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Author Topic: CCFL Light Bulbs  (Read 15771 times)

Brian H

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CCFL Light Bulbs
« on: December 21, 2008, 04:51:39 PM »

I recently purchased a few of the new CCFL [Cold Cathode Flourescent Bulbs] and thought I may share some of my findings.
Litetronics MicroBrite series MB-543DP 5 watt and MB-800DP 8 watt.
8 Watt bulbs are about as bright as a 45 wattt bulb and the 5 wat about the same as a 39 watt bulb.

Both are dimmable and almost instantly starting. Most will go to about 10% to 20% minimum on dim. Some can be pulsed like in signs. They start at almost 100% brilliance and don't need a warm up.

Compared to a CFL they have a much closer to 1.0 Power Factor when tested with a P3 Kill A Watt meter.  CFL 0.43 to 0.60; CCFL 0.9 to 0.98

Only available so far in lower wattages. Most I have seen are 8 watts or lower. 2 watts being the lowest. I have seen higher wattage ones just recently being sold but they are very expensive. Like $25 each. Mine where around $10.25 each.

LM15A Socket Rocket fine with both
LM14A Lamp Module          8 watt fine; 5 watt pulsed when on. Way under minimum load specifications
LM465 No Soft Start          8 watt Fine; 5 watt pulsed when on
LM465 Soft Start               8 Watt Fine; 5 Watt fine. Both ramped up and down smoothly
2456D3 Lamplinc Rev 2.6    8 watt fine; 5 Watt fine. Slight flicker at low brightness   
2000SHL Lamplinc              Both 8 watt and 5 watt cycled repeatedly on and off until the Local Control was turned off. Then they acted fine.
« Last Edit: December 21, 2008, 07:06:32 PM by Brian H »
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Boiler

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Re: CCFL Light Bulbs
« Reply #1 on: December 21, 2008, 05:33:22 PM »

Brian,

Thank you very much for the detailed information on the CCFL's.  I've been wondering how these would respond to "Soft Start" modules.  Also interesting that the power factor has been corrected on the CCFL's.  Maybe the power companies have been lobbying to get this closer to 1.

If you wouldn't mind a couple of additional questions...
  • How is the Color Temperature of the CCFL's compared to an incandescent?
  • Where did you purchase these?

Boiler
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Brian H

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Re: CCFL Light Bulbs
« Reply #2 on: December 21, 2008, 06:54:17 PM »

Well the ones I bought. Have what is called a Lock Out base. Fits a normal medium base socket but has a plastic LO button in the box. It can be inserted in the socket so only a LO type can fit it. I believe some companies get a break from the power company if they have sockets that only accept this type bulb.  ;D

Mine are 2850K slightly warmer than most incadescent. Thought there are 4100k and a yellowish 2250 listed for that brand.
CCFL manufacturers:
http://www.litetronics.com/

http://www.tcpi.com/corp/corporateHome.aspx
Look in the Reps Tools Tab for catalog and spec sheets.

http://www.betterbulb.com/

I have gotten bulbs from:
http://www.1000bulbs.com/
http://www.energy-superstore.com/

I didn't try it, but I have read that the two wire X10 switches do not work with them as they steal power through the load. Also that they may dance on and off when in a multibulb fixture and dimmed to almost out. Seems as the load changes with bulbs going off. Another may just go on as the voltage slightly rises when the other one went off.  rofl
I also had a nice review of them I wanted to share; but the sources link seem to now be gone bad. Oh well.
« Last Edit: December 21, 2008, 07:08:05 PM by Brian H »
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steven r

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Re: CCFL Light Bulbs
« Reply #3 on: December 21, 2008, 07:15:15 PM »

Sounds like an improvement over standard CFLs.
I assume it still uses mercury* like other CFLs and that you need to exercise the same environmental precautions.

*Read the links. - They claim it only uses a fraction as much mercury as regular CFLs. That impresses me!
« Last Edit: December 21, 2008, 07:33:19 PM by steven r »
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Brian H

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Re: CCFL Light Bulbs
« Reply #4 on: December 21, 2008, 07:24:23 PM »

Yes they do have mercury in them. The amount is much lower than the older CFL Bulbs. Also cold cathodes have no heater in the ends of the tube and generate far less heat. The tube is much smaller in diameter also.
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steven r

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Re: CCFL Light Bulbs
« Reply #5 on: December 21, 2008, 07:36:19 PM »

...Also cold cathodes have no heater in the ends of the tube and generate far less heat....
Does that mean they can be used in some of the enclosed environments were regular CFLs can't?
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Brian H

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Re: CCFL Light Bulbs
« Reply #6 on: December 22, 2008, 04:30:09 PM »

I have not seen anything on enclosed lighting. Mine say indoor and outdoor use, but the typical no emergency lighting, photocell controls and electronic timers. ???
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Boiler

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Re: CCFL Light Bulbs
« Reply #7 on: December 22, 2008, 04:59:01 PM »

Mine say indoor and outdoor use, but the typical no emergency lighting, photocell controls and electronic timers. ???

