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View Full Version : Avoid these good-seeming bad light bulbs!


Don Klipstein
July 5th 03, 05:57 AM
I have noticed lately incandescent lightbulbs of brands that I usually
consider reputable for consumer equipment. One brand even offers compact
fluorescents that I would recommend. But these incandescents come with
specifications like those of dollar store junkers!

The brands are Polaroid and Sunbeam. Sunbeam even offers compact
fluorescents that I would recommend, but these brands of incandescents
are bad.

The Polaroid 100 watt bulbs have claimed light output of only 1100
lumens, which is less than the light produced by better 75 watt ones.
I no longer the figure for Sunbeam but I know it is similarly bad.

Better incandescent lightbulbs are generally GE, Philips and Sylvania
ones, and also any store brand ones which have the same light output
specification (which indicates it is "The Real Thing" with a store brand).
These would have the lumen light output specification of:

for 100 watt: 1670-1750 lumens
for 75 watt: 1170-1210 lumens
for 60 watt: 840- 900 lumens
for 40 watt: 440- 505 lumens (all figures for USA-usual 120V models)

So how bad is an 1100 lumen 100 watt lightbulb? I will explain how even
if it's free it would be worse than a regular 75 watt one which outshines
it!
Suppose you use a cheap 100 watt lightbulb in place of a good 75 watt
one. Over the 750 hour life expectancy of a good bright 75 watt bulb, the
100 watt one in its place consumes an extra 18.75 KWH of electricity. I
believe the USA average for electricity is 9 cents per KWH, which means
the 100W bulb consumes $1.69 more in electricity over 750 hours than
the 75 watt one does. Even if you paid the convenience store prices
charged by Rite Aid, CVS and Eckerds for good light bulbs, you are worse
off if you change to junkers that make you need a higher wattage.
If the cheaper bulb is bright enough for you, then a wattage "size"
lower of good ones should also be good for you and cost less by using less
electricity along with providing a whiter, more halogen-like color of
light.

As for where to get good light bulbs without getting ripped off? Try
home centers and K-Mart. I can get a 4-pack of Sylvanias for a dollar or
less at K-Mart.

Better still much of the time are compact fluorescents. Not quite
always - to avoid disappointment read:

http://www.misty.com/~don/cf.html (by Sam Goldwasser)
http://www.misty.com/~don/cfbest.html

- Don Klipstein )

jitney
July 5th 03, 07:14 PM
(Don Klipstein) wrote in message >...
> I have noticed lately incandescent lightbulbs of brands that I usually
> consider reputable for consumer equipment. One brand even offers compact
> fluorescents that I would recommend. But these incandescents come with
> specifications like those of dollar store junkers!
>
> The brands are Polaroid and Sunbeam. Sunbeam even offers compact
> fluorescents that I would recommend, but these brands of incandescents
> are bad.
>
> The Polaroid 100 watt bulbs have claimed light output of only 1100
> lumens, which is less than the light produced by better 75 watt ones.
> I no longer the figure for Sunbeam but I know it is similarly bad.
>
> Better incandescent lightbulbs are generally GE, Philips and Sylvania
> ones, and also any store brand ones which have the same light output
> specification (which indicates it is "The Real Thing" with a store brand).
> These would have the lumen light output specification of:
>

-The GE incandescent bulbs are now made in Hungary, by their
subsidiary Tungsram, the formerly state owned operation of the
communist regime. They may have the lumens of the major brands, but
they do not have the longevity. Another good major brand, along with
the excellent ones you mentioned, is Westinghouse.-Jitney

jitney
July 5th 03, 07:14 PM
(Don Klipstein) wrote in message >...
> I have noticed lately incandescent lightbulbs of brands that I usually
> consider reputable for consumer equipment. One brand even offers compact
> fluorescents that I would recommend. But these incandescents come with
> specifications like those of dollar store junkers!
>
> The brands are Polaroid and Sunbeam. Sunbeam even offers compact
> fluorescents that I would recommend, but these brands of incandescents
> are bad.
>
> The Polaroid 100 watt bulbs have claimed light output of only 1100
> lumens, which is less than the light produced by better 75 watt ones.
> I no longer the figure for Sunbeam but I know it is similarly bad.
>
> Better incandescent lightbulbs are generally GE, Philips and Sylvania
> ones, and also any store brand ones which have the same light output
> specification (which indicates it is "The Real Thing" with a store brand).
> These would have the lumen light output specification of:
>

