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Author Topic: New Dangers with the newer CFLs  (Read 59656 times)

Tuicemen

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New Dangers with the newer CFLs
« on: September 26, 2007, 06:10:42 PM »

With all the hype of the new CFLs I thought I'd through out this tidbit!
New Concerns Raised Over CFL Bulbs
Are they fire hazards? ???
If it doesn't state on the package that you can use it in your situation, or your in doubt don't buy them! ;)

Updated Jan 14 2011 to fix link. It now points to the news article's new location!
 >!
« Last Edit: January 14, 2011, 07:16:55 PM by Tuicemen »
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Brian H

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Re: New Dangers with the newer CFLs
« Reply #1 on: September 26, 2007, 06:18:46 PM »

I can say with 100%l experience  :o Yes :o it can happen. Want to guess how I know? Yes I had one do basically the samething. Just not quite as charred. Found no light in one of my table lamps and was greeted by a charred base around one of the tube entries and a burned electronics parts smell.
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HA Dave

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Re: New Dangers with the newer CFLs
« Reply #2 on: September 26, 2007, 06:40:26 PM »

The article stated; "CFL bulbs shouldn't be used in track, recessed...... " It didn't mention covered ceiling fixtures... which I have always shy-ed away from with CFL's.
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Tuicemen

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Re: New Dangers with the newer CFLs
« Reply #3 on: September 26, 2007, 08:00:47 PM »

I had meant to post this earlier before it happend to anyone else
I finally found time and got
                                    sadly Brian H has already experienced one!
Hope the bulb was to only thing charred Brian! ???

Another very good point Dave! ;)
Quote from: Dave_x10_L
It didn't mention covered ceiling fixtures... which I have always shy-ed away from with CFL's.
On a positive side I've been using CFLs since they first came out (over 10 years now) with out experiencing this, so the event is rare!
How ever the pigtail type bulbs are a newer design! ::)
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birdzeye

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Re: New Dangers with the newer CFLs
« Reply #4 on: December 16, 2010, 11:07:01 AM »

I know this is an old thread but is this problem with CFLs still true?

Are they still OK to use with x10 socket rockets?
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Tuicemen

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Re: New Dangers with the newer CFLs
« Reply #5 on: December 16, 2010, 11:48:54 AM »

I still use them in my socket rockets!
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HA Dave

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Re: New Dangers with the newer CFLs
« Reply #6 on: December 16, 2010, 11:59:40 AM »

I know this is an old thread but is this problem with CFLs still true? Are they still OK to use with x10 socket rockets?

According to the SocketRockets (LM15A) manual "Screw an incandescent light bulb (up to 150W) into the LM15A. Do NOT use with fluorescent lamps!". I guess that says it. Although it doesn't really explain it.

My electronic knowledge is very limited. I do use the SocketRockets with LED lights... and I don't think that is recommended ether. I don't as-of-yet completely trust CFL's. Although I DO use CFL's... I am cautious in there applications. I try to only use them in non-enclosed fixtures and in upright positions.

I am not an all-in or all-out type of guy... I mix technologies. With lights I use incandescent, CFL's, LED, regular florescence [tubes], Halogen and sun.... they're all good. Each type of lighting has it's best use... where it out-shines the other types. I try to use the best light in the best [most correct] conditions. While typing this.... the ONLY lighting in my entire home is coming in through the windows.

What is X10 recommending for CFL's now?
« Last Edit: December 16, 2010, 12:02:27 PM by Dave_x10_L »
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lflorack

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Re: New Dangers with the newer CFLs
« Reply #7 on: December 16, 2010, 12:59:07 PM »

In the past, I have used CFL's for some of my X10-controlled lighting.  I used them mostly in Socket Rockets but a few were controlled by appliance modules.  I say I used to use them because I don't any more.  Why?  Because the ones I was using either started out very x10-noisy or became that way eventually (within a few months).  I'd like to use them again but the noise produced by the ones I was using made so much X10 noise, the X10 control in the rest of the house became unreliable.  (My XTBM helped me out a lot with tracking that down.)

