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CFL bulbs

Post in 'The Green Room' started by RNLA, Feb 9, 2011.

  1. RNLA

    RNLA Minister of Fire

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    762
    I will probably take some heat for this but I have to say I'm pissed. I walked in to my local ACE today guy says "can I help you?" I say, "no thanks I got it handled" He goes through the "if you need any help" stuff and goes on his way... I get some grass seed and then I head over to the lighting section and start to look at the bulbs. The same guy comes over and begins to give me a CAUTION that you know they'er going to all CFL bulbs... and how it is going to be law. So I ask, don't you think it should be my choice to burn a regular bulb or CFL? He says NO! I went down hill fast and advised him I did not need his help to make a decision. He seemed equally offended that I might do something to use more power than I should... I already have used CFLs for a good while, I also do not like being smothered by a salesman. I will be talking to the manager about this person not letting his personal opinions and habits enter his professional duties. He should not be telling some one who he does not know how to buy or what to buy! >:-(

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  2. WhitePine

    WhitePine Feeling the Heat

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    It's light bulb sales disease, apparently quite contagious.

    A couple of weeks ago I was at the Home Despot looking for a particularly weird appliance bulb or an acceptable substitute. When their bulb guy offered to help, I politely declined. After his third offer to help, I got a bit testy with him and he left.

    The next thing I know, another guy comes by an offers to help. I got kind of frosty with him, and he left in a bit of a huff. Less than a minute later, employee number three comes by asking if I need help, which was the fifth unwanted interruption in my thought process. At that point I lost it and told him in no uncertain terms that five friggin times was too many and just leave me the hell alone. I don't need any <censored> help.

    A little while later, when I left empty handed, I noticed a small knot of employees watching me. I'm pretty sure I could see one of them mouthing in what I'm sure was a barely audible voice, "That's him." I resisted the temptation to "salute" them on the way out.
  3. semipro

    semipro Minister of Fire

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    I'm with you guys.

    I do appreciate that they're trying to be helpful but.... I think I know my local big box stores better than the employees.

    Sometimes I wish they they would offer you a "leave me the hell alone" sign when you walk in the door... or may just a yellow armband that I can wear that indicates that to the employees. :)

    Our local HD has even started posting greeters at the front door some of which I recognize from the various departments. It really pisses me off to think I may not find help in a department because the employee is working the front door.
  4. yooperdave

    yooperdave Minister of Fire

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    it's going to be a law that we have to use cfl's? i knew that incadescents were going to be dropped in manufacturing, but now their going to have bulb police??? puh-leez!

    wasn't the whole digital broadcast of tv signals jammed down our throats without anyone paying attention to the normal joes and catering only to the lobbiests?? is this the same thing only with the spin of cfl versus incadescent? gotta love it
  5. RNLA

    RNLA Minister of Fire

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    The CFLs are really a saving measure and I was about to purchase eight of the soft white flood lights for our can lights 4 in the kitchen and 4 in the living room. The guy screwed up a nearly fifty dollar sale and in excess of fifty with my grass seed and night light... I was also going to buy a few other things. I was really surprised to hear of the conspiracy thing though, thanks for the info! :gulp:
  6. WhitePine

    WhitePine Feeling the Heat

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    No law that I know of says you can't use incandescents if you have them. You just won't be able buy them.

    Digital TV is a good thing. There has to be a standard, and the old analog standard was woefully out of date. The change over has freed up a lot of spectrum, which is being made available for pressing telecommunications needs, such as additional wireless broadband frequencies.

    Coupons for free converter boxes were made available by an act of Congress so that ordinary joes wouldn't be forced to buy new TV's, even though they had years to acquire a new digital set. That was a waste of money IMHO.
  7. yooperdave

    yooperdave Minister of Fire

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    as far as the digital thing goes, no-one around here likes it as we are too remote to receive digital broadcasts from any tv stations. the "old analog standard" worked. now there are areas that can't get the digital signal...whether you have the converter box or not. (a lot of people did get them in anticipation of interrupted service...surprise) the only way to get tv now is from dish or direct. used to be free, now we pay. so all the pressing telecommunications needs that were freed up are still freed up.

    i understand that in more densely populated areas, such as out east, this new system works better. as far as the tv thing goes, i now have a cottage with no tv and have only missed it a very limited number of times.

    i didn't mean to blow open a conspiracy theory!!
  8. RNLA

    RNLA Minister of Fire

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    I quit watching TV 10 years ago so I would have more time to cut wood :wow: Do I have to buy a special TV to get free broadcasts? I have thought about getting a new TV so I could leave it running. This way I could make up the amount of energy I saved by using CFLs and my power bill would stay the same! Does that make it OK? Could I go back to the ACE store and tell the guy I am saving jobs by using CFLs and digital TV 24/7? :mad:
  9. WhitePine

    WhitePine Feeling the Heat

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    Sorry to hear you can't get a signal anymore. Have you tried one of the very high gain fringe area UHF antennas? I installed one of these, along with a mast mounted preamp. We get a good signal from the big city shooting through trees and a ridge line.

    http://www.antennasdirect.com/store/91XG_HDTV_Antenna.html
  10. homebrewz

    homebrewz Minister of Fire

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    From what I understand (which means what I skimmed on wikipedia), in the US its not so much that incandescent bulbs are being phased out, its that light bulb efficiency standards are being increased.