-The GE incandescent bulbs are now made in Hungary, by their
subsidiary Tungsram, the formerly state owned operation of the
communist regime. They may have the lumens of the major brands, but
they do not have the longevity. Another good major brand, along with
the excellent ones you mentioned, is Westinghouse.-Jitney

Don Klipstein
July 5th 03, 08:35 PM
In article >, jitney wrote:
>
>-The GE incandescent bulbs are now made in Hungary, by their
>subsidiary Tungsram, the formerly state owned operation of the
>communist regime. They may have the lumens of the major brands, but
>they do not have the longevity. Another good major brand, along with
>the excellent ones you mentioned, is Westinghouse.-Jitney

Sorry to hear about GE. Guess I did not realize it by using mainly
Sylvania for incandescents (and I use mostly compact fluorescents for home
lighting). Wonder why I have not heard of problems with their more
popular light bulbs before if they're so bad - I have read sci.engr.lighting
daily since 1995. (I am aware that some lower volume GE models are now
outsourced to manufacturers that I do not know to be of the best quality.)
As for Westinghouse - they used to be good. But a couple decades ago
they sold their lamp production lines and lamp trademarks such as
"Ultralume" to Philips and several years ago they sold the
"Westinghouse" trademark to Abco, an importer of light bulbs.

- Don Klipstein )

Don Klipstein
July 5th 03, 08:35 PM
In article >, jitney wrote:
>
>-The GE incandescent bulbs are now made in Hungary, by their
>subsidiary Tungsram, the formerly state owned operation of the
>communist regime. They may have the lumens of the major brands, but
>they do not have the longevity. Another good major brand, along with
>the excellent ones you mentioned, is Westinghouse.-Jitney

Sorry to hear about GE. Guess I did not realize it by using mainly
Sylvania for incandescents (and I use mostly compact fluorescents for home
lighting). Wonder why I have not heard of problems with their more
popular light bulbs before if they're so bad - I have read sci.engr.lighting
daily since 1995. (I am aware that some lower volume GE models are now
outsourced to manufacturers that I do not know to be of the best quality.)
As for Westinghouse - they used to be good. But a couple decades ago
they sold their lamp production lines and lamp trademarks such as
"Ultralume" to Philips and several years ago they sold the
"Westinghouse" trademark to Abco, an importer of light bulbs.

- Don Klipstein )

Raven
July 5th 03, 08:50 PM
I can't agree on the compact flourescents being a "good deal"
I bought a two of them once to try out. At $10 each they were
obviously not cheap, but the package said they had a ten year life.

Well 6months later one of them craps out. A $1.00 incandescent would have
lasted much longer at a much more economical price.

So if you have 10 compact flourescents in your house and only two of them
go bad before the ten years are up. you've wasted your money.

Raven
July 5th 03, 08:50 PM
I can't agree on the compact flourescents being a "good deal"
I bought a two of them once to try out. At $10 each they were
obviously not cheap, but the package said they had a ten year life.

Well 6months later one of them craps out. A $1.00 incandescent would have
lasted much longer at a much more economical price.

So if you have 10 compact flourescents in your house and only two of them
go bad before the ten years are up. you've wasted your money.

Stan Brown
July 5th 03, 09:27 PM
In article > in
misc.consumers, jitney > wrote:
>-The GE incandescent bulbs are now made in Hungary, by their
>subsidiary Tungsram, the formerly state owned operation of the
>communist regime. They may have the lumens of the major brands, but
>they do not have the longevity.

Does GE actually make _any_ consumer goods any more?

--
Stan Brown, Oak Road Systems, Cortland County, New York, USA
http://OakRoadSystems.com/
"You find yourself amusing, Blackadder."
"I try not to fly in the face of public opinion."

Stan Brown
July 5th 03, 09:27 PM
In article > in
misc.consumers, jitney > wrote:
>-The GE incandescent bulbs are now made in Hungary, by their
>subsidiary Tungsram, the formerly state owned operation of the
>communist regime. They may have the lumens of the major brands, but
>they do not have the longevity.

Does GE actually make _any_ consumer goods any more?

--
Stan Brown, Oak Road Systems, Cortland County, New York, USA
http://OakRoadSystems.com/
"You find yourself amusing, Blackadder."
"I try not to fly in the face of public opinion."

