Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The truth about compact flourescent bulbs (CFLs)

This is a story of a CFL bulb that expired before its time. As you can see, I wrote the installation date on the base. It was deployed in my garage on 9/21/09 but it failed to survive even one month. This bulb was a Sylvania 13W CFL13EL/MINITWIST 3000K. My improvement idea was to write the install date so I can know how long they are lasting.

A number of CFL bulbs I have purchased in the last year are failing. This is disappointing because of the claims of very long life. This kaizeneer has not found even brand name CFLs living up to the promise of extended use. So, I have summarized what I have learned using CFLs:

  • Never buy the off brand CFLs-they are not worth it.
  • CFLs will lower your electric bill - I believe they have lowered my electric bill by 10-20% a month
  • The warranty on CFLs sounds good but it's a hassle to track down the receipt and take the time and effort to send it back for a replacement bulb
  • CFLs will sometimes cause other problems like having to get a bigger globe when the CFL replaces an incandescent bulb
  • I haven't had issues with dimming causing CFL problems...they just don't dim because they are more a binary light than incandescents
  • CFL disposal is not easy or readily available
  • Premature CFL costs reduce the monthly electricity savings.

Overall, I can tell using CFLs have helped but I am disappointed in the performance over time. Hopefully, they will improve as the product matures.

What have you improved today?

Dan Lafever, Kaizeneer

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