    With high speed internet and hearth.com, I don't need TV.. I spend enough time on here anyway. Though, for those without a dish and still in search of a free signal, the stuff mentioned above will definitely help (good antenna, preamp). Getting the antenna up high is very important as is using a decent coaxial cable.
  11. fdegree

    fdegree Feeling the Heat

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    Based upon my experience with CFL's...they do not last much longer than incandescent...they do cost more than incandescent...they probably use less electricity than incandescent. I have not tried to do the math, but I wonder if the the reduced electricity offsets the added cost when considering their similar life span.

    As for digital TV...the problem I have with this is, now that TV has gone digital, the government is selling the analog frequencies...not sure if they are selling the digital ones too. How can they sell something that they don't own?
  12. btuser

    btuser Minister of Fire

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    I changed over to all cfl about 4 years ago (except for the fridge) and there was about a $20 difference in the elect bill right away. Of course, once people stop using as much electricity PSNH will be inclined to raise the rates, just as the DWP has done when we all went to low water use fixtures. Power and water useage for Americans is on the way down, but that won't save us from everybody else on the way up. Even if we conserve our costs will go up.
  13. WhitePine

    WhitePine Feeling the Heat

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    The radio spectrum is considered public property. It is managed cooperatively world wide by national governments. Cooperative management is a necessity, since radio waves don't respect borders. A number of treaties exist to set up the rules for the management.

    The US Government has decided, perhaps unwisely, to auction off spectrum to the highest qualified bidder. It isn't actually sold. Rather, licenses to use the spectrum are sold to the highest qualified bidder. Prior to the auction process, licenses were simply awarded for a fixed fee, or in some cases, no fee.

    The auctions are only conducted for certain radio services, such as cellular and PCS radio services. The vast majority of licenses are not auctioned.
  14. maverick06

    maverick06 Minister of Fire

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    I use the CFL, but i still need to use the regular bulbs for all the outdoor timers (the timers need about 60W to work). So the dumba working in the store can politely inform you of the difference then walk away. He doesnt make the laws in the country... he makes minimum wage.
  15. WhitePine

    WhitePine Feeling the Heat

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    All fluorescent lamps require a ballast (current limiting device). In the case of the CFLs, the ballast is built into the bulb. In junk CFLs from you know where, the ballast fails early, negating any cost savings from the reduced energy consumption. As far as I know, the government in its wisdom has mandated reduced energy consumption while not mandating the reliability needed to produce an actual cost saving or total cost equality.

    There is also a small amount of energy consumption numbers fraud accompanying many, if not all, fluorescents. The ballast, which produces no light, only heat, consumes a little bit of power. A flourescent light's energy consumption is the total of that consumed by the bulb and and that consumed by the ballast. Prior to CFLs, the ballast was separate from the bulb, being part of the fixture. Since the bulb manufacturers could not know how much power the fixture's ballast consumed, only the bulb's consumption was considered in the wattage rating.

    The CFL manufacturers have gleefully continued the "tradition," because, after all, it's a tradition, no matter that each and every CFL rating understates the actual power consumption of the bulb.

    Once again, the American consumer is being screwed by a combination of inept government action and unethical corporate governance. :mad:
  16. RNLA

    RNLA Minister of Fire

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    I still want to go back to the store just to screw with the guy who tried to "EDUCATE" me on the proper energy use for the average joe. I will behave for the moment and go about my other 6.5 million projects that I do not need advice on how to do it the right way!!! CFLs will be purchased but only at a place where they have those yellow arm bands to tell the sales guy to leave you alone, I will wear 2! :cheese: Thanks Semipro.
  17. semipro

    semipro Minister of Fire

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    I'm actually thinking of making that armband (or something else) suggestion to HD and Lowes. What the heck?


    My father in law really growls about how terribly CFLs work in his motion detecting outdoor lights. Though we don't usually agree on much he's right about that. That's not a good application for CFLs that need to warm up to full brightness.
  18. maverick06

    maverick06 Minister of Fire

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    CFL are really a great lightbulb... but

    1) use them in a correct fixture. Some CFL cannot be used in a enclosed fixture, some need to be oriented in a certain direction.