Ed Clarke
July 5th 03, 09:31 PM
In article >, Raven wrote:
> I can't agree on the compact flourescents being a "good deal"
> I bought a two of them once to try out. At $10 each they were
> obviously not cheap, but the package said they had a ten year life.
>
> Well 6months later one of them craps out. A $1.00 incandescent would have
> lasted much longer at a much more economical price.
>
> So if you have 10 compact flourescents in your house and only two of them
> go bad before the ten years are up. you've wasted your money.

I disagree. I replaced a 75 watt flood light with a compact flourescent that
uses 20 watts. At my current rate for electricity, I save $0.00825 per hour
on that bulb. In 1212 hours I've paid for the bulb with all other things
being equal. But they are NOT equal. I have ten of these bulbs in my
kitchen. I'm saving 550 watts of HEAT that my air conditioner doesn't have
to pump outside. I don't know how to calculate the cost of that. But the
payback is less than a year ignoring the heat cost.

Ed Clarke
July 5th 03, 09:31 PM
In article >, Raven wrote:
> I can't agree on the compact flourescents being a "good deal"
> I bought a two of them once to try out. At $10 each they were
> obviously not cheap, but the package said they had a ten year life.
>
> Well 6months later one of them craps out. A $1.00 incandescent would have
> lasted much longer at a much more economical price.
>
> So if you have 10 compact flourescents in your house and only two of them
> go bad before the ten years are up. you've wasted your money.

I disagree. I replaced a 75 watt flood light with a compact flourescent that
uses 20 watts. At my current rate for electricity, I save $0.00825 per hour
on that bulb. In 1212 hours I've paid for the bulb with all other things
being equal. But they are NOT equal. I have ten of these bulbs in my
kitchen. I'm saving 550 watts of HEAT that my air conditioner doesn't have
to pump outside. I don't know how to calculate the cost of that. But the
payback is less than a year ignoring the heat cost.

Don Klipstein
July 5th 03, 09:42 PM
In article >, Raven wrote:
>I can't agree on the compact flourescents being a "good deal"
>I bought a two of them once to try out. At $10 each they were
>obviously not cheap, but the package said they had a ten year life.
>
>Well 6months later one of them craps out. A $1.00 incandescent would have
>lasted much longer at a much more economical price.
>
>So if you have 10 compact flourescents in your house and only two of them
>go bad before the ten years are up. you've wasted your money.

I think 10 years is a little optimistic, but if they mostly achieve
4,000 operating hours before conking out (most are rated more) then each
$10 spent saved an average of $18 in electricity (for 75W incandescent
replaced by 24W compact fluorescent) in addition to $1.20-$4 in
incandescent bulbs.

There are a few places and situations where they don't work well and a
few brands and a few models that are prone to trouble. For example, most
(but not all) are not good for recessed ceiling fixtures because of heat
problems, and their lives are shortened by lots of on/off use. There was
a bad run of 25 watt spiral ones (under more than one brand) a couple
years ago, and Lights of America gets more than its share of complaints
(and my experience tells me rightly so).
Full light output may require favorable temperatures and operating
positions. Most dim badly outdoors in the winter. Most need to warm
up a minute or two to reach full light output. Some, especially but not
exclusively many Lights of America models, tend to fall short of claimed
light output no matter what the temperature or operating position.

More in: http://www.misty.com/~don/cfbest.html

But if you use good ones where and when they work well and allow for
light output to sometimes fall a little short of what they claim, they
will have a strong trend of saving money.

Better ones have traditionally been GE, Philips and Sylvania ones,
especially the Philips SL/O 18 watt "Outdoor" and 15 & 20 watt "triple
arch" SLS, and Sylvania models with electronic built-in ballasts. Lately
(in my experience at least) the spiral ones have been good regardless of
brand.

Regards, - Don Klipstein )

Don Klipstein
July 5th 03, 09:42 PM
In article >, Raven wrote:
>I can't agree on the compact flourescents being a "good deal"
>I bought a two of them once to try out. At $10 each they were
>obviously not cheap, but the package said they had a ten year life.
>
>Well 6months later one of them craps out. A $1.00 incandescent would have
>lasted much longer at a much more economical price.
>
>So if you have 10 compact flourescents in your house and only two of them
>go bad before the ten years are up. you've wasted your money.

I think 10 years is a little optimistic, but if they mostly achieve
4,000 operating hours before conking out (most are rated more) then each
$10 spent saved an average of $18 in electricity (for 75W incandescent
replaced by 24W compact fluorescent) in addition to $1.20-$4 in
incandescent bulbs.

