100w lamp limit - brighter CFL?

Non-investing personal finance issues including insurance, credit, real estate, taxes, employment and legal issues such as trusts and wills
Topic Author
richard
Posts: 7961
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2007 3:38 pm
Contact:

100w lamp limit - brighter CFL?

Post by richard » Tue Sep 07, 2010 7:39 pm

We're looking at lamps. Many say don't use more than a 100w bulb. Any reason we couldn't use a CFL that draws less than 100w, but is brighter than a regular 100w bulb?

hsv_climber
Posts: 3969
Joined: Tue Sep 22, 2009 7:56 pm

Post by hsv_climber » Tue Sep 07, 2010 8:15 pm

Absolutely no reasons to avoid them.
We have 100W equivalent CFLs (they consume 24W if I remember correctly) all over the house and are happy with them.

When you are buying lamps, you need to make sure that they can support CFLs. Not all lamps do.
Reasons:
- there are no halogen (GU-10, 50W connector) CFL equivalent
- CFLs bulbs are bigger, so they won't physically fit into all lamps.

User avatar
NAVigator
Posts: 2457
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 7:24 am
Location: Iowa

Post by NAVigator » Tue Sep 07, 2010 8:18 pm

That would be a great way to go. The power limitation on the lamp is due to either heat or, less likely, some wiring limitation. The CFLs generate very little heat, so that would be great to use. Of course, if you use a dimmer, then also use a dimmer compatible CFL.

Jerry
"I was born with nothing and I have most of it left."

retiredjg
Posts: 40481
Joined: Thu Jan 10, 2008 12:56 pm

Post by retiredjg » Tue Sep 07, 2010 8:24 pm

I would avoid CFL bulbs - they contain mercury and require special disposal procedures (which most people don't seem to know....)

It does not make any sense to me that these bulbs are being touted as some kind of green solution. I just don't get it.

User avatar
cyclysm
Posts: 173
Joined: Sun Feb 10, 2008 1:19 pm

Post by cyclysm » Tue Sep 07, 2010 8:50 pm

retiredjg wrote:I would avoid CFL bulbs - they contain mercury and require special disposal procedures (which most people don't seem to know....)
Umm, isn't that like telling someone looking for tax-favored investment vehicles to avoid IRAs, 529s, or HSAs simply because they have specific distribution requirements?

User avatar
lmpmd
Posts: 740
Joined: Sun Jan 18, 2009 4:47 pm

Post by lmpmd » Tue Sep 07, 2010 8:50 pm

I think that's the wonder of CFL bulbs. If the fixture is rated for 60 watts you can go ahead with 100 watt (equivalent) bulbs - cause they are 23 watt bulbs. You get brighter light from the same fixtures! What a great advantage.

Here's an article on the recycling issue:
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/stor ... Id=7431198

User avatar
NAVigator
Posts: 2457
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 7:24 am
Location: Iowa

Post by NAVigator » Tue Sep 07, 2010 9:00 pm

Well, plastic, paper, aluminum, and metal cans "require special disposal procedures (which most people... seem to know....)" through common recycling. Similarly, the CFLs have mercury which should be recycled. Just save them in a box and after a few years (since they last so long) take the dead ones to get processed. The savings in energy, and consequently the reduced cost to the consumer, is significant. I don't get why some people don't get it. :wink:

Jerry
"I was born with nothing and I have most of it left."

retiredjg
Posts: 40481
Joined: Thu Jan 10, 2008 12:56 pm

Post by retiredjg » Tue Sep 07, 2010 9:05 pm

cyclysm wrote:
retiredjg wrote:I would avoid CFL bulbs - they contain mercury and require special disposal procedures (which most people don't seem to know....)
Umm, isn't that like telling someone looking for tax-favored investment vehicles to avoid IRAs, 529s, or HSAs simply because they have specific distribution requirements?
Huh? Sorry, I don't get your analogy.

Maybe you thought I don't like CFLs because of the disposal requirements? I suppose my message could have sounded like that. I don't like them because they are hazardous. The fact there are special disposal requirements just confirms that they are hazardous.

I'm just bewildered by how this product is supposed to be green. A green product containing mercury? I think the solution to energy problems is in using less energy - not in using hazardous products.

User avatar
NAVigator
Posts: 2457
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 7:24 am
Location: Iowa

Post by NAVigator » Tue Sep 07, 2010 9:12 pm

retiredjg wrote:I'm just bewildered by how this product is supposed to be green. A green product containing mercury? I think the solution to energy problems is in using less energy - not in using hazardous products.
All fluorescent lamps, compact or not, use mercury. Are you against fluorescent lighting? This "hazardous" material and methods of reclaiming it have been around for decades.

Jerry
"I was born with nothing and I have most of it left."

