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CFL bulbs

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

  1. WhitePine

    WhitePine Feeling the Heat

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    LEDs also require a ballast. When they are used as indicator lights in electronics device, a simple power wasting resistor is used. It's not a big deal, since a simple indicator LED doesn't require much current. LED lamps are another story. I haven't looked into how the manufacturers ballast them, but I wouldn't be surprised to find out it's some sort of active electronic circuit, which raises the possibility of early failure, and yes, harmonics.

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  2. RNLA

    RNLA Minister of Fire

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    Well with all the disadvantages I do believe I will put more money toward my insulation and windows. I have been intrigued by the CFLs but the price has been a deterrent. As I said before we saw a difference in the power bill but the out put for the savings was questionable...
  3. woodgeek

    woodgeek Minister of Fire

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    The in wall digital timers have come a long way recently--there are now versions that do NOT need to have a standby load, so they DO work with CFLs. They have either a battery (yuk) or a third wire attachment. Timer+incandescent on 50% of the time with 4x the wattage = 2x the power of leaving a CFL on 24/7!

    also, I like the 'warm white' as incandescent replacement, not the 'soft white's that are a little bluer, but not as bad as the 'daylights'.

    The best strategy is to buy the bulbs from a decent place that will take them back the next day if you don't like them for any reason. IOW, trial and error works great, and keeps the brick and mortar places in business. I have NEVER had a problem returning CFLs that sucked no questions asked. Why live with a bad bulb for 5000 hours and get a bad attitude about the technology?
  4. Later

    Later New Member

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    I am being serious - aren't all CFLs made in China?
  5. Later

    Later New Member

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    I use the in-wall battery operated timers from Intermatic and love them. They keep settings after power failures, and the timer "knows" the correct times for dawn and dusk and when to change for DST and standard time based on latitude.

    My CFL outdoor flood lights work fine even in 20 below temperatures.
  6. WhitePine

    WhitePine Feeling the Heat

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    That I don't know. The Chinese are perfectly capable of turning out first rate products. They are also perfectly willing to produce junk at low prices, which is then snapped up by our wonderful retailers' buyers, so that they can unload the stuff on the public at a handsome profit.
  7. woodsmaster

    woodsmaster Minister of Fire

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    I have a outdoor security light that I put up a few months ago that has a cfl bulb, 64 watt I think. I like it. It cost $29 with the bulb. It was -9 here last night and it worked great. It puts
    out way more light than I thought it would.

    Our electric co-op had a program where you traded your incondesent bulbs for cfls. I Bought a bunch of incondesents and traded so I'm all stocked up.
  8. RNLA

    RNLA Minister of Fire

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    So I am coming into some knowledge about the CFLs. Just as others have said they are made for certain applications IE: ballast up and ballast down or whatever. This is written on the box in really small print. OH the devil in the details. As soon as I read it on here I checked the box. I also believe the one we had in the table lamp may have screwed up the timer that was installed to give us automatic light at dusk. So where do we go now any ideas?
  9. semipro

    semipro Minister of Fire

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    We use CFLs extensively have been happy with the light quality of newer models and energy savings in general. We use CFL spots outside but would not use them in something that needs to come on at full brightness instantly. The colder it is the longer it takes them to get up to speed. We have seen some early failures but those bulbs are easily exchanged.

    We are trying out LEDs (from Home Depot) in two places (ceiling can and table lamp) and really like them so far. The light quality is excellent.

    I think BeGreen has suggested before, label new bulbs when you install them and this will give you a better idea of how long they are lasting and may allow you to return them under warranty.
  10. RNLA

    RNLA Minister of Fire

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    So any recommendations on the LEDs for the can lights in the living room? We have cans in the kitchen too...
  11. semipro

    semipro Minister of Fire

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    We are using these in a can fixture that lights our stone fireplace. We've been impressed so far. One reason we bought LEDs for this location is because we use them a lot and we dim them. We've not had much luck with dimmable CFLs.

    Model: EcoSmart PAR20 8-Watt (40W) LED Flood Light Bulb
  12. btuser

    btuser Minister of Fire

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    Home Depot is pushing some LED retros right now for $40 after rebate. I'd bite for $20 or maybe even $30 but I'm still reeling from the dimmable CFLs I bought a year ago. Almost 70% failure.

    I'm looking at indoor grow setups (for VEGETABLES!) and was interested with claims of some of the LED companies about how most light is wasted on a plant, and the fact that you can fine-tune the wavelength for vegetative growth, thereby grow indoors with 1/4 or less the wattage. Also, because you have to knock down the voltage they're taylor made for solar setups. It would be neat to grow green vegetables year round in a Northern climate.
  13. seige101

    seige101 Minister of Fire

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    Those retro led kits for cans have been $20 in our local stores for a bit of time now. I replaced all i could in my house with them and i love them.

