent tube or CFL in the whole place.
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Old 10-26-2007, 09:44 AM   #46
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...I noticed there wasn't a fluorescent tube or CFL in the whole place.
With candles and kerosene lamps, whydya need CFL bulbs?
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Old 10-26-2007, 10:50 AM   #47
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Correct. I just hope they really set up good recycling programs for them.

In my neck of the woods, you may need to wait for an assigned 'recycling day' with limited hours for certain things, then drive maybe 15 miles, and then wait in line to properly dispose of some things (fluorescent lights included). I do it, but I imagine that many people with less time on their hands, or just less motivation, just throw them in the trash. I can hardly blame them, but I still will.

-ERD50
Blame away... I will not do that.. heck, what is the pollution etc. if everybody drove 15 miles (or 30 round trip) to get rid of a CFL once or twice a year?

In 5 years I have had 6 or 8 burn out... my tubes in the kitchen are 20 years old (but one is getting a bit iffy)... I don't think that there is a lot going in the land fill...
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Old 12-27-2007, 05:03 PM   #48
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Strange. No dimmer ether, I assume?

It is unlikely to be low voltage at the sockets. The reg bulbs draw more power, so they would load the circuit, and lower the voltage more than the CFLs. So, one CFL and 3 reg bulbs would be the worst case loading on the circuit. That should make the one CFL flicker if it was a load problem on that circuit.

But just for grins, when you get back, try 1, then 2, and then 3 CFLs with the rest reg. That might tell you something. You can also get a cheap meter to check the voltage. Maybe one high output CFL and one low watt reg bulb in each fixture would work for you?

-ERD50
OK, we need at least 2 active CFL threads, so I'll revive this one now that I'm back to try CFLs in my 2 sets of wall sconces that take two bulbs each.

I replaced one, happened to be in the opposite fixture I tried before. I put it in the socket pointing down, and it lit brightly, and the top one seemed brighter too. The other two on the other fixture dimmed considerably.

Put one in the bottom socket of the other fixture. Now THAT one went bright, top one seemed brighter, and the other two in the first fixture went real dim.

Did not try 3 bulbs. I'd need to take the cover off and stand on something and I've got too much else going right now.

I went back to 4 incandescents and I would say that all are dimmer than 4 60 W bulbs should be, but they are all at the same level--uniform brightness. I can look directly at the bulbs with no eye burning at all. I think it isn't at full power, perhaps intentionally, because it's a very pleasant light for background, nothing you'd want to try to read with. When a CFL is put in, the other fixture goes too dim to be useful and they are not a uniform brightness.

The fixtures say to use type A bulbs only, 60W max.

Maybe I'll play some more after I get unpacked and settled in.
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Old 12-27-2007, 05:38 PM   #49
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Wow, that could be a bunch of things. Barring a dimmer being in the line (and I doubt thats the case), I'm going to guess that those lights are wired in series instead of in parallel.

What I mean by that is that the hot from the switch is feeding the hot on the first fixture, then the neutral from that light feeds the hot on the second, and so on, with the neutral on the last fixture coming back to neutral at the switch again.

That causes a sequential drop in voltage as you go down the line. Even the incandescent bulbs are probably getting dimmer as you go down the series, but its probably imperceptible.

Probably not the best way to wire it up, and depending on the setup you might be able to correct it so that the hot from the switch goes to the hot on all the lamps and the neutral all back to the switch. It was either hooked up wrong by the installer, or someone took a short cut.

Its also possible that each of the bulbs in the fixture is wired independently, and that just one of the four of them is wired in parallel to the other.
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Old 12-27-2007, 06:09 PM   #50
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Wow, that could be a bunch of things. Barring a dimmer being in the line (and I doubt thats the case), I'm going to guess that those lights are wired in series instead of in parallel.

What I mean by that is that the hot from the switch is feeding the hot on the first fixture, then the neutral from that light feeds the hot on the second, and so on, with the neutral on the last fixture coming back to neutral at the switch again.

That causes a sequential drop in voltage as you go down the line. Even the incandescent bulbs are probably getting dimmer as you go down the series, but its probably imperceptible.