User avatar
Scott S
Posts: 1476
Joined: Mon Nov 24, 2008 3:28 am
Location: CID

Post by Scott S » Tue Sep 07, 2010 9:13 pm

lmpmd wrote:I think that's the wonder of CFL bulbs. If the fixture is rated for 60 watts you can go ahead with 100 watt (equivalent) bulbs - cause they are 23 watt bulbs. You get brighter light from the same fixtures! What a great advantage.
Yep! They're great for getting more light out of lower-rated fixtures. :cool:

- Scott

slick_dealer_05
Posts: 407
Joined: Tue Jul 24, 2007 8:16 pm

Post by slick_dealer_05 » Tue Sep 07, 2010 9:39 pm

retiredjg wrote:I would avoid CFL bulbs - they contain mercury and require special disposal procedures (which most people don't seem to know....)

It does not make any sense to me that these bulbs are being touted as some kind of green solution. I just don't get it.
Your average watch battery has 5 times the amount of mercury in a CFL bulb. Silver dental amalgams contain 100 times the amount of mercury in a CFL bulb.
Retiredjg, educate yourself before posting hyperboles - http://www.cdphe.state.co.us/hm/mercury ... tsheet.pdf

etarini
Posts: 615
Joined: Sun Jan 24, 2010 6:46 pm

Post by etarini » Tue Sep 07, 2010 9:44 pm

Here's a tip for those trying out CFL's: while the advertising for CFL's often indicate that you can use one-fourth the wattage of an incandescent, you'll probably want a CFL with a wattage of at least one-third the wattage of the incandescent you're replacing. Also, many people don't know that CFL's, like all fluorescents, are rated for "lumen maintenance", which is the rate of degradation of the lumen output. Unlike incandescents - which stay as bright as they were on day you screwed them in, right up until you flip the switch one day and it goes "pop" - fluorescents get dimmer over time. You probably won't like them if they're not as bright as the bulb you're replacing, or if they don't stay bright enough through their lifetime.

Also, the expected lifetime (usually quoted in thousands of hours) is only achieved if you keep them on for very long periods of time, which of course defeats the purpose. So expect them not to last as long as the label says, especially if they're in fixtures that are turned off and on a lot.

I have all CFL's in my Energy Star house, as well as the garage and basement, except for three small bulbs in a foyer light and a hanging light over a table. It does save money, and it keeps the A/C bill down, but you have to discount the hype and advertising a bit.

And, as previously noted, measure your lamps and fixtures before buying; CFL's of the same wattage and lumens can be sized quite differently.

Eric

Jacotus
Posts: 244
Joined: Sun Jun 14, 2009 2:07 pm

Post by Jacotus » Tue Sep 07, 2010 9:47 pm

retiredjg wrote:
cyclysm wrote:
retiredjg wrote:I would avoid CFL bulbs - they contain mercury and require special disposal procedures (which most people don't seem to know....)
Umm, isn't that like telling someone looking for tax-favored investment vehicles to avoid IRAs, 529s, or HSAs simply because they have specific distribution requirements?
Huh? Sorry, I don't get your analogy.

Maybe you thought I don't like CFLs because of the disposal requirements? I suppose my message could have sounded like that. I don't like them because they are hazardous. The fact there are special disposal requirements just confirms that they are hazardous.

I'm just bewildered by how this product is supposed to be green. A green product containing mercury? I think the solution to energy problems is in using less energy - not in using hazardous products.
How much mercury is too much? Where do you draw the line? If there is a single atom of mercury in the bulb?

CFL bulbs do use much less energy than incandescent bulbs. In fact, they use so much less energy, that given that around 50% of the electricity in the United States is produced by coal plants, we arrive at the conclusion that by using an incandescent bulb, the extra energy required results in more mercury being released into the environment at the coal plant than the mercury contained within the CFL bulb that we could have used in its place. Plus, this mercury along with many other harmful chemicals are released into the environment, not bottled up in a bulb where it can be disposed of properly.

If you refuse to use CFL bulbs, you can always buy LED lighting. No mercury and even more efficient than CFL, though there is a much higher upfront cost.

User avatar
segfault
Posts: 510
Joined: Thu Jun 21, 2007 4:51 pm

Post by segfault » Tue Sep 07, 2010 10:06 pm

CFLs don't produce as much heat as an incandescent bulb, but they do produce some heat, and you need to be careful about clearance issues due to the size of the bulb, i.e., you wouldn't want it touching something metal or a wire.

The light output of any fluorescent will decrease as the bulb ages. The Energy Star rated CFLs are supposed to meet certain standards in this regard, but they will still degrade to some extent.

As mentioned, CFLs tend to be larger than incandescents. Many spiral 60w-equivalent CFLs are slightly larger than a standard 60w bulb. A 100w-equivalent CFL is significantly larger than a standard 100w bulb. (See above about clearance issues.)

I have CFLs throughout my house except the locations where I have dimmers or clear decorative bulbs. The dimmable ones don't work that well, and none of the CFLs look good in a fixture with an exposed bulb.

retiredjg
Posts: 40481
Joined: Thu Jan 10, 2008 12:56 pm

Post by retiredjg » Tue Sep 07, 2010 10:07 pm

slick_dealer_05 wrote:
retiredjg wrote:I would avoid CFL bulbs - they contain mercury and require special disposal procedures (which most people don't seem to know....)

