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Re: [RFI] CFL Bulbs that are OK!

To: <rfi@contesting.com>
Subject: Re: [RFI] CFL Bulbs that are OK!
From: Bob Turner <n2scj@msn.com>
Date: Thu, 2 Dec 2010 09:44:48 -0500
List-post: <rfi@contesting.com">mailto:rfi@contesting.com>
My CFL's in bathroom have a short lifespan.  Sometimes they fail 
spectacularly and go up in smoke.  This has been going on for 3-5 years. 
I've used multiple brands, but most likely I purchased at Lowes.  I thought 
it was the high humidity.  Perhaps its all the on/off cycles that occur in 
the bathroom.

-----Original Message----- 
From: Andy
Sent: Thursday, December 02, 2010 9:33 AM
To: rfi@contesting.com
Subject: Re: [RFI] CFL Bulbs that are OK!

> One of the worst things you can do to a CFL is counter to what we've
> always been taught.  Turn them off every time you leave the room. Rapid
> on/off cycles will dramatically reduce the life of a CFL.  Rule of thumb
> has been, "don't turn them off unless you plan on being out of the room
> for more than 5 minutes.".My preference is 10 minutes, but I have no
> proof that there is any difference between 5 and 10 minutes.

I grew up (well, since high school) being taught that fluorescents
shouldn't be cycled on and off, that it actually uses more electricity
than keeping them on longer, and it shortens their life.

But I've been told that someone (Mythbusters?) ran tests that showed
this is not true, at least for modern CFLs.

And in recent years I've heard/read more than once that even CFLs are
better being turned off whenever you leave the room, even if it's only
for a few minutes.

Now, considering the QC problems with CFLs, I think it's a pretty safe
bet that this isn't universally true; that some brands may go up in
smoke due to the stress.

Anyway, I remain somewhat skeptical.

Also, I understand that some instant-start fluorescents (both CFL and
non-CFL with electronic ballast) put considerable stress on the lamp
in order to reach full brightness immediately, which can cause them to
go bad if cycled often.

The first few CFLs in our home were in lamps that stayed on for hours
at a time.  But we have since put some in places that are turned on
and off frequently, and haven't seen early failures in those yet.

Incandescents also go bad when turned on and off a lot.  They have
that inrush current.  Has anyone seen that cool slow-motion film
showing what happens to a filament in the first several milliseconds
when turned on?  It's no wonder they go bad then.  And then there is
the bulb that's been running in some fire station in California for
more than 100 years, where they claim the long life is in part because
it is never turned off.

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