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I hate CFL 'long' life light bulbs
Old 01-08-2015, 03:49 PM   #1
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I hate CFL 'long' life light bulbs

Just had another supposed long life CFL bulb go out in the kitchen!

I now have a graveyard bag in the garage with over a dozen - all less than 3 years old.

Shame on me for believing the hype.

Shame on me for not keeping the sales receipts.

I'm going old man grumpy from now on with the manufacturers...keeping my receipts and sending back these dangburn infernal new fangled bulbs!
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Old 01-08-2015, 04:07 PM   #2
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Around here (SE MI) one can buy CFLs for a buck. Home Depot recycles them.
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Old 01-08-2015, 04:08 PM   #3
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Last time out I swore I would do this. But saving the receipts and matching them to specific bulbs is not my idea of fun.

I think without us doing this, though, the situation will just go on.
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Old 01-08-2015, 04:15 PM   #4
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Was at HDepot with my 85 year old mom. Someone was hawking the long-life bulbs..."They'll last 15 years".

Mom snapped back: "I'm not going to live that long, give me the cheaper ones!"
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Old 01-08-2015, 04:17 PM   #5
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I purchased a bunch of them at Menards. .88 for a 4-pack.
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Old 01-08-2015, 04:20 PM   #6
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I like the Cree LED bulbs, hate those CFLs.
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Old 01-08-2015, 04:30 PM   #7
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We've had good luck with our CFLs (knock on wood), we haven't burned one out yet, though we stayed away from the no-name 4-packs.

But many people have had bad luck with them, so there's no doubt there is something to it. I know CFLs don't like being turned on/off too often, and at least some don't play well with dimmers.

But the light from CFLs is yellower, and we've gone to LEDs in the kitchen and reading lights. I am sure we'll switch to LEDs more and more.

For those who 'hate CFLs' - can you still buy incandescent bulbs?
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Old 01-08-2015, 04:32 PM   #8
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The local Costco also sells 60W-equivalent CFLs for $0.88/4 pack. They say the low price is because of a subsidy by the local power company. I do not keep track, but think they last longer than 3 years, but no way 15 years.
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Old 01-08-2015, 04:33 PM   #9
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Psst. Three letters ..... L.E.D.

I'm waiting for my CFLs to burn out to replace with LED bulbs. Or I may get bored and change them anyhow.

Though I will use a CFL in the bathroom as that uses a smaller bulb in an enclosed fixture.
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Old 01-08-2015, 04:37 PM   #10
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They don't last because they are cheap Chinese-manufactured garbage. Good luck opening the packaging without cutting yourself in the process.


I bought the last batch at 4/$1.88 when I was in another state that had utility subsidies for them. No Menards out here. 4/$0.88 was the Walmart price for GE incandescent bulbs the last couple of years they were legal.


Recycling them is a pain because you do not want to break them. I wrap and bag them and drop them off at Lowes.
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Old 01-08-2015, 04:48 PM   #11
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My luck with CFL has been very good. Only one dud in about ten in the last seven years. I still use them for "flood" type lighting but have gone with LEDs for spot lighting. The difference in price for a 60w equivalent LED direct from China on ebay vs the retail price at HD is amazing.

I got a 5 meter strip set of 5050 RGB LED lights for $15 on ebay to play with . That's the new frontier in lighting.
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Old 01-08-2015, 04:50 PM   #12
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I ordered 10 LED car light bulbs from Amazon for 20 bucks. Installed two last night to see how they looked in my RV. After about 3 minutes, one blew the LEDs off the socket and the other was literally smoking. These were supposed to be 12 volt bulbs. They looked OK while they worked, but 3 minutes was a pretty short life span!
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Old 01-08-2015, 05:30 PM   #13
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Do the LEDs have any electronics? Without an active current regulator, the current that an LED (or string of LEDs) draws goes up exponentially with voltage. It's the same as a forward-biased diode (which it is!).

At 14V, an LED will draw several times the current it does at 12V, if there's no regulator. The nominal 12V of an RV battery may go as high as 14.4V when it is under charge.