It does not make any sense to me that these bulbs are being touted as some kind of green solution. I just don't get it.
Retiredjg, educate yourself before posting hyperboles
Hyperbole? How can it be hyperbole to say these bulbs contain mercury and I prefer not to use them? One is fact, the other is personal opinion. I don't see how it could be hyperbole.

That said, I don't think this discussion is assisting the OP very much. My saying any more would not be useful. Richard, sorry - I didn't foresee that my comment would hijack your thread. :oops:

Paladin

Post by Paladin » Tue Sep 07, 2010 11:20 pm

retiredjg wrote:
slick_dealer_05 wrote:
retiredjg wrote:I would avoid CFL bulbs - they contain mercury and require special disposal procedures (which most people don't seem to know....)

It does not make any sense to me that these bulbs are being touted as some kind of green solution. I just don't get it.
Retiredjg, educate yourself before posting hyperboles
Hyperbole? How can it be hyperbole to say these bulbs contain mercury and I prefer not to use them? One is fact, the other is personal opinion. I don't see how it could be hyperbole.

That said, I don't think this discussion is assisting the OP very much. My saying any more would not be useful. Richard, sorry - I didn't foresee that my comment would hijack your thread. :oops:
I suggest you don't wear a watch, use a calculator (that has watch batteries), use a computer (they all have watch batteries to backup the EPROM), use rechargeable batteries (yes they contain mercury), use fluorescent lights etc.

Mercury does require careful disposal and recycling but that is true of cadmium and many other elements.

infecto
Posts: 934
Joined: Sat Feb 21, 2009 9:50 pm

Post by infecto » Tue Sep 07, 2010 11:44 pm

Not to detract from the OP but to make things clear. Yes you are supposed to recycle CFLs but its not that difficult. Both Home Depot and Lowes carry disposal buckets in their stores. Also most counties that offer recycling will take these as well.

rec7
Posts: 2369
Joined: Tue Oct 28, 2008 7:22 pm

Post by rec7 » Wed Sep 08, 2010 1:01 am

slick_dealer_05 wrote:
retiredjg wrote:I would avoid CFL bulbs - they contain mercury and require special disposal procedures (which most people don't seem to know....)

It does not make any sense to me that these bulbs are being touted as some kind of green solution. I just don't get it.
Your average watch battery has 5 times the amount of mercury in a CFL bulb. Silver dental amalgams contain 100 times the amount of mercury in a CFL bulb.
Retiredjg, educate yourself before posting hyperboles - http://www.cdphe.state.co.us/hm/mercury ... tsheet.pdf
And that junk is in our mouth. That worries me more than a truck load of CFL bulbs.
Disclaimer: You might lose money doing anything I say. Although that was not my intent. | Favorite song: Sometimes He Whispers Jay Parrack

Valuethinker
Posts: 40009
Joined: Fri May 11, 2007 11:07 am

Post by Valuethinker » Wed Sep 08, 2010 3:22 am

retiredjg wrote:I would avoid CFL bulbs - they contain mercury and require special disposal procedures (which most people don't seem to know....)

It does not make any sense to me that these bulbs are being touted as some kind of green solution. I just don't get it.

- more mercury is emitted from a coal fired power plant to generate the electricity to light a 100 watt lightbulb for its lifetime (2000 hours) than is released from a CFL that is disposed of inappropriately


If the CLF is disposed of correctly then of course there is no mercury emission.

Since 50% US power is produced by coal (40-50%) that is the environmental saving right there.

- CFLs also last 4 times as long (8000 hours): admittedly some of the cheaper brands do not seem to (there are transformer issues). But although they cost more to make than an incandescent, the longer life offsets the environmental impact of this.

- On the CO2 side, the CLF uses 1/4-1/5th as much energy. 80% of US electricity production emits CO2 (gas and coal fired stations ie non hydroelectric, non nuclear, non renewable).

Mercury is toxic, but in the quantity in a CFL that is more of a worry for children (long term neurological damage) and pets than adults.

So there is your environmental case.

Valuethinker
Posts: 40009
Joined: Fri May 11, 2007 11:07 am

Post by Valuethinker » Wed Sep 08, 2010 3:31 am

retiredjg wrote:
slick_dealer_05 wrote:
retiredjg wrote:I would avoid CFL bulbs - they contain mercury and require special disposal procedures (which most people don't seem to know....)

It does not make any sense to me that these bulbs are being touted as some kind of green solution. I just don't get it.
Retiredjg, educate yourself before posting hyperboles
Hyperbole? How can it be hyperbole to say these bulbs contain mercury and I prefer not to use them? One is fact, the other is personal opinion. I don't see how it could be hyperbole.

That said, I don't think this discussion is assisting the OP very much. My saying any more would not be useful. Richard, sorry - I didn't foresee that my comment would hijack your thread. :oops:
jg

I am sorry the tone of this thread has turned hostile. Your comment was genuine and reflected, unfortunately, the high level of misinformation that is out there issued (emitted? ;-)) by people with a knee jerk resistance to anything environmental.

My comment to you above is not intended to be hostile or negative.

As you can imagine the whole CFL thing causes a lot of controversy (there is a lot of consumer resistance).

So the Hg (mercury) emission thing has been modelled to death. It was an early issue, and so it was examined intensely by environmental groups and the US National Laboratories.

