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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.


Hallie&Joe said...

It's worth asking home Depot what to do with them once they burn out. Since they are toxic (mercury) and there isn't anything about how to dispose of them properly written on the packaging (I just bought a bunch too and am wondering what happens to all these bulbs?)

Bryan said...

I switched all the bulbs in my house to those little curly flourescent bulbs that are supposed to last for 7 years and be energy efficient and blah blah blah.
Not one of them lasted a single year. They are in the landfill now I guess.

Princy said...

This is very useful post.

Rob said...

CFL have been disappointing for us, too. More hope and hype than usefulness.

Interestingly, we use CFL in our garage door opener and they haven't burned out in more than a year (as opposed to regular bulbs, even "heavy duty" that burn out every couple months).

Mike Rios said...

considering the CFL need to have a really small ballast to drive the lamp part of it, I am amazed they do work at all. I am a commericial electrician by trade, and ballast rate failures can be high for t8 based lamps, and lamp failures are high for CFL 4 pin based type, dimable ballasts more so.
I do the occasional house from time to time with requirements in the ktichen being all CFL 4 pin based fixtures ( or more than 50% of lighting ), and all I can think of is the hassle of replacing the ballasts through a 6" opening when they do fail eventually, but I am not sold on CFLs ( i know about the mercury issue ) and prefer incandescents on dimmers everywhere, especially 4" low votlage mr-16 or 4" incandescent with par 35 halogen lamps

Insinkerator said...

thats too bad it got a bad wrap. it looked quite intriguing to me and i almost bought a bunch of them. thanks for the review.