If the LEDs have no regulator, then they are not usable even for a car, because I have seen car battery voltage as high as 14V.

PS. And if you build an LED for 14V, at 12V it will be very dim if it even lights up. The current regulator is necessary to deal with varying voltage, and also shifts of the LED characteristics with temperature, age, and manufacturing variations.
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Old 01-08-2015, 06:33 PM   #14
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CFLs. Pfft. You luddite piker you. Get with the program. What you need are LED lamps. They use just as much energy as CFLs, but cost lots more to buy. You remember when you had to buy CFLs at a premium price compared to the resistance bulbs that worked predictably? You remember how the CFLs were to outlast the old style bulbs by months and months? You remember how they didn't? Well, CFLs are passe and icky - nobody with any couth uses them anymore. You need to pay a bunch extra for LEDs - they'll last for twenty years or more! Really! ....
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Old 01-08-2015, 06:43 PM   #15
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I replaced every bulb in the house with CFLs when we moved in nearly 11 years ago, and have replaced about half of them. Not bad. And as mentioned, they're really pretty cheap these days.
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Old 01-08-2015, 06:46 PM   #16
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I have not had a problem with CFL bulbs other than the fact that they take a few minutes to reach maximum light output, and they tend to grow dimmer over time. Since most of my high use bulbs are CFL, replacing them while they work satisfactorily does not make economic sense. However, as they die over the next few years, I will use up my stash of CFL bulbs and then start adding LED bulbs. By, then the LED bulbs should also be cheaper.
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Old 01-08-2015, 07:06 PM   #17
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I've been amazed at the variable quality of these newer bulbs- both CFL and LED. Any old incandescent would give off pretty decent light and last about as long as most others. The worst of these new bulbs can be MUCH dimmer than their alleged incandescent "watt equivalent", have a much shorter lifespan than advertised, and some CFLs are indeed maddeningly slow to fully light up- particularly in the cold.
I'm done buying CFLs. With LED prices coming down, I'm gradually replacing my house bulbs with good LEDs starting with my highest-use areas. I stockpiled some incandescents for this transition.
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Old 01-08-2015, 07:30 PM   #18
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Should perhaps mention that we provide lightbulbs in the fixtures in the apartments we rent out - I know, you wouldn't think a cheapskate like me would do such an expansive thing, but channeling my inner Diamond Jim.... So that's about 20 bulbs/ one bedroom apartment, then porch and hall lights, laundry and storage area lights and so on. Down to only 35 units, but I gotta say - it's a rare tenant who replaces a lightbulb and we go through a bunch of them. Down to about 400 incandescent bulbs in stock and am using CFLs in areas where I hope they will not be cycled on and off a bunch. kicking and screaming into the future here....
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Old 01-08-2015, 08:54 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NW-Bound View Post
Do the LEDs have any electronics? Without an active current regulator, the current that an LED (or string of LEDs) draws goes up exponentially with voltage. It's the same as a forward-biased diode (which it is!).

At 14V, an LED will draw several times the current it does at 12V, if there's no regulator. The nominal 12V of an RV battery may go as high as 14.4V when it is under charge.

If the LEDs have no regulator, then they are not usable even for a car, because I have seen car battery voltage as high as 14V.

PS. And if you build an LED for 14V, at 12V it will be very dim if it even lights up. The current regulator is necessary to deal with varying voltage, and also shifts of the LED characteristics with temperature, age, and manufacturing variations.
The LEDs I fried had what looked like a small resistor on one leg and a lead on the other. I can't be sure because it looks like the resistor is what burned. The whole thing is put together like a tiny circuit card with 42 LEDs on it.
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Old 01-08-2015, 09:12 PM   #20
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Recycling them is a pain because you do not want to break them. I wrap and bag them and drop them off at Lowes.
I would bet that more than half get thrown in the garbage. I know when I had Section 8 renters, they did not recycle anything. All of it went in the trash.
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