Probably not the best way to wire it up, and depending on the setup you might be able to correct it so that the hot from the switch goes to the hot on all the lamps and the neutral all back to the switch. It was either hooked up wrong by the installer, or someone took a short cut.

Its also possible that each of the bulbs in the fixture is wired independently, and that just one of the four of them is wired in parallel to the other.
Could be. I'm probably at the point where I'm quite happy with the light output with the old bulbs, so I'll just leave them. These are the lights that are on the longest by far (except for maybe the overhead kitchen flourescents and breakfast counter lights cans), so I'd love to get the CFL efficiency but maybe I'll just let them go, rather than figure out how to "fix" them and have them burn brighter than what I want.

Maybe I'll replace the cans that I use a lot, leave the extras to replace the other cans I rarely use til they're gone.

My favorite CFL application is the reading light. It's nice to read without having a hot lamp making it unfortable, especially in summer.
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Old 12-27-2007, 07:23 PM   #51
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wired in series
But they'd all go out when you removed one, of course. I can't believe that anyone over the age of 10 would wire it that way.
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Old 12-27-2007, 07:38 PM   #52
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Nah, they're not like christmas lights. The sockets hot even when the bulb is out of it.

We did this stuff in high school, wiring bulbs in series and in parallel using switches on a big piece of wood.

I'm betting they dont teach it that way anymore
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Old 12-27-2007, 07:41 PM   #53
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Like this...
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Old 12-27-2007, 08:04 PM   #54
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Like this...
"Here, Bubba, hold this in one hand and my beer in the other while I flip this switch..."
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Old 12-27-2007, 08:12 PM   #55
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Yep, we all learned a healthy respect for 110v alternating current.
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Old 12-28-2007, 03:58 AM   #56
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Dammit, when I read the title of this thread I thought we'd be talking Canadian Football League.
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Bright initial turnon of CFLs
Old 12-28-2007, 07:53 AM   #57
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Bright initial turnon of CFLs

We recently had kitchen remodeled. New fixtures installed with 23w CFLs. Sometimes when they are turned on (3 wired per switch), one of them has an initial transient that is very bright which lasts for a second or so and then the brightness is the same as the others (dimmer than steady state but increasing over time to the steady state brightness). It does not always happen but it happens enough that I am not surprised when it happens.

Anybody else have this experience? Wondering what causes it, is it a problem, fix = ??

The bulbs do not have the screw in base like incandescents. They have 4 pins
at the base and I think you push them in to install. I think they also have
electronic ballasts that (I think) are part of the fixture.
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Old 12-28-2007, 09:27 AM   #58
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Dammit, when I read the title of this thread I thought we'd be talking Canadian Football League.
I almost made a joke about that.
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Old 12-28-2007, 10:24 AM   #59
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We recently had kitchen remodeled. New fixtures installed with 23w CFLs. Sometimes when they are turned on (3 wired per switch), one of them has an initial transient that is very bright which lasts for a second or so and then the brightness is the same as the others (dimmer than steady state but increasing over time to the steady state brightness). It does not always happen but it happens enough that I am not surprised when it happens.

Anybody else have this experience? Wondering what causes it, is it a problem, fix = ??

The bulbs do not have the screw in base like incandescents. They have 4 pins
at the base and I think you push them in to install. I think they also have
electronic ballasts that (I think) are part of the fixture.
Most likely your fixtures have an electronic ballast and the ballast stays with the fixture and only the lamp gets replaced. With the screw in bulbs both ballast and bulb are all one assembly.

When you first turn on any fluorescent lamp the ballast turns on small filaments in the lamp and sends a spike of high voltage to the lamp to get it started and then the filaments turn off and the operating voltage drops down to a lower level. The ballast in the suspect fixture may be staying in the starting mode just a little longer than the others or that lamp may just start easier than the rest.

You could switch the lamps around and see if the problem stays with the fixture or moves with the lamp.

I'm not sure it's a problem or not but long term bulb life may be an issue.
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Old 12-28-2007, 10:33 AM   #60
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Yep, you've got a problem in the fixture with the starter/ballast and a bulb in that fixture probably wont last as long. Some starters are faster than others...maybe someone replaced just one of them with a faster part than is starting the other bulbs.
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