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CFL lifespan, CFL embodied energy

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  • cgalvan21
    Several of you have stated that power-cycling CFL s shortens their life. My experience seems to support a corollary to that theory: CFLs that operate 24x7
    Message 1 of 21 , Mar 5 1:54 PM
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      Several of you have stated that power-cycling CFL's shortens their
      life. My experience seems to support a corollary to that theory:
      CFLs that operate 24x7 seem to last a LONG time. Of the two CFL's I
      have operating 24x7, one has logged about 10000 hrs, the other over
      26000! The latter has rarely if ever been power cycled since being
      deployed.

      With regard to taxing incandescents... I guess that can be a
      solution, though I think that current marketing efforts are
      succeeding. I see CFLs or other efficient lighting systems installed
      everywhere I look. I would rather see more effort put towards
      recycling the expired lamps.

      On another note, has anyone seen any research done on the energy
      *embodied* in a CFLs vs. incandescent? One always sees quoted the
      fact that these lamps "use 1/4 the energy", "last 10x longer", etc.
      But what about the energy that goes into making the CFL, which is
      much more complex and uses materials that might be more rare than
      those of an incandescent lamp.

      Just my thoughts...

      -Chris
    • Ariel Thomann
      Good idea re. dating first use. I recently had to replace my first one -- used on a floor lamp w/ timer, runs whether I m here or away traveling. Turns on
      Message 2 of 21 , Mar 5 1:58 PM
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        Good idea re. dating first use. I recently had to replace my first one -- used
        on a floor lamp w/ timer, runs whether I'm here or away traveling. Turns on for
        about 2 hours every morning, about 4 every evening. I lasted over 4 years.
        Another with similar setup in another lamp is still running strong.

        Ariel
        - We are all Human beings here together. We have to help one another, since
        otherwise there is NO ONE who will help.
        - All countries need a NO REGRETS strategic energy policy. Think ahead 7
        generations.
        ------------------------------------

        > Hi Robert, I use them also and am questioning the longevity as well. Now
        > whenever I replace one I write the date on the base with a Sharpie, so I'm
        > hoping to quantify this issue, like you, I have some that are failing too
        > soon. In other fixtures they have already lasted for years, so it's been a
        > mixed bag so far.
        >
        > Regards, Kevin
      • Robert Johnston
        That would work for lamps, I suppose, but I don t use lamps for any significant length of time, so it would take forever to run the test. To condition power
        Message 3 of 21 , Mar 12 1:16 PM
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          That would work for lamps, I suppose, but I don’t use lamps for any significant length of time, so it would take forever to run the test.  To condition power to overhead lighting, I’d need a whole house conditioner, I suppose.

           

          But more to the point, I suspect that CFLs may be more susceptible to dirty power than incandescents are, and probably vary brand by brand.  Any idea of how to measure that, and if stats exist comparing different brands?  I didn’t find anything of use on the energystar website.

           

          (btw, you may recall that the 1st Autocell CFL I got only lasted 1 or 2 weeks.  This one lasted 2 years.  I really liked the performance of the 2nd one in terms of light quality and speed of startup, but 2 years is a lot different than the advertised 12,000 hours.  With my usage, I estimate I had about 4000 hours on that bulb).

           

          Robert

           


          From: hreg@yahoogroups.com [mailto: hreg@yahoogroups.com ] On Behalf Of jmiggins
          Sent: Sunday, March 04, 2007 9:58 AM
          To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
          Subject: Re: [hreg] Chronicle lead editorial - Texas may phase out incandescent bulbs?

           

          Robert you might have issues with your voltage or power quality at your dwelling.  It is not unusual to have voltage swings from 117 to 134 volts depending onthe time of day and your space on the power line.  It is unusual for all the brands to have longevity problems, I think the common denominator might be some other issue.  I do agree with your point that they are not for everyone and every application.

           

          There are small power conditioners that smooth out the power voltage, ;phase etc... and provide clean power, a good experiment would to plug of these in and then runthe bulbs off it to see if there is any difference.