There are a few places and situations where they don't work well and a
few brands and a few models that are prone to trouble. For example, most
(but not all) are not good for recessed ceiling fixtures because of heat
problems, and their lives are shortened by lots of on/off use. There was
a bad run of 25 watt spiral ones (under more than one brand) a couple
years ago, and Lights of America gets more than its share of complaints
(and my experience tells me rightly so).
Full light output may require favorable temperatures and operating
positions. Most dim badly outdoors in the winter. Most need to warm
up a minute or two to reach full light output. Some, especially but not
exclusively many Lights of America models, tend to fall short of claimed
light output no matter what the temperature or operating position.

More in: http://www.misty.com/~don/cfbest.html

But if you use good ones where and when they work well and allow for
light output to sometimes fall a little short of what they claim, they
will have a strong trend of saving money.

Better ones have traditionally been GE, Philips and Sylvania ones,
especially the Philips SL/O 18 watt "Outdoor" and 15 & 20 watt "triple
arch" SLS, and Sylvania models with electronic built-in ballasts. Lately
(in my experience at least) the spiral ones have been good regardless of
brand.

Regards, - Don Klipstein )

July 6th 03, 03:04 AM
In article >,
(Don Klipstein) wrote about compact fluorescent
bulbs:

> Better ones have traditionally been GE, Philips and Sylvania ones,
> especially the Philips SL/O 18 watt "Outdoor" and 15 & 20 watt "triple
> arch" SLS, and Sylvania models with electronic built-in ballasts. Lately
> (in my experience at least) the spiral ones have been good regardless of
> brand.

We've had GREAT luck with Panasonic Light Capsules, 10+ years on the
first set of four in our bathroom fixture. They all reached full
brightness quickly right up until near the end, and that's after YEARS
of on-off, on-off usage. Three of them still work, but take a long time
to reach full brightness, so we're using those in out-of-the-way areas.

We replaced all four with brand new models last year. No complaints.
Complaints? Heck, I'm impressed as all getout.

July 6th 03, 03:04 AM
In article >,
(Don Klipstein) wrote about compact fluorescent
bulbs:

> Better ones have traditionally been GE, Philips and Sylvania ones,
> especially the Philips SL/O 18 watt "Outdoor" and 15 & 20 watt "triple
> arch" SLS, and Sylvania models with electronic built-in ballasts. Lately
> (in my experience at least) the spiral ones have been good regardless of
> brand.

We've had GREAT luck with Panasonic Light Capsules, 10+ years on the
first set of four in our bathroom fixture. They all reached full
brightness quickly right up until near the end, and that's after YEARS
of on-off, on-off usage. Three of them still work, but take a long time
to reach full brightness, so we're using those in out-of-the-way areas.

We replaced all four with brand new models last year. No complaints.
Complaints? Heck, I'm impressed as all getout.

SoCalMike
July 6th 03, 03:22 AM
> I can't agree on the compact flourescents being a "good deal"
> I bought a two of them once to try out. At $10 each

you got ripped off. ive been using them hereand at the parents home, and in
the past 4 years, weve had about 3 go bad, out of maybe 60

SoCalMike
July 6th 03, 03:22 AM
> I can't agree on the compact flourescents being a "good deal"
> I bought a two of them once to try out. At $10 each

you got ripped off. ive been using them hereand at the parents home, and in
the past 4 years, weve had about 3 go bad, out of maybe 60

do_not_spam_me
July 6th 03, 04:37 AM
(jitney) wrote in message >...

> -The GE incandescent bulbs are now made in Hungary, by their
> subsidiary Tungsram, the formerly state owned operation of the
> communist regime. They may have the lumens of the major brands, but
> they do not have the longevity. Another good major brand, along with
> the excellent ones you mentioned, is Westinghouse.-Jitney

Those are not the same Westinghouse bulbs of the past, and I believe
that they're not even made by Westinghouse any more.

Back in the 1970s or 1980s, Westinghouse came out with incandescent
bulbs filled with krypton instead of the usual argon gas to reduce
evaporation of the filament, and apparently they always scored well
for longevity in Consumer Reports' tests. They were easily identified
by their cylindrical rather than spherical shape, but Westinghouse
sold its bulb business to Philips over a decade ago, which continued
to produce the same bulb, and Consumer Reports continued to score them
highly. Philips later changed the shape to the more conventional
cylinder style, but apparently the bulbs are still identical
otherwise.

do_not_spam_me
July 6th 03, 04:37 AM
(jitney) wrote in message >...