    2) put them in a light that stays on for a while, one that doesnt cycle frequentlly.

    3) Dont use them below 40F or they dont work too well.

    4) only use them with clean power, when the lights flicker, buzz, or you have a brown out, these bulbs die right away.

    5) some cheap bulbs work great, some are hottible).

    6) be careful of the color temperature, otherwise you wont be happy with the color.

    7) dont use them in a drop light or something that will bounce around.

    I have had lots that die quick (cheap and expensive) and lots that are going years later (cheap and expensive). No doubt they are way cheaper to operate than a regular lightbulb.

    I think LED might be a better option, even less power used, and hopefully a longer life.
  19. RNLA

    RNLA Minister of Fire

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    So on the LED bulbs, do they have a "soft white" indoor version or are my wife and I going to look like 1% milk? I can just barely take the "soft white" CFLs in our floor lamp and table lamp. :)
  20. Amaralluis

    Amaralluis Member

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    I used to think that CFL were crap but to save money I had replaced almost all my indoor lightning with GLOBE 13W CFL when it came out. They were not instant start, had a yellish color and not very bright.

    I was at costco the other day and saw a pack of 10 LUMINUS 13W CFL for $12.00. I thought why not, might as well replace those old 60W bulbs lingering in the house.

    HOLY CRAP was my reaction when I installed one and tried it out. Instant start, very white light color, looks natural and is it bright!
    Even with the lady got home the first thing she said was "Did you do something to the lights?".
    I ended going back to Costo and bought 2 more packages to replace all the bulbs in the house. They are better than regular incandescent and only use 13W.
    Also these bulbs have a lead free base. Dont know about longevity thou but so far it impressed me.
  21. maverick06

    maverick06 Minister of Fire

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    Great news!

    As for the LED, I had one very cheap one and it was blue. But if you do more research before you buy it, or test it out at the store, you will probably be able to get one that works well. The LED christmas lights are nearly indistinguishable from the regular lights. I have high expectations.

    The LED's should last 100,000 hrs... but as with th eCFL, who knows how good the guts of the system are that drive the LED's.
  22. RNLA

    RNLA Minister of Fire

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    Yeah we tried the CFLs when we first saw them years ago and hated them. Then a couple years back we rented a duplex and the power bills were enormous so we put in the CFLs that were "soft white" in every fixture. We did notice a good reduction in the bill I was convinced. Just as anything though we did pay for the cost of the bulbs. The overall life span is a relative thing and I'm not convinced for the price you pay.
  23. James Gautsch

    James Gautsch Member

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    Loc:
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    Last time I received CFL speech I ask two questions, "What is the proper way to dispose of them? Dose your company have a recycling program for them?, since they contain a small amount of mercury in them.
    Salesman: Blank look, "Ah never thought about that."
    Me: "Well maybe you should ask your company if they are going to implement a recycling program, or, ask the sales reps for the CFL's what is their recommendation for disposing of them. Or even better ask your Congress person, since they have all the answers."
    Salesman: Blank look turned around and left.
  24. burnham

    burnham Member

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    Thank you. Not only do the CFL bulbs use more power than they advertise, but they also can put some funky harmonics across the neutral wire. I was at a code seminar about six months ago, and there was talk of going to a 130% neutral conductor. We currently use a 70% derating factor, but it could be thrown out the window if the whole country switched over to CFLs. To me, that talk seemed kind of on the extreme end of the spectrum, but there certianly is a big downside to these bulbs that nobody ever seems to address. Hopefully LED tecchnology can progress quickly enough to do away with the flourescent lamps.
  25. homebrewz

    homebrewz Minister of Fire

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    I went nearly all CFL's about 5 years ago and have replaced about 2 since then. I noticed a difference in the power bill right away. I think they cost me about $3 to $4 per bulb, but its been my experience that I've more than made up for that in power savings. That's really interesting about the extra power draw and the cheap ballast ones. Anyway, the light that some types of CFL's give off is not very pleasing.. kind of a bluish light. I can't remember what they were called on the package.. it took a little trial and error, but I did find ones that gave off a light similar to incandescent bulbs.

    The ones that have burned out I save up and wait for the annual hazardous waste recycling day in our area. They take them there. Since about 50% of power in the US comes from the burning of coal, IMO, the small amount of mercury vapor in CFL's is small in comparison to the amount that is released by burning more coal for the additional power needed for incandescent bulbs.

    LED's will use much less power than even CFL's, but a lot of them also give off an unpleasing bluish light. Hopefully that will change with time and the price will come down. LED's are much more durable as the diode is encased in a plastic.. no glass to break, no filament to burn out. As someone who used to spend a lot of time caving, I was thrilled when the LED flashlights came out. After about 12 years of use, one of the LED's in my first LED flashlight finally burned out.

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