           

          all the best

           

           

          John Miggins
          Harvest Solar Energy LLC
          "renewable solutions to everyday needs"
          1571 East 22 place, Tulsa OK 74114
          918-743-2299 office
          918-521-6223 Cell
          www.harvestsolar. net

          ----- Original Message -----

          Sent: Sunday, March 04, 2007 7:55 AM

          Subject: RE: [hreg] Chronicle lead editorial - Texas may phase out incandescent bulbs?

           

          I continue to have such bad luck with longevity of CFL’s—typically just 6 mos to 2 years (max)—vs. claimed 5-7 yrs—that I don’t think they should be legislating CFLs until the technology is working as advertised.  I’ve tried half a dozen brands including Autocell Electronics and they just aren’t lasting.  Is it lightning in this region affecting electronic ballasts, or what?  The other issue I have is that stores aren’t carrying 2700 K bulbs for the most part.  If they would, I think it would be easier to get folks to switch, since they have color more similar to incandescents, instead of the garish blue of high color temperature CFLs.


          Robert


          From: hreg@yahoogroups. com [mailto: hreg@yahoogroups. com ] On Behalf Of Garth & Kim Travis
          Sent: Tuesday, February 27, 2007 11:47 AM
          To: hreg@yahoogroups. com
          Subject: Re: [hreg] Chronicle lead editorial - Texas may phase out incandescent bulbs?

          Greetings,
          But what about when the incandescent is the proper bulb, that is when
          you need the heat, not just the light? Hardly a sin. Do you like to
          eat? If yes, please don't punish the farmers, we have a hard enough
          time as is.
          Bright Blessings,
          Kim

          David Power wrote:
          >
          >
          > How about a sin tax of $1.00 per incandescent bulb? More revenue for the
          > state and gets the costs more inline with cfls.
          >
          > Either that or attach the 120lb bag of coal to the bulb that you have
          > to burn to light it.
          >
          >
          >
          > David
          >

          size=2 width="100%" align=center>

          Internal Virus Database is out-of-date.
          Checked by AVG Free Edition.
          Version: 7.5.446 / Virus Database: 268.18.3/696 - Release Date: 2/21/2007 3:19 PM

        • Robert Johnston
          That s exactly what I do-I write the date on the base with a Sharpie. And it is revealing disturbing trends. The economics arguments are probably still in
          Message 4 of 21 , Mar 12 1:19 PM
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            That’s exactly what I do—I write the date on the base with a Sharpie.  And it is revealing disturbing trends.  The economics arguments are probably still in favor of the CFL, but not nearly as favorable.

             


            From: hreg@yahoogroups.com [mailto: hreg@yahoogroups.com ] On Behalf Of Kevin Conlin
            Sent: Monday, March 05, 2007 11:28 AM
            To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
            Subject: RE: [hreg] Chronicle lead editorial - Texas may phase out incandescent bulbs?

             

            Hi Robert,  I use them also and am questioning the longevity as well.  Now whenever I replace one I write the date on the base with a Sharpie, so I’m hoping to quantify this issue, like you, I have some that are failing too soon.  In other fixtures they have already lasted for years, so it’s been a mixed bag so far.

             

            Regards,  Kevin

             

             

            ____________ _________ ___

            Kevin Conlin

            Solarcraft, Inc.

            4007 C Greenbriar

            Stafford, TX 77477-4536

            Local (281) 340-1224

            Toll Free (877) 340-1224

            Fax 281 340 1230

            kconlin@solarcraft. net

            www.solarcraft. net

             

            Please make a note of our new contact information above.

             


            From: Robert Johnston [mailto: junk1@ plastability. com ]
            Sent: Sunday, March 04, 2007 7:55 AM
            To: hreg@yahoogroups. com
            Subject: RE: [hreg] Chronicle lead editorial - Texas may phase out incandescent bulbs?