> -The GE incandescent bulbs are now made in Hungary, by their
> subsidiary Tungsram, the formerly state owned operation of the
> communist regime. They may have the lumens of the major brands, but
> they do not have the longevity. Another good major brand, along with
> the excellent ones you mentioned, is Westinghouse.-Jitney

Those are not the same Westinghouse bulbs of the past, and I believe
that they're not even made by Westinghouse any more.

Back in the 1970s or 1980s, Westinghouse came out with incandescent
bulbs filled with krypton instead of the usual argon gas to reduce
evaporation of the filament, and apparently they always scored well
for longevity in Consumer Reports' tests. They were easily identified
by their cylindrical rather than spherical shape, but Westinghouse
sold its bulb business to Philips over a decade ago, which continued
to produce the same bulb, and Consumer Reports continued to score them
highly. Philips later changed the shape to the more conventional
cylinder style, but apparently the bulbs are still identical
otherwise.

Don Klipstein
July 6th 03, 06:24 AM
In article >,
do_not_spam_me wrote:
(jitney) wrote...
>
>> -The GE incandescent bulbs are now made in Hungary, by their
>> subsidiary Tungsram, the formerly state owned operation of the
>> communist regime. They may have the lumens of the major brands, but
>> they do not have the longevity. Another good major brand, along with
>> the excellent ones you mentioned, is Westinghouse.-Jitney
>
>Those are not the same Westinghouse bulbs of the past, and I believe
>that they're not even made by Westinghouse any more.
>
>Back in the 1970s or 1980s, Westinghouse came out with incandescent
>bulbs filled with krypton instead of the usual argon gas to reduce
>evaporation of the filament, and apparently they always scored well
>for longevity in Consumer Reports' tests. They were easily identified
>by their cylindrical rather than spherical shape, but Westinghouse
>sold its bulb business to Philips over a decade ago, which continued
>to produce the same bulb, and Consumer Reports continued to score them
>highly. Philips later changed the shape to the more conventional
>cylinder style, but apparently the bulbs are still identical
>otherwise.

I knew of these, along with the more favorable (and not all) versions
of the GE "miser". Good GE "misers" available around 1980 or so had power
consumption reduced 5 watts with little change by using krypton instead of
argon (in either case mixed with nitrogen). More recent GE "misers"
lacked krypton and merely had reduced wattage and correspondingly lower
light output.

In any case, I see little correlation between bulb shape and efficiency.
Westinghouse did indeed sometime in their day market a "T-bulb" which was
cylindrical and squarish when seen from the side, and Philips continued
the marketing of these at least as of a few years ago, but I found that
more of a marketing gimmick rather than a true indicator of efficiency.
BTW - "T" for a bulb designation merely indicates tubular, or
cylindrical at the bulb's widest point. This covers a lot, including a
few lower wattage automotive bulbs, many pinball machine bulbs, many
electronic equipment indicator lamps, and most fluorescent bulbs as well
as probably most halogen capsules.

- Don Klipstein )

Don Klipstein
July 6th 03, 06:24 AM
In article >,
do_not_spam_me wrote:
(jitney) wrote...
>
>> -The GE incandescent bulbs are now made in Hungary, by their
>> subsidiary Tungsram, the formerly state owned operation of the
>> communist regime. They may have the lumens of the major brands, but
>> they do not have the longevity. Another good major brand, along with
>> the excellent ones you mentioned, is Westinghouse.-Jitney
>
>Those are not the same Westinghouse bulbs of the past, and I believe
>that they're not even made by Westinghouse any more.
>
>Back in the 1970s or 1980s, Westinghouse came out with incandescent
>bulbs filled with krypton instead of the usual argon gas to reduce
>evaporation of the filament, and apparently they always scored well
>for longevity in Consumer Reports' tests. They were easily identified
>by their cylindrical rather than spherical shape, but Westinghouse
>sold its bulb business to Philips over a decade ago, which continued
>to produce the same bulb, and Consumer Reports continued to score them
>highly. Philips later changed the shape to the more conventional
>cylinder style, but apparently the bulbs are still identical
>otherwise.

I knew of these, along with the more favorable (and not all) versions
of the GE "miser". Good GE "misers" available around 1980 or so had power
consumption reduced 5 watts with little change by using krypton instead of
argon (in either case mixed with nitrogen). More recent GE "misers"
lacked krypton and merely had reduced wattage and correspondingly lower
light output.