Anyway, since some of you are using CFLs successfully, I need some help with trying to use CFLs again without the same result.
  • Are there certain brands that work well without my previous issues -- or isn't it brand-related?
  • Do I need to filter each circuit or bulb?
  • Any other things to think about?
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dave w

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Re: New Dangers with the newer CFLs
« Reply #8 on: December 16, 2010, 01:02:23 PM »

Since this thread has been resurrected I'll toss in my $0.02.
FWIW
I use Socket Rockets with CFL's and LED bulbs with success.

Socket Rockets use a triac to supply power the bulb, and any triac WILL add a small amount of distortion at the beginning of the sine wave when the triac first gates ON during each cycle. An LED bulb that has a dozen or more of small LEDs, usually wired in a series arrangement, should have no problem with the small amount of distortion, and an incandescent bulb could care less about distortion, hence they work fine with dimmers.

However, CFL bulbs and LED bulbs with one to four large LED die in a spotlight style configuration (PAR 20, PAR 30, etc) have small power supplies built in the bulb base which supplies a low DC voltage to the die (dice for you perfectionists). And these tiny power supplies may not tolerate the distortion. Any CFL or LED bulb that is "DIMMABLE", as stated on the bulb packaging, should be completely tolerant of any distortion. The possible problem will be with non dimmable bulbs. I know of no way to predict compatibility, other than a cautious sustained test.

Dave X10's cautious approach, using only specific applications and enclosures, is on the mark.

When I first use a CFL or LED controlled by a Socket Rocket, I first test the bulb/socket rocket combination in a unenclosed test socket fixture placed in the middle of a open area on a concrete floor, for 24 hours. If after 24 hours both the SR and the base of the bulb is not unduly warm then I consider it safe (if you can't touch the SR or the non metal portion of the bulb base with bare finger tip for an extended period, then it is over heated).

IMHO X10 recommends ONLY incandescent applications for SR because they have no way of determining what CFLs or LEDs of the thousand on the market, can be used with Socket Rockets. So rules of liability dictate non use if any CFL or LED use.

Also, the rule is CFLs and LEDs can not be used with two wire wall switches. And only dimmable CFLs and LEDs can be used with three wire, dimming  wall switches or Lamp Modules.  

The information to take to the bank is: IF you choose to ignore X10's stern warning of "incandescent lights only" be very cautious and do some acceptance testing before considering it safe.
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erlwebmail

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Re: New Dangers with the newer CFLs
« Reply #9 on: January 14, 2011, 09:52:28 AM »

Is there any way to update the link to the original article? (I suspect not.) It asks me to "choose a city," suggesting that the original is no longer available.

...or perhaps a similar, newer, item is available?

Thanks. We can all use a safety reminder.
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HA Dave

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Re: New Dangers with the newer CFLs
« Reply #10 on: January 14, 2011, 02:52:05 PM »

Is there any way to update the link to the original article? (I suspect not.) It asks me to "choose a city," suggesting that the original is no longer available.     ...or perhaps a similar, newer, item is available?

Here is one news story:  http://9malls.blogspot.com/2008/08/are-compact-fluorescent-light-bulbs.html  (be sure to read the reply from the manufacture). I am sure that ISN'T the original story... you can find many by doing search. Of course these bulbs pose a risk... many household items do. Risk management is spoken about much... and is widely MISunderstood.