We tend, being human, to ignore what we cannot see (Hg in our air and water from power plant emissions) and respond to what we can see (Hg from a broken lightbulb). For the same reason, it was only when aerial smog got *really* bad, and blocked light, that air pollution controls started to come in. It took a lot longer to kill off automotive lead: probably the biggest toxic heavy metal poisoning problem of the 20th century*. Because as an octane enhancer, it was colourless and odorless. Ditto CFCs: the damage is very long term and, so far, has mostly affected people in the very southern hemisphere.

The CFL toxicity is not, generally, a problem-- although one could conduct scenarios where it was. The emissions from the power plant are.

People are resistant to CFLs due to flicker issues, etc. I have found, by switching to Phillips brand ones (ie more expensive) and by covering them with shades, that I don't now notice the difference.

I also use '1 level up' ie for a 60 Watt bulb, I use a 15 watt CLF *not* the recommended 11 watt.

There are special CFLs that fit in halogen fittings (there I mix them with conventional halogens-- 2 halogen, 2 CFL); with dimmer switches etc.

The savings on the electricity bill (I pay USD $0.23-25 cents/ kwhr) are significant. If I had air conditioning, they would also save me air conditioning (roughly speaking, another 0.25 kwhr/ 1 kwhr of electricity spent on lighting).

Once again I am sorry this has become a 'heat than light' conversation due to interpersonal gibes.

* pace lead paint. An Australian doctor published about this in the 1940s, but the problem was only widely recognized in the 1960s. Many older houses still have lead based paint (used as a whitener instead of titanium dioxide) and it's under many coats, usually. The problem was detected in working class children (more likely to be playing around chipped paint, and even eating it, as kids do). Also kids who lived near lead refineries. The consequences are mental underdevelopment and loss of impulse control.
Last edited by Valuethinker on Wed Sep 08, 2010 8:12 am, edited 1 time in total.

Valuethinker
Posts: 40009
Joined: Fri May 11, 2007 11:07 am

Post by Valuethinker » Wed Sep 08, 2010 3:33 am

etarini wrote:Here's a tip for those trying out CFL's: while the advertising for CFL's often indicate that you can use one-fourth the wattage of an incandescent, you'll probably want a CFL with a wattage of at least one-third the wattage of the incandescent you're replacing. Also, many people don't know that CFL's, like all fluorescents, are rated for "lumen maintenance", which is the rate of degradation of the lumen output. Unlike incandescents - which stay as bright as they were on day you screwed them in, right up until you flip the switch one day and it goes "pop" - fluorescents get dimmer over time. You probably won't like them if they're not as bright as the bulb you're replacing, or if they don't stay bright enough through their lifetime.

Also, the expected lifetime (usually quoted in thousands of hours) is only achieved if you keep them on for very long periods of time, which of course defeats the purpose. So expect them not to last as long as the label says, especially if they're in fixtures that are turned off and on a lot.

I have all CFL's in my Energy Star house, as well as the garage and basement, except for three small bulbs in a foyer light and a hanging light over a table. It does save money, and it keeps the A/C bill down, but you have to discount the hype and advertising a bit.

And, as previously noted, measure your lamps and fixtures before buying; CFL's of the same wattage and lumens can be sized quite differently.

Eric
Very good information and matches my experience with CFLs.

I've been pretty happy with the life and performance of the Philips brand, over cheaper brands.

We still have halogens though which have their own pathologies. In our climate, for 7 months of the year, the halogen is simply a fairly expensive form of electric heating ;-).

Topic Author
richard
Posts: 7961
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2007 3:38 pm
Contact:

Post by richard » Wed Sep 08, 2010 4:49 am

lmpmd wrote:I think that's the wonder of CFL bulbs. If the fixture is rated for 60 watts you can go ahead with 100 watt (equivalent) bulbs - cause they are 23 watt bulbs. You get brighter light from the same fixtures! What a great advantage.
Excellent!

Topic Author
richard
Posts: 7961
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2007 3:38 pm
Contact:

Post by richard » Wed Sep 08, 2010 4:55 am

etarini wrote:Here's a tip for those trying out CFL's: while the advertising for CFL's often indicate that you can use one-fourth the wattage of an incandescent, you'll probably want a CFL with a wattage of at least one-third the wattage of the incandescent you're replacing. Also, many people don't know that CFL's, like all fluorescents, are rated for "lumen maintenance", which is the rate of degradation of the lumen output. Unlike incandescents - which stay as bright as they were on day you screwed them in, right up until you flip the switch one day and it goes "pop" - fluorescents get dimmer over time. You probably won't like them if they're not as bright as the bulb you're replacing, or if they don't stay bright enough through their lifetime.
We're looking for 150w incandesent equivalent in a lamp that takes a maximum of 100w. Sounds as if we should get something closer to 200w equivalent.
etarini wrote:Also, the expected lifetime (usually quoted in thousands of hours) is only achieved if you keep them on for very long periods of time, which of course defeats the purpose. So expect them not to last as long as the label says, especially if they're in fixtures that are turned off and on a lot.
Why am I not surprised
etarini wrote:And, as previously noted, measure your lamps and fixtures before buying; CFL's of the same wattage and lumens can be sized quite differently.
I'm buying online, so I emailed the vendor to make sure they'll fit.