In any case, I see little correlation between bulb shape and efficiency.
Westinghouse did indeed sometime in their day market a "T-bulb" which was
cylindrical and squarish when seen from the side, and Philips continued
the marketing of these at least as of a few years ago, but I found that
more of a marketing gimmick rather than a true indicator of efficiency.
BTW - "T" for a bulb designation merely indicates tubular, or
cylindrical at the bulb's widest point. This covers a lot, including a
few lower wattage automotive bulbs, many pinball machine bulbs, many
electronic equipment indicator lamps, and most fluorescent bulbs as well
as probably most halogen capsules.

- Don Klipstein )

Stan Brown
July 6th 03, 05:54 PM
In article > in
misc.consumers, Ed Clarke > wrote:
> I'm saving 550 watts of HEAT that my air conditioner doesn't have
>to pump outside. I don't know how to calculate the cost of that.

I don't either, off hand. (Look up the figure to convert watts to
BTU/hour, compare to your A/C capacity, figure what % of the time
your A/C is running just to dissipate the extra heat, multiply by
A/C wattage, multiply again by electric rate.)

However...

A person emits about 100-125 watts of heat. So those bulbs are
pouring out as much heat as an extra 3-4 people in the room. You
know from experience how a room can heat up from extra people.


--
Stan Brown, Oak Road Systems, Cortland County, New York, USA
http://OakRoadSystems.com/
"You find yourself amusing, Blackadder."
"I try not to fly in the face of public opinion."

Stan Brown
July 6th 03, 05:54 PM
In article > in
misc.consumers, Ed Clarke > wrote:
> I'm saving 550 watts of HEAT that my air conditioner doesn't have
>to pump outside. I don't know how to calculate the cost of that.

I don't either, off hand. (Look up the figure to convert watts to
BTU/hour, compare to your A/C capacity, figure what % of the time
your A/C is running just to dissipate the extra heat, multiply by
A/C wattage, multiply again by electric rate.)

However...

A person emits about 100-125 watts of heat. So those bulbs are
pouring out as much heat as an extra 3-4 people in the room. You
know from experience how a room can heat up from extra people.


--
Stan Brown, Oak Road Systems, Cortland County, New York, USA
http://OakRoadSystems.com/
"You find yourself amusing, Blackadder."
"I try not to fly in the face of public opinion."

Nick Pine
July 6th 03, 06:23 PM
Stan Brown > wrote:

>Ed Clarke > wrote:

>> I'm saving 550 watts of HEAT that my air conditioner doesn't have
>>to pump outside. I don't know how to calculate the cost of that.
>
>I don't either, off hand. (Look up the figure to convert watts to
>BTU/hour, compare to your A/C capacity, figure what % of the time
>your A/C is running just to dissipate the extra heat, multiply by
>A/C wattage, multiply again by electric rate.)

And divide by the COP, typically 3.

Nick

Nick Pine
July 6th 03, 06:23 PM
Stan Brown > wrote:

>Ed Clarke > wrote:

>> I'm saving 550 watts of HEAT that my air conditioner doesn't have
>>to pump outside. I don't know how to calculate the cost of that.
>
>I don't either, off hand. (Look up the figure to convert watts to
>BTU/hour, compare to your A/C capacity, figure what % of the time
>your A/C is running just to dissipate the extra heat, multiply by
>A/C wattage, multiply again by electric rate.)

And divide by the COP, typically 3.

Nick

John R Weiss
July 6th 03, 08:01 PM
"Don Klipstein" > wrote...

> There are a few places and situations where they don't work well and a
> few brands and a few models that are prone to trouble. For example, most
> (but not all) are not good for recessed ceiling fixtures because of heat
> problems, and their lives are shortened by lots of on/off use. There was
> a bad run of 25 watt spiral ones (under more than one brand) a couple
> years ago, and Lights of America gets more than its share of complaints
> (and my experience tells me rightly so).

I don't know how heat could be a problem in a recessed fixture... If you
replace a 75-100 watt incandescent bulb with a 15-25 watt fluorescent, there
will be a reduction of waste heat of 66-85%. Most CF lamps don't come to full
brightness until they warm up, either, so trapping the heat would tend to make
it happen faster.

My experience with Lights of America was so bad that I won't buy them any more
regardless of price!

John R Weiss
July 6th 03, 08:01 PM
"Don Klipstein" > wrote...