??? Since they're dimmable I would think they would also be compatible with photocells and elect. timers.  Could this statement be a carryover from the "old" cfl's (haven't updated their packaging)?
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Brian H

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Re: CCFL Light Bulbs
« Reply #8 on: December 22, 2008, 06:54:40 PM »

I would think they would be fine in most setups. I can understand the not in Emergency Lighting thing.
I may in the next few days do more tests. I may in my stash have some timers or photocell devices.
I am also going to see how they act in a multi-bulb fixture and dimmed to almost out.
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Brian H

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Re: CCFL Light Bulbs
« Reply #9 on: June 16, 2009, 07:22:20 PM »

I picked up a few more new models and hope to add data shortly.
I have four new model CCFL Bulbs and had a chance to try them out with a few automation models.
X10 LM456; LM465 W/Soft Start; AM14A. Smarthome 2000SHL LampLinc and a 2456D3 LampLinc V2 V4.3.

TCPI 8A03CL three watt:
LM465:              Flickered On and Pulsed Off
LM465 W/SS:    Flickered On and Pulsed Off.
LM14A:              Severe pulsing
2456D3:              OK On and Flickered Off
2000SHL:           OK On and flashing Off

TCPI  8A08F   eight watt:
LM465:               OK On and OK Off   
LM465 W/SS:     OK On and OK Off
LM14A:              OK On and OK Off
2456D3:              OK On and OK Off
2000SHL:           OK On and Flickered Off.

USHIO 8A05CL  five watt:
LM465:               Flickered when On and was OK Off
LM465 W/SS:     OK On and cycled back On when turned off.
LM14A:              OK On and dim flickering when Off.
2456D3:              OK On and dim flickering when Off.
2000SHL:            OK On and flashed when Off.

All three dimmed fairly well. They all looked like the same construction with a different brand name.

USHIO CF18/CLT/2700/E26 Twenty Six Watt spiral type:
LM465:                 OK On and OK Off.
LM465 W/SS:       OK On and OK Off.
LM14A:                 OK ON and OK Off.
2456D3:                 OK On and OK Off.
2000SHL:              OK Off and after turning On would no longer follow any X10 commands and it's
                               LED flashed randomly.
This bulb did not dim and brighten smoothly. It pulsed brighter and dimmer as it was ramping up; with all the modules. It also produced lots of X10 power line noise in two Socket Rockets. One was my known noisy one and the other was the older date code one that was better in my tests. Both where four or more bars on the ELK ESM1.

USHIO On the sales sheet said their bulbs where dimmable but you needed an Analog Type Dimmer. Digital ones may result in problems.

 

   
     
« Last Edit: June 19, 2009, 06:55:01 PM by Brian H »
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Brian H

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Re: CCFL Light Bulbs
« Reply #10 on: September 28, 2009, 08:39:09 AM »

Update after the bulbs that have been in use.

Four of the eight Microbrite MB-800 DP Bulbs, in use; have failed to some degree.   B:(

All four have the same manufacturing code on them and maybe a bad batch.

Three of them are fine at room temperature but have problems as they warm up.
They pulse off and on or go to half brilliance and pulse.
When they are fully warmed up. Again fine.

The last one; that replaced one of the three; died in one month.  B:(

Retesting the three intermittent ones.
Two more are now dead. Then when completely cold. Started to work?  B:(
« Last Edit: September 28, 2009, 11:24:03 AM by Brian H »
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dave w

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Re: CCFL Light Bulbs
« Reply #11 on: September 28, 2009, 11:36:55 AM »

CCFLs - Apparently not ready for prime time.
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Brian H

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Re: CCFL Light Bulbs
« Reply #12 on: September 28, 2009, 12:33:10 PM »

Not that brand anyway. It maybe just a bad lot. I have not contacted the manufacturer.
I do have a different brand to try, but like X10 makes OEM devices. Both look identical except for the labels on them.  ;D
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luisc202

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Re: CCFL Light Bulbs
« Reply #13 on: October 02, 2009, 01:34:22 AM »

Not that brand anyway. It maybe just a bad lot. I have not contacted the manufacturer.
I do have a different brand to try, but like X10 makes OEM devices. Both look identical except for the labels on them.  ;D

Brian

I picked up 15 dimmable CFL bulbs form a ebay seller and they work better than my Sylvanias I picked up at Lowes.  I will see when the X10 stuff gets here how they behave.

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Brian H

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Re: CCFL Light Bulbs
« Reply #14 on: October 02, 2009, 06:27:49 AM »

OK will be waiting for your findings. I have a thread, with my CFL and dimmable CFL tests. Will be nice to see your findings. Mine worked best from 100% and dimming down. Some manufacturers say age the bulb at 100% for a few hours for better result.
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