             

            I continue to have such bad luck with longevity of CFL’s—typically just 6 mos to 2 years (max)—vs. claimed 5-7 yrs—that I don’t think they should be legislating CFLs until the technology is working as advertised.  I’ve tried half a dozen brands including Autocell Electronics and they just aren’t lasting.  Is it lightning in this region affecting electronic ballasts, or what?  The other issue I have is that stores aren’t carrying 2700 K bulbs for the most part.  If they would, I think it would be easier to get folks to switch, since they have color more similar to incandescents, instead of the garish blue of high color temperature CFLs.


            Robert

             


            From: hreg@yahoogroups. com [mailto: hreg@yahoogroups. com ] On Behalf Of Garth & Kim Travis
            Sent: Tuesday, February 27, 2007 11:47 AM
            To: hreg@yahoogroups. com
            Subject: Re: [hreg] Chronicle lead editorial - Texas may phase out incandescent bulbs?

             

            Greetings,
            But what about when the incandescent is the proper bulb, that is when
            you need the heat, not just the light? Hardly a sin. Do you like to
            eat? If yes, please don't punish the farmers, we have a hard enough
            time as is.
            Bright Blessings,
            Kim

            David Power wrote:

            >
            >
            > How about a sin tax of $1.00 per incandescent bulb? More revenue for the
            > state and gets the costs more inline with cfls.
            >
            > Either that or attach the 120lb bag of coal to the bulb that you have
            > to burn to light it.
            >
            >
            >
            > David
            >

          • Robert Johnston
            A couple comments... 1) on the energy embodied comment, I note that when CFL s first came out, a lot of them were those quad shaped things that plugged
            Message 5 of 21 , Mar 12 1:25 PM
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              A couple comments...

               

              1)       on the “energy embodied” comment, I note that when CFL’s first came out, a lot of them were those quad shaped things that plugged into the ballast, so that you only replaced the bulb part and not the ballast when they burned out.  Those don’t seem to have become very popular with consumers, and I don’t see them in the stores now.  I suspect that is because of varying brands/incompatibilities making it confusing/hassle for consumers, and/or the form factor vs. spiral.  Maybe someone has insight into this.  But I think that if the ballasts were made more robust, and the plug-in design were used, maybe it would address my concerns about premature burnout (if that is the ballast—I don’t even know that, though), and it would also perhaps reduce total “energy embodied”.

              2)       Leaving CFL’s “on” might be a good idea for longevity, but if one needs a bulb in an intermittent use area, then clearly leaving it on 24x7 will negate the energy savings.  If some CFLs are sensitive to on/off switching as you and some others have commented, then we need a way to determine which brands are tolerant of that behavior.

               

              Robert

               


              From: hreg@yahoogroups.com [mailto: hreg@yahoogroups.com ] On Behalf Of cgalvan21
              Sent: Monday, March 05, 2007 3:55 PM
              To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
              Subject: [hreg] CFL lifespan, CFL embodied energy

               

              Several of you have stated that power-cycling CFL's shortens their
              life. My experience seems to support a corollary to that theory:
              CFLs that operate 24x7 seem to last a LONG time. Of the two CFL's I
              have operating 24x7, one has logged about 10000 hrs, the other over
              26000! The latter has rarely if ever been power cycled since being
              deployed.

              With regard to taxing incandescents. .. I guess that can be a
              solution, though I think that current marketing efforts are
              succeeding. I see CFLs or other efficient lighting systems installed
              everywhere I look. I would rather see more effort put towards
              recycling the expired lamps.

              On another note, has anyone seen any research done on the energy
              *embodied* in a CFLs vs. incandescent? One always sees quoted the
              fact that these lamps "use 1/4 the energy", "last 10x longer", etc.
              But what about the energy that goes into making the CFL, which is
              much more complex and uses materials that might be more rare than
              those of an incandescent lamp.

              Just my thoughts...

              -Chris

            • David Power
              I have had very good luck with several brands after noticing some of the lamps were only lasting a few months. It seems that the ballasts are heat sensitive on
              Message 6 of 21 , Mar 14 11:37 AM
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                I have had very good luck with several brands after noticing some of the lamps were only lasting a few months. It seems that the ballasts are heat sensitive on some brands so they don’t like being inverted or enclosed (recessed lighting) some don’t last long at all if vibrated (ceiling fan or next to a door that is opened and closed a lot. I have on that is installed in my laundry room that is hard to replace, I installed it in the summer of 1990 and it still works fine, gets short cycled (flipped on and off) almost every day (to bad I don’t remember the brand, I have to remove the washing machine from the room to change it).