In terms of risk... ordinary candles (including the modern liquid wicked candles) have likely been and remain number one for lighting caused home fires.
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JeffVolp

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Re: New Dangers with the newer CFLs
« Reply #11 on: January 14, 2011, 05:30:52 PM »

The original Philips Earthlights we bought over a decade ago are finally reaching their end of life, and a couple of them have finally failed.  Nothing spectacular.  One with perhaps the most hours on it just wasn't bright enough anymore, and another stopped coming on.  The n:vision bulbs we bought at HomeDepot several years ago are still working fine, as are most of the mix of other CFLs scattered through the house.  One disappointment was the Feit 12V 5W MR16 CFLs I bought for the landscape lights.  They quote an average life of 10,000 hours, but several failed in the first few months.  Feit replaced them with no problem.  Since last fall with a little over a year on them, several others have failed.  I switched one string to 12V LEDs, which are working very well so far.

Something to consider about CFLs and some 120V LED lights is that they require electronics.  While incandescent bulbs work fine at very high temperatures, most electronic components do not like high temperatures.  Some should not be operated above 70C.  At higher temperatures, capacitors can short and some semiconductors can go into thermal runaway.  It is important that the bases of these bulbs with the electronics do not become too hot.  Enclosed fixtures do not let heat escape freely, and can cause premature failures.  Also, fixtures that point down can build up heat around the base.  That is also what causes some X10 Socket Rockets to fail.

There have been numerous reports of discolored or broken plastic in the bases of these bulbs, but the temperature required to cause that sort of damage over a long period time is well below the temperature that incandescent bulbs operate at.  I have a couple of X10 RF transceivers whose white cases are discolored in one spot due to the dissipation of the power supply.  And that location is only slightly warm to the touch.

The plastic used in CFLs should be flame retardant, which means it should prevent the spread of fire.  Indeed internal components, such as a shorted capacitor, could flare up due to the energy available from the powerline.  It is the job of the case to contain that damage, and that was apparently done in the photographs I have seen.  With hundreds of million (billions?) of CFLs now in use, I'm sure there are some that have failed spectacularly.  Those are the ones we read about.  But the vast majority of these bulbs work as they should throughout their lifetime when installed properly.

Lets face it.  The era of cheap energy is coming to an end.  Incandescent bulbs have served their purpose, but now we need more efficient forms of lighting.  Many CFLs do that very well.  As the LED technology improves, they may very well supercede CFLs.  Who knows what other technologies will be developed for lighting in the coming decades.

Jeff
« Last Edit: January 14, 2011, 05:34:59 PM by JeffVolp »
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Brian H

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Re: New Dangers with the newer CFLs
« Reply #12 on: January 14, 2011, 06:27:43 PM »

Some CFLs may say they are UL compliant but show up on their bogus items list. May not meet the flame retardant tests.
Also some people still don't read the package for warnings like no dimmers or total enclosed fixtures.
Luckily the ones I have had fail. Used a fuse or fusible resistor on the line side input.

I just got a pair of those new Sylvania Super Saver bulbs. That meet the 2012 energy requirements for the 100 watt incandescent replacement and hope to test them this weekend.
On things like dimmers etc.
« Last Edit: January 14, 2011, 06:47:51 PM by Brian H »
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Tuicemen

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Re: New Dangers with the newer CFLs
« Reply #13 on: January 14, 2011, 07:22:03 PM »

Is there any way to update the link to the original article?
Done!
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HA Dave

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Re: New Dangers with the newer CFLs
« Reply #14 on: January 14, 2011, 08:53:00 PM »

Lets face it.  The era of cheap energy is coming to an end.  Incandescent bulbs have served their purpose, but now we need more efficient forms of lighting. 

Lets be honest... the era of the masses being controlled.... by controlling the energy they need is upon us. Vast nuclear, oil, gas, and coal reserves are being regulated out of use.... to keep energy prices high. Solar and wind energy that is economically completely unfeasible is being forced on the public. We need to free ourselves of "rulers" that are choosing for us... and elect politicians willing to merely govern.

Enslave yourself... if that is what you choose. Please don't tell me to except that!!! I don't think we've lost... yet.
« Last Edit: January 14, 2011, 08:54:58 PM by Dave_x10_L »
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