> There are a few places and situations where they don't work well and a
> few brands and a few models that are prone to trouble. For example, most
> (but not all) are not good for recessed ceiling fixtures because of heat
> problems, and their lives are shortened by lots of on/off use. There was
> a bad run of 25 watt spiral ones (under more than one brand) a couple
> years ago, and Lights of America gets more than its share of complaints
> (and my experience tells me rightly so).

I don't know how heat could be a problem in a recessed fixture... If you
replace a 75-100 watt incandescent bulb with a 15-25 watt fluorescent, there
will be a reduction of waste heat of 66-85%. Most CF lamps don't come to full
brightness until they warm up, either, so trapping the heat would tend to make
it happen faster.

My experience with Lights of America was so bad that I won't buy them any more
regardless of price!

Don K
July 6th 03, 08:38 PM
"Nick Pine" > wrote in message
...
> Stan Brown > wrote:
>
> >Ed Clarke > wrote:
>
> >> I'm saving 550 watts of HEAT that my air conditioner doesn't have
> >>to pump outside. I don't know how to calculate the cost of that.
> >
> >I don't either, off hand. (Look up the figure to convert watts to
> >BTU/hour, compare to your A/C capacity, figure what % of the time
> >your A/C is running just to dissipate the extra heat, multiply by
> >A/C wattage, multiply again by electric rate.)
>
> And divide by the COP, typically 3.

What does COP mean?

Don

Don K
July 6th 03, 08:38 PM
"Nick Pine" > wrote in message
...
> Stan Brown > wrote:
>
> >Ed Clarke > wrote:
>
> >> I'm saving 550 watts of HEAT that my air conditioner doesn't have
> >>to pump outside. I don't know how to calculate the cost of that.
> >
> >I don't either, off hand. (Look up the figure to convert watts to
> >BTU/hour, compare to your A/C capacity, figure what % of the time
> >your A/C is running just to dissipate the extra heat, multiply by
> >A/C wattage, multiply again by electric rate.)
>
> And divide by the COP, typically 3.

What does COP mean?

Don

Don Klipstein
July 7th 03, 03:25 AM
In article <[email protected]>, John R Weiss wrote:
>"Don Klipstein" > wrote...
>
>> There are a few places and situations where they don't work well and
>> a few brands and a few models that are prone to trouble. For example,
>> most (but not all) are not good for recessed ceiling fixtures because
>> of heat problems,
>
>I don't know how heat could be a problem in a recessed fixture... If
>you replace a 75-100 watt incandescent bulb with a 15-25 watt
>fluorescent, there will be a reduction of waste heat of 66-85%. Most CF
>lamps don't come to full brightness until they warm up, either, so
>trapping the heat would tend to make it happen faster.

Incandescents produce lots of infrared. About 50%, maybe 60% of the
energy going in becomes infrared. This radiates out the fixture the way
the visible light does. It becomes heat, but wherever the light is
absorbed rather than in the fixture. Maybe about 40% of the energy going
into an incandescent becomes heat in the fixture.
On the other hand, compact fluorescents are about 20% efficient at
producing visible light, and concentrating towards wavelengths that the
eye is more sensitive to (mostly orange-red and green bands) and avoiding
production of much far red light which incandescents make a lot of. They
provide a lot of lumens with that roughly 20% efficiency. and they
produce very little infrared and ultraviolet, so the other 80% is heat,
nearly all of it nonradiant.
So for the bottom line in fixture heating, compact fluorescents are
about twice as efficient at heating a fixture as an incandescent is. A 25
watt compact fluorescent will heat up a fixture roughly as much as a 50
watt incandescent does.
And although the bulb tubing wants to be around 50 degrees C (122
degrees F) for best efficiency, hotter than this is not better. Excessive
heat will even dim a compact fluorescent, although not as badly as
excessive cold does. And when overheated, the color will change and the
spectral characteristics will change - less orange-red light and more
mercury light, which means the color rendering will suffer.
In addition, the ballast does not like heat. The maximum rated
temperature for the silicon chips in most epoxy-packaged semiconductors is
150 degrees C, and power MOSFETs have more resistance and usually operate
less efficiently as temperature increases. The outer surfaces of MOSFETs
and/or whatever other heat-producing semiconductors has to be
significantly cooler than 150 degrees C, the air inside the ballast
housing has to be significantly cooler still, and the ballast housing
surface has to be significantly cooler still, and the air surrounding it
has to be significantly cooler still in order for heat to flow outwards
with the semiconductors at a safe temperature.

Most recessed ceiling fixtures for compact fluorescent lamps in
commercial buildings have ballasts mounted in a cooler part of the fixture
and take unballasted bulbs.