I'd hope a 7" tall, medium base CFL wouldn't be a problem - it's not that much taller than a standard incandescent.

User avatar
soaring
Posts: 1440
Joined: Sun Nov 18, 2007 9:09 am
Location: North Central Florida

Post by soaring » Wed Sep 08, 2010 5:50 am

I've noticed, and bought, the same output rated CFL bulbs that stated they were "bright white" and then there were two other designations about brightness on two other like bulbs from the same manufacturer same rating.

I found the "bright white" much brighter than the same bulb from the same manufacturer with the same output rating but wasn't "bright white".

They were at Lowes but can't remember the brand. At the time I bought them they had three lighted CFL bulbs side by side to show the difference in brightness and they were same rating, same manufacturer.
Desiderata

Martello Shores
Posts: 169
Joined: Sat Feb 28, 2009 1:33 pm

Post by Martello Shores » Wed Sep 08, 2010 7:40 am

Our local Home Depot takes expired CFL bulbs for recycling. I understand the danger is in breaking them and releasing Hg gas (if you break one, just ventilate the room). They are stored in garage in plastic container until I have reason to visit Home Depot.

We use some CFLs exposed for outside lights (clear glass shades) and in can ceiling lights. (They protrude a bit from our cans.) Not really noticeable.

cdog999
Posts: 27
Joined: Sun Jun 20, 2010 12:46 pm

Post by cdog999 » Wed Sep 08, 2010 8:04 am

I just take my CFLs and pitch them in the garbage after they go out. Never even knew they are supposed to be disposed of differently. Didn't say anything on the package about that...

Valuethinker
Posts: 40009
Joined: Fri May 11, 2007 11:07 am

Post by Valuethinker » Wed Sep 08, 2010 8:09 am

Martello Shores wrote:Our local Home Depot takes expired CFL bulbs for recycling. I understand the danger is in breaking them and releasing Hg gas (if you break one, just ventilate the room). They are stored in garage in plastic container until I have reason to visit Home Depot.

We use some CFLs exposed for outside lights (clear glass shades) and in can ceiling lights. (They protrude a bit from our cans.) Not really noticeable.
Hmm. Mercury is a liquid at room temperature? I think? That's those little bubbles of mercury running around (used to play with them as a kid ;-)). It can then evaporate (producing vapour).

Again if you have pets or kids, this would be a worry-- keep them out of the room for a bit. But for adults your strategy is a good one.

hsv_climber
Posts: 3969
Joined: Tue Sep 22, 2009 7:56 pm

Post by hsv_climber » Wed Sep 08, 2010 8:25 am

Valuethinker wrote:Hmm. Mercury is a liquid at room temperature? I think? That's those little bubbles of mercury running around (used to play with them as a kid ;-)). It can then evaporate (producing vapour).
Mercury is a liquid at room temperature. It also sticks to the glass when the bulb is off, but when the bulb is On and it breaks, it is much hotter than room temperature and Hg evaporates quickly.
You are supposed to:

- turn off central A/C
- ventilate the room
- clean up using wet paper towels

Valuethinker
Posts: 40009
Joined: Fri May 11, 2007 11:07 am

Post by Valuethinker » Wed Sep 08, 2010 8:30 am

hsv_climber wrote:
Valuethinker wrote:Hmm. Mercury is a liquid at room temperature? I think? That's those little bubbles of mercury running around (used to play with them as a kid ;-)). It can then evaporate (producing vapour).
Mercury is a liquid at room temperature. It also sticks to the glass when the bulb is off, but when the bulb is On and it breaks, it is much hotter than room temperature and Hg evaporates quickly.
You are supposed to:

- turn off central A/C
- ventilate the room
- clean up using wet paper towels
Thank you.

ourbrooks
Posts: 1575
Joined: Fri Nov 13, 2009 4:56 pm

Post by ourbrooks » Wed Sep 08, 2010 8:49 am

The color of light emitted by incandescent bulbs is actually quite yellow compared to daylight. One way to measure color is through a scale marked in degrees Kelvin. 2700K is the color of incandescents. Daylight at noon is 6500K.

When fluorescents first came out, they were bright white and many people thought this light was "cold" compared to incandescents. Most compact fluorescents now are around 2700K.

Some people, such as myself, find it easier to see with the whiter light. The good news is that "bright white" (4700K ?) and "full spectrum" (6500K) bulbs are now available in many sizes. You may find that, for the same wattage, they are subjectively brighter.

Martello Shores
Posts: 169
Joined: Sat Feb 28, 2009 1:33 pm

Post by Martello Shores » Wed Sep 08, 2010 8:54 am

You don't want to breathe or eat elemental mercury, but my understanding is that it's most dangerous (biologically active), when it's methylated (by bacteria in lake sediments, for example) and gets into the food-chain (fish). So it is important to dispose of it properly.