    Check out different stores in the area, pricing can vary on stuff like that.
  14. RNLA

    RNLA Minister of Fire

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    Sure btuser, Vegetables! We believe you.... So to anyone, is there different LED light? Warm, soft, ETC.
  15. btuser

    btuser Minister of Fire

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    Just show me where to pee. Coincedently, I just took a drug test for a job application. The woman started to scare me when she asked for the 3rd time whether or not I had a FULL bladder, otherwise I "won't be allowed to leave the building". I'm thinking to myself: "How big is this frigging beaker? I should've bought a Big Gulp!".
  16. RNLA

    RNLA Minister of Fire

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    She must have been related to the guy at the store where I was lookin at CFLs in the opening post of this thread. He seemed to say I was a criminal to the earth if I did not purchase them. Of course my bladder is full want to see... :smirk:
  17. MishMouse

    MishMouse Minister of Fire

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    To the OP.
    If you want to be left alone by the employees of a hardware store act like you need help.
    You do that and they will avoid you like the plague.
    Every time I go into a HD/Menards/True Value/Ace etc.. and I need help finding something or I have a question the associates all disappear. But, when I know what I am looking for and I am in a hurry, they all line up and can not wait to bother me.

    What would be a better idea is have each one of the employees wear one of those electric dog collars.
    If you do not want help activate a switch and if they get within 10 feet of you then ZAP!.
    If you need help you would have the switch off and they can help you, if you find their help annoying and unhelpful you can flip the switch and ZAP!!.
    This will serve 2 purposes, 1 if you do not want help you can keep them away, and 2 if they are idiots they can be ZAPPED!!
  18. RNLA

    RNLA Minister of Fire

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    That is funny. I went to the same store yesterday and the same guy mauled me again. I walked in and the guy saw me, I turned and went down the isle in no particular direction and pretended not to hear him talking to my back, "welcome to ACE what can I help you find?" I turned around and said "nothing, I have it covered." Then the guy gets real quiet and looks offended that he can not help me. I am lead to believe this guy is just not well adjusted to the "customer relations exchange" I do not understand why they don't train these people with something casual like 2-5 minutes of time in the store, then approach the customer and offer "hello I'm Bob do you need help finding anything?" Then take a clue with the answer "No" and offer "If you have any questions I'll be in the store." Then get the heck out of there. The guy and I must have a personality conflict, he might just be awkward and not comfortable with his job.
  19. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Yes, there are different color temperature LEDs. The originals cast a high temp, ghastly bluish light. But in the past few years they are making them much warmer, down in the 3000K range. Some use diffusers to soften the light. GE sells soft-white LED bulbs with a conventional translucent glass envelope. They are still very pricey. Feit at $30 is a bit better, but still an awful lot for the energy saved.

    http://www.amazon.com/62180-9-Watt-Soft-White-Light/dp/B004GTN0RQ/ref=pd_sxp_f_pt
    http://www.amazon.com/Feit-Electric-A19-LED-Performance/dp/B003YXZIP2/ref=pd_sim_sbs_hi_4
  20. btuser

    btuser Minister of Fire

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    I was in Lowes yesterday and after the 5th "can I help you?" I started to get a little peeved.

    "Can I help you find something?"

    "Yes, I'm looking for 6 mm plastic sheeting. I need enough to wrap a body.... How tall are you?"
  21. PapaDave

    PapaDave Minister of Fire

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    Wow, I thought cfl's were expensive when I first started using them. LED's are crazy. I'm not changing anything until all of the cfl's in here crap out. I've had cfl's in every fixture in the house for over 3 years, and not had a single failure. Color me lucky, I guess.
    What the heck is the payback on led's? 20 years? :-S
    Power co-op had a deal recently for free cfl's to promote their use. I got 9 for nothing but a minute or two of my time to fill out a form online, and got 'em in the mail a few weeks later.
    I think I'll try one in the porch motion sensing fixture just to see what happens, even though that incandescent is fine.
  22. WhitePine

    WhitePine Feeling the Heat

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    I have a goose neck lamp on a book shelve over my desk. It has a CFL. Sure enough, this morning the sucker died. I confirmed it's the bulb. That expensive CFL had been in there about one year. There is no way I burned enough juice during the past year in that little lamp for the savings to offset the extra cost of the bulb.

    More money lost to another junk CFL from China. :mad:
  23. RNLA

    RNLA Minister of Fire

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    So maybe I'll go get a GE soft white LED, I would try one but the light has got to be nice. The CFLs do not generate any heat to speak of neither do the LEDs. Thankfully the garage I am building will be well insulated, the reason I use conventional bulbs now is for the very small amount of heat they put out, it is just enough to keep the contents of the current garage dry. An old friend told me if you can keep the temperature just above the dew point it will keep your stuff dry. I had a tuff time believing that but it does work. All you need is about 2-5 degrees.
  24. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    The ambient temp may be above the dew point, but are the tools? When there is a sudden change in weather from cold to warm and humid, cold tools can sweat because they haven't equalized in temperature and the dew point has risen above their temp.
  25. PapaDave

    PapaDave Minister of Fire

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    So I put the cfl in the front porch motion sensing fixture yesterday. Once it got dark, I went out there and when the light first kicked on, it was pretty muted. It took maybe 30 seconds or so to get to full brightness, and was nice once there. I'll keep it there until outside temps rise, and see if that makes much difference.
    Hate the idea of switching bulbs in the fall and spring to save a few cents.

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