Meanwhile, replacing a 75 watt incandescent with a 15 watt compact
fluorescent sounds optimistic to me unless the incandescent is a 130V
vibration resistant longlife one or a dollar store one, a Sunbeam or a
Polaroid. Better 20 watt compact fluorescents produce as much light as
"standard" 75 watt incandescents, and then not at unfavorable
temperatures.

- Don Klipstein )

Don Klipstein
July 7th 03, 03:25 AM
In article <[email protected]>, John R Weiss wrote:
>"Don Klipstein" > wrote...
>
>> There are a few places and situations where they don't work well and
>> a few brands and a few models that are prone to trouble. For example,
>> most (but not all) are not good for recessed ceiling fixtures because
>> of heat problems,
>
>I don't know how heat could be a problem in a recessed fixture... If
>you replace a 75-100 watt incandescent bulb with a 15-25 watt
>fluorescent, there will be a reduction of waste heat of 66-85%. Most CF
>lamps don't come to full brightness until they warm up, either, so
>trapping the heat would tend to make it happen faster.

Incandescents produce lots of infrared. About 50%, maybe 60% of the
energy going in becomes infrared. This radiates out the fixture the way
the visible light does. It becomes heat, but wherever the light is
absorbed rather than in the fixture. Maybe about 40% of the energy going
into an incandescent becomes heat in the fixture.
On the other hand, compact fluorescents are about 20% efficient at
producing visible light, and concentrating towards wavelengths that the
eye is more sensitive to (mostly orange-red and green bands) and avoiding
production of much far red light which incandescents make a lot of. They
provide a lot of lumens with that roughly 20% efficiency. and they
produce very little infrared and ultraviolet, so the other 80% is heat,
nearly all of it nonradiant.
So for the bottom line in fixture heating, compact fluorescents are
about twice as efficient at heating a fixture as an incandescent is. A 25
watt compact fluorescent will heat up a fixture roughly as much as a 50
watt incandescent does.
And although the bulb tubing wants to be around 50 degrees C (122
degrees F) for best efficiency, hotter than this is not better. Excessive
heat will even dim a compact fluorescent, although not as badly as
excessive cold does. And when overheated, the color will change and the
spectral characteristics will change - less orange-red light and more
mercury light, which means the color rendering will suffer.
In addition, the ballast does not like heat. The maximum rated
temperature for the silicon chips in most epoxy-packaged semiconductors is
150 degrees C, and power MOSFETs have more resistance and usually operate
less efficiently as temperature increases. The outer surfaces of MOSFETs
and/or whatever other heat-producing semiconductors has to be
significantly cooler than 150 degrees C, the air inside the ballast
housing has to be significantly cooler still, and the ballast housing
surface has to be significantly cooler still, and the air surrounding it
has to be significantly cooler still in order for heat to flow outwards
with the semiconductors at a safe temperature.

Most recessed ceiling fixtures for compact fluorescent lamps in
commercial buildings have ballasts mounted in a cooler part of the fixture
and take unballasted bulbs.

Meanwhile, replacing a 75 watt incandescent with a 15 watt compact
fluorescent sounds optimistic to me unless the incandescent is a 130V
vibration resistant longlife one or a dollar store one, a Sunbeam or a
Polaroid. Better 20 watt compact fluorescents produce as much light as
"standard" 75 watt incandescents, and then not at unfavorable
temperatures.

- Don Klipstein )

Mike Berger
July 7th 03, 07:19 PM
The heat can shorten the life of the ballast. The danger is to the bulb/ballast
combination, not to the house.

John R Weiss wrote:

> I don't know how heat could be a problem in a recessed fixture... If you
> replace a 75-100 watt incandescent bulb with a 15-25 watt fluorescent, there
> will be a reduction of waste heat of 66-85%. Most CF lamps don't come to full
> brightness until they warm up, either, so trapping the heat would tend to make
> it happen faster.

Mike Berger
July 7th 03, 07:19 PM
The heat can shorten the life of the ballast. The danger is to the bulb/ballast
combination, not to the house.

John R Weiss wrote:

> I don't know how heat could be a problem in a recessed fixture... If you
> replace a 75-100 watt incandescent bulb with a 15-25 watt fluorescent, there
> will be a reduction of waste heat of 66-85%. Most CF lamps don't come to full
> brightness until they warm up, either, so trapping the heat would tend to make
> it happen faster.

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