Topic Author
richard
Posts: 7961
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2007 3:38 pm
Contact:

Post by richard » Wed Sep 08, 2010 9:24 am

ourbrooks wrote:The color of light emitted by incandescent bulbs is actually quite yellow compared to daylight. One way to measure color is through a scale marked in degrees Kelvin. 2700K is the color of incandescents. Daylight at noon is 6500K.
When you're in the room with incandescent lighting, it looks normal because your vision system adjusts, but if you take a photo you can clearly see the color shift.

Take a photo indoors in incandescent light with a digital camera with the white balance set to sunlight. The picture will have an orange cast. That's what it "really" looks like, even if you don't see the orange cast when you're in the room. Regular fluorescents sometimes have a greenish cast. Most cameras automatically adjust white balance, some are better than others at correcting these issues.

Valuethinker
Posts: 40009
Joined: Fri May 11, 2007 11:07 am

Post by Valuethinker » Wed Sep 08, 2010 9:28 am

richard wrote:
ourbrooks wrote:The color of light emitted by incandescent bulbs is actually quite yellow compared to daylight. One way to measure color is through a scale marked in degrees Kelvin. 2700K is the color of incandescents. Daylight at noon is 6500K.
When you're in the room with incandescent lighting, it looks normal because your vision system adjusts, but if you take a photo you can clearly see the color shift.

Take a photo indoors in incandescent light with a digital camera with the white balance set to sunlight. The picture will have an orange cast. That's what it "really" looks like, even if you don't see the orange cast when you're in the room. Regular fluorescents sometimes have a greenish cast. Most cameras automatically adjust white balance, some are better than others at correcting these issues.
We have a terracotta lampshade, and an ivory coloured one. That seems to correct the light.

I would not know, if I did not look at the bulb (which hurts my eyes) that this is a CFL.

These are standard Philips bulbs, but one size too large.

sommerfeld
Posts: 1158
Joined: Fri Dec 12, 2008 8:02 pm

Post by sommerfeld » Wed Sep 08, 2010 10:43 am

etarini wrote:Also, the expected lifetime (usually quoted in thousands of hours) is only achieved if you keep them on for very long periods of time, which of course defeats the purpose. So expect them not to last as long as the label says, especially if they're in fixtures that are turned off and on a lot.
Also, many CFL's I've used also don't come to full brightness immediately. I haven't really timed it but when they've been off for a while, it may be a minute or so before they're up to full brightness.

I see CFL's as a transitional technology. LED-based bulbs have even greater energy efficiency and lifespan and apparently don't have as many of the downsides, but they're still a bit expensive. I'll probably buy one or two in the next year (they're starting to show up in the local home centers) and see how they work out.

User avatar
jeffyscott
Posts: 8786
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 9:12 am
Location: Wisconsin

Post by jeffyscott » Wed Sep 08, 2010 10:51 am

segfault wrote:...none of the CFLs look good in a fixture with an exposed bulb.
I think that depends, for some things that is so. There are some where the spiral is enclosed in another shell of glass that can work.

For an outdoor post lamp, where you see the bulb, I use one of the bathroom vanity shaped enclosed CFLs. For a fixture where you can see the top of the bulb, we use some where the spiral is enclosed like that, but shaped like a regular bulb. In a recessed can, we used CFL floodlights where the spiral part is also enclosed.
Last edited by jeffyscott on Wed Sep 08, 2010 10:52 am, edited 1 time in total.
Time is your friend; impulse is your enemy. - John C. Bogle

The Wizard
Posts: 13356
Joined: Tue Mar 23, 2010 1:45 pm
Location: Reading, MA

Post by The Wizard » Wed Sep 08, 2010 10:52 am

sommerfeld wrote:.....LED-based bulbs have even greater energy efficiency and lifespan and apparently don't have as many of the downsides, but they're still a bit expensive. I'll probably buy one or two in the next year (they're starting to show up in the local home centers) and see how they work out.
I've read a few LED bulb reviews on amazon.com and haven't been too impressed yet. Seems to be a mixed bag of high price, low light output level and short lifespan even tho the LEDs proper last "forever".

If someone has good experience with any LED "light bulbs", please post info and a link!

allsop
Posts: 1046
Joined: Sun Jun 15, 2008 7:08 am

Post by allsop » Wed Sep 08, 2010 3:00 pm

hsv_climber wrote:
Valuethinker wrote:Hmm. Mercury is a liquid at room temperature? I think? That's those little bubbles of mercury running around (used to play with them as a kid ;-)). It can then evaporate (producing vapour).
Mercury is a liquid at room temperature. It also sticks to the glass when the bulb is off, but when the bulb is On and it breaks, it is much hotter than room temperature and Hg evaporates quickly.
You are supposed to:

- turn off central A/C
- ventilate the room
- clean up using wet paper towels
This is the reason I'm wary of using CFL bulbs in places where they are at easy risk of breaking due to falling down on the floor. Halogen bulbs are what I use for risky places, and where I want a fast response, like in the hallway.

