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Re: [RFI] CFL Bulbs that are OK!

To: Diane and Edward Swynar <deswynar@xplornet.ca>
Subject: Re: [RFI] CFL Bulbs that are OK!
From: "Christopher E. Brown" <cbrown@woods.net>
Date: Thu, 2 Dec 2010 18:17:01 -0600 (CST)
List-post: <rfi@contesting.com">mailto:rfi@contesting.com>
On Thu, 2 Dec 2010, Diane and Edward Swynar wrote:

> Hi Guys,
> How have you found CFLs to behave in outdoor applications...?
> Here in The Great White North it's not uncommon to have sub-zero (Fahrenheit
> scale) temperatures in the long, cold winter months. I have porch lamps &
> driveway lamps whose only protection from the elements are decorative glass
> enclosures.
> Will these things fire-up when the thermometer dips, or will we be left
> here---literally--in the cold & dark...?
> ~73~ de Eddy VE3CUI - VE3XZ

I ran outdoor rated CFLs in the front and back porch and fron of garage 
lights for a while.

In the -15 to -25 (F) range they could take 3 - 5 minutes to fire up (dim 
in 5 - 30 seconds, jump to 50% light after minutes).  They never hit full 
bright no matter how long they ran.

Below -25 they often did not fire up at all.

After 3 failures in one winter I replaced the front porch and garage front 
lights with 30w clear bulb conventionals.

Still have a 100w "equiv" on the back porch, but we generally only use in 

That particular one will fire up below -30, but we only turn on every 
couple weeks in winter to shovel rear porch and turn on at least 10 
minutes in advance.

In general the outdoor types do seem to be much better about actually 
firing up, and the larger the unit (higher output) the better it seems to 

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