                 

                It also seems to vary by lot. I have been using FEIT CFL’s for 3 or 4 years and have only had a couple fail, then I bought a case of the A style bulbs and 4 out of the 12 failed in 4 months, all were installed in enclosed inverted fixtures, replaced them with their mini twist and they have been fine for over 1 ½ years.  All are 2650k spectrum and energy star certified. They did replace the bulbs under warranty. Maybe we can start keeping a list of the brands that fail early and how they are installed.

                 

                David

                 


                From: hreg@yahoogroups.com [mailto: hreg@yahoogroups.com ] On Behalf Of Robert Johnston


                From: hreg@yahoogroups. com [mailto: hreg@yahoogroups. com ] On Behalf Of Kevin Conlin
                Sent: Monday, March 05, 2007 11:28 AM
                To: hreg@yahoogroups. com
                Subject: RE: [hreg] Chronicle lead editorial - Texas may phase out incandescent bulbs?

                 

                Hi Robert,  I use them also and am questioning the longevity as well.  Now whenever I replace one I write the date on the base with a Sharpie, so I’m hoping to quantify this issue, like you, I have some that are failing too soon.  In other fixtures they have already lasted for years, so it’s been a mixed bag so far.

                 

                Regards,  Kevin

                 

              • Kevin Conlin
                That’s interesting, until I read your e-mail I had forgotten about a PL lamp that I installed twenty years ago, back when the transformer and electronics
                Message 7 of 21 , Mar 14 12:02 PM
                • 0 Attachment

                  That’s interesting, until I read your e-mail I had forgotten about a PL lamp that I installed twenty years ago, back when the transformer and electronics were external.  It has worked far better and longer than any of the new models, and does get short cycled.  Apparently the quality has suffered in mass production.

                   


                  From: David Power [mailto:dpower@...]
                  Sent: Wednesday, March 14, 2007 1:38 PM
                  To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
                  Subject: RE: [hreg] Chronicle lead editorial - Texas may phase out incandescent bulbs?

                   

                  I have had very good luck with several brands after noticing some of the lamps were only lasting a few months. It seems that the ballasts are heat sensitive on some brands so they don’t like being inverted or enclosed (recessed lighting) some don’t last long at all if vibrated (ceiling fan or next to a door that is opened and closed a lot. I have on that is installed in my laundry room that is hard to replace, I installed it in the summer of 1990 and it still works fine, gets short cycled (flipped on and off) almost every day (to bad I don’t remember the brand, I have to remove the washing machine from the room to change it).

                   

                  It also seems to vary by lot. I have been using FEIT CFL’s for 3 or 4 years and have only had a couple fail, then I bought a case of the A style bulbs and 4 out of the 12 failed in 4 months, all were installed in enclosed inverted fixtures, replaced them with their mini twist and they have been fine for over 1 ½ years.  All are 2650k spectrum and energy star certified. They did replace the bulbs under warranty. Maybe we can start keeping a list of the brands that fail early and how they are installed.

                   

                  David

                   


                  From: hreg@yahoogroups. com [mailto: hreg@yahoogroups. com ] On Behalf Of Robert Johnston



                  From: hreg@yahoogroups. com [mailto: hreg@yahoogroups. com ] On Behalf Of Kevin Conlin
                  Sent: Monday, March 05, 2007 11:28 AM
                  To: hreg@yahoogroups. com
                  Subject: RE: [hreg] Chronicle lead editorial - Texas may phase out incandescent bulbs?

                   

                  Hi Robert,  I use them also and am questioning the longevity as well.  Now whenever I replace one I write the date on the base with a Sharpie, so I’m hoping to quantify this issue, like you, I have some that are failing too soon.  In other fixtures they have already lasted for years, so it’s been a mixed bag so far.

                   

                  Regards,  Kevin

                   

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