Valuethinker
Posts: 40009
Joined: Fri May 11, 2007 11:07 am

Post by Valuethinker » Wed Sep 08, 2010 4:52 pm

allsop wrote:
hsv_climber wrote:
Valuethinker wrote:Hmm. Mercury is a liquid at room temperature? I think? That's those little bubbles of mercury running around (used to play with them as a kid ;-)). It can then evaporate (producing vapour).
Mercury is a liquid at room temperature. It also sticks to the glass when the bulb is off, but when the bulb is On and it breaks, it is much hotter than room temperature and Hg evaporates quickly.
You are supposed to:

- turn off central A/C
- ventilate the room
- clean up using wet paper towels
This is the reason I'm wary of using CFL bulbs in places where they are at easy risk of breaking due to falling down on the floor. Halogen bulbs are what I use for risky places, and where I want a fast response, like in the hallway.
How often does a lightbulb break per annum in your house?

I probably break one every 2 years or so.

The real place to use CFLs is lights that are:

- on a lot of the time like hall lights or exterior lights
- that are hard to reach
- where the heat of a conventional light is a fire hazard (store rooms etc.)

I think you are being over cautious for what is a very minor risk.

Halogens really cost to run and where I do have them, I make sure I shut that light out quickly (my whole family is not so well trained ;-)).

User avatar
lmpmd
Posts: 740
Joined: Sun Jan 18, 2009 4:47 pm

Post by lmpmd » Wed Sep 08, 2010 5:11 pm

ourbrooks wrote:The color of light emitted by incandescent bulbs is actually quite yellow compared to daylight. One way to measure color is through a scale marked in degrees Kelvin. 2700K is the color of incandescents. Daylight at noon is 6500K.

When fluorescents first came out, they were bright white and many people thought this light was "cold" compared to incandescents. Most compact fluorescents now are around 2700K.

Some people, such as myself, find it easier to see with the whiter light. The good news is that "bright white" (4700K ?) and "full spectrum" (6500K) bulbs are now available in many sizes. You may find that, for the same wattage, they are subjectively brighter.
There may be some people (I'm guessing elderly or old fashioned) that like the look of a room at home lit by incandescant (2700K) and find the room/house "warm looking" and "comfy". My father says this. 6000K looks too office-like and cold to them when they walk in. So even thought the eye adjusts and does it's own "white balancing" they have some sense of the color temp of the lighting. Probably most prominant when they first enter a room from another one. But cfu doesn't bother me and I like it's advantages.

I have seen someone break a cfu taking it out of the annoying packaging. I said, "I guess that one won't last 10 years".

User avatar
V572625694
Posts: 310
Joined: Tue Jun 15, 2010 3:43 pm
Location: San Diego

Post by V572625694 » Wed Sep 08, 2010 6:21 pm

I moved into a newly-built condo in 2007, with 13 CFL can-type downlights in the kitchen, hallway and master bathroom. (I believe California requires fluorescent lighting some locations in new housing as an energy saving measure.) These were the type with a special base that made it impossible to replace with an incandescent bulb. I disliked the color of the light so much that I got an electrician to replace them all with incandescent fixtures, into which I installed halogen lamps. It's hard to believe how much more pleasant the environment is with dimmable lights and no creepy fluorescent glow.

Not very green of me to do this, but then again my electric bill is about $25/month, so I don't feel like I'm destroying the planet single-handedly.

slick_dealer_05
Posts: 407
Joined: Tue Jul 24, 2007 8:16 pm

Post by slick_dealer_05 » Wed Sep 08, 2010 7:22 pm

The Wizard wrote:
sommerfeld wrote:.....LED-based bulbs have even greater energy efficiency and lifespan and apparently don't have as many of the downsides, but they're still a bit expensive.
If someone has good experience with any LED "light bulbs", please post info and a link!
Meritline sells a four/two pack of LED bulbs -
http://www.meritline.com/18-led-2w-spot ... 23958.aspx
Read the reviews to get more info. I bought the four pack on sale for $14.99 (free shipping + 0 tax) a few weeks back. I am using them to keep my front porch lighted through the night. So far, all four of them are working fine but they are not dimmable. Retiredjg, please don't buy it as the solder contains lead.

sommerfeld
Posts: 1158
Joined: Fri Dec 12, 2008 8:02 pm

Post by sommerfeld » Wed Sep 08, 2010 8:11 pm

Valuethinker wrote:How often does a lightbulb break per annum in your house?
The spiral/twisted CFL's are just more fragile than conventional bulbs.

Over the entire course of my life, I have broken more CFL's than conventional bulbs.

User avatar
jeffyscott
Posts: 8786
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 9:12 am
Location: Wisconsin

Post by jeffyscott » Wed Sep 08, 2010 8:28 pm

sommerfeld wrote:The spiral/twisted CFL's are just more fragile than conventional bulbs.
I don't think that is the case for this design:

Image
Time is your friend; impulse is your enemy. - John C. Bogle

The Wizard
Posts: 13356
Joined: Tue Mar 23, 2010 1:45 pm
Location: Reading, MA

Post by The Wizard » Wed Sep 08, 2010 8:30 pm

slick_dealer_05 wrote:....Retiredjg, please don't buy it as the solder contains lead.
Hey now.
Let's not be mean to Retirejg. She means well and that's a good thing...

ourbrooks
Posts: 1575
Joined: Fri Nov 13, 2009 4:56 pm

Post by ourbrooks » Wed Sep 08, 2010 8:43 pm

I'm not at all impressed by the Meritline product. They don't tell you how much light you're getting for your 2 watts. I don't want to endorse particular dealers but many of the more reputable light bulb sites will give you output in lumens and color temperature as well.

