My New Blog: TF Workshop

Friday, May 16, 2008

Dimmable CFL - Disappointing Performance

We installed three Philips dimmable CFL bulbs in the kitchen about a year ago, wanting to see how the light and dimming function would work. They worked well for a while, but we had a 100% early failure rate. One burned out about 2 months ago, and the other two burned out in this past week.

The bulbs are supposed to last an average of 8000 hours. Assuming 8 hours a day use for a year (3000 hours), these should have lasted almost 3 years.

We have converted over to CFL in almost all of the fixtures our house, and I would have liked it if these were more robust. I think they provide a good solution to saving energy while allowing dimming.

I plan on taking the 3 bulbs into Home Depot tomorrow and asking for replacements and trying again. At $12 a piece, I am reluctant to just buy them, so its worth the hassle of possibly arguing with the return desk.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Resource #9 - Fine Home Building

I think Fine Home Building magazine is a "must read" for those who want to improve their construction and remodeling skills. It is oriented mainly toward professionals and serious DIY people, with a focus toward technical content.

The magazine comes out every other month, with some additional special issues. It's not cheap, but I think well worth it, since I keep these as reference materials for future use. My favorite features are those dealing with design priciples and very detailed how-to articles. The publisher, Taunton Press, has a number of other high quality books on building and design.

The magazine's forum Breaktime, is a good spot to get advice from people with a lot of know-how. It is not the place where you ask "How do I fix a leaky faucet?" (save those for DIY Network) but where you might get input on using PEX vs copper for your plumbing system.

A point of note: I am not getting paid for blogging about any of these resources. These are the ones that I personally recommend, because they have been of good help to me. I believe they were well worth the time / cost to help me with the remodel.