Another issue may be that most of the current LED bulbs seem to be in the "full spectrum" very bright white 6500K color range.

User avatar
soaring
Posts: 1440
Joined: Sun Nov 18, 2007 9:09 am
Location: North Central Florida

Post by soaring » Thu Sep 09, 2010 5:25 am

sommerfeld wrote:
Valuethinker wrote:How often does a lightbulb break per annum in your house?
The spiral/twisted CFL's are just more fragile than conventional bulbs.

Over the entire course of my life, I have broken more CFL's than conventional bulbs.
odd. I've never broken a light bulb of any kind in my 65 yrs. Well maybe once 25-35 yrs ago.
Desiderata

User avatar
lmpmd
Posts: 740
Joined: Sun Jan 18, 2009 4:47 pm

Post by lmpmd » Thu Sep 09, 2010 5:53 am

jeffyscott wrote:
sommerfeld wrote:The spiral/twisted CFL's are just more fragile than conventional bulbs.
I don't think that is the case for this design:

Image
Thanks for interesting post. I guess I haven't seen this design yet but will look for it. Might be less prone to breaking for the klutzy. Of interest is the statement in the yellow area "produces soft warm light 2700K". I don't think any of the original cfl's were 2700K. And they seem to be using that as an advertising point. It confirms my feeling, that even thought the eye/brain does white balancing for us, some prefer the look of a house lit by warmer 2700K light. I know my dad objects to the original cfu bulbs probably cause he felt the house didn't have the "warm look" he wanted. So maybe these bulbs are the answer for some people. But in an office building I suppose people prefer 6000K. No? We need a psychologist to tell us why (if it's true) people want their homes lit at 2700 and their office lit by 6000. Or maybe it's just what people are used to and expect - so in 10 years all homes will be at 6000 and that will look normal, at least to younger people.

User avatar
lmpmd
Posts: 740
Joined: Sun Jan 18, 2009 4:47 pm

Post by lmpmd » Thu Sep 09, 2010 6:05 am

BTW if I'm right, and I'm no expert, than we really don't have to look at the rating of a fixture any more. If it's the actual/true wattage (not the "equivalent wattage") that counts for a cfu bulb (in producing heat and fires) - note almost no fixtures won't take a 40 watt bulb. And look:
http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_i_ ... x=150+watt+
Even the 150 watt equivalent cfu's are actually around 40 actual/true watts. So just put any bulb anywhere you like. Of course this may defeat the purpose (of saving as much energy as possible) somewhat for those that like a bright house, cause they may tend to replace 40W incandescants with 100W equivalent bulbs.

User avatar
black jack
Posts: 697
Joined: Fri Oct 10, 2008 10:13 pm

Post by black jack » Thu Sep 09, 2010 10:54 pm

lmpmd wrote:
ourbrooks wrote:The color of light emitted by incandescent bulbs is actually quite yellow compared to daylight. One way to measure color is through a scale marked in degrees Kelvin. 2700K is the color of incandescents. Daylight at noon is 6500K.

When fluorescents first came out, they were bright white and many people thought this light was "cold" compared to incandescents. Most compact fluorescents now are around 2700K.

Some people, such as myself, find it easier to see with the whiter light. The good news is that "bright white" (4700K ?) and "full spectrum" (6500K) bulbs are now available in many sizes. You may find that, for the same wattage, they are subjectively brighter.
There may be some people (I'm guessing elderly or old fashioned) that like the look of a room at home lit by incandescant (2700K) and find the room/house "warm looking" and "comfy". My father says this. 6000K looks too office-like and cold to them when they walk in. So even thought the eye adjusts and does it's own "white balancing" they have some sense of the color temp of the lighting. Probably most prominant when they first enter a room from another one. But cfu doesn't bother me and I like it's advantages.quote]

I would say the "warm" yellowish tint of 2700k incandescents is most evident when looking at houses from outside at night. Take a walk around your neighborhood and look at the light in the windows of lighted rooms (maybe not in California, if CFLs are so common). This makes me think I should look at my CFL-lit rooms from outside for comparison.
We cannot absolutely prove [that they are wrong who say] that we have seen our best days. But so said all who came before us, and with just as much apparent reason. | -T. B. Macaulay (1800-1859)

User avatar
lmpmd
Posts: 740
Joined: Sun Jan 18, 2009 4:47 pm

Post by lmpmd » Mon Sep 13, 2010 9:21 pm

These sites discuss the CRI which isn't light temperature but color rendition index - or how true color is rendered:
http://www.fullspectrumsolutions.com/cri_explained.htm
http://www.myledlightingguide.com/Artic ... ticleID=13
Apparantly cfl bulbs can have a low cri and that makes the light less desirable and this is a separate concept (it's not color temperature).

Post Reply