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Re: [RFI] The "new" light bulbs; it is accurate.

To: RFI Mail Reflector <rfi@contesting.com>
Subject: Re: [RFI] The "new" light bulbs; it is accurate.
From: Alan NV8A <nv8a@charter.net>
Date: Tue, 08 Mar 2011 14:47:24 -0500
List-post: <rfi@contesting.com">mailto:rfi@contesting.com>
On 03/08/11 12:57 pm, Jim Brown wrote:

>> Most of you folks know that I have real problems
>> with these (new?) CFL light bulbs.  I used a bunch
>> of them at the San Bernardino house to find high
>> failure rates.   I was just too busy to take them
>> back for warranty replacement.  Shame on me!
> Yes, it's important to take back defective crap and force vendors to eat
> the loss.

> On the other hand, I've had far better experience than you. When I moved
> to Santa Cruz, CA from Chicago in 2006 and experienced sky-high
> California electricity rates (more than double what I paid in Chicago),
> I replaced at least a dozen incandescent bulbs with CFLs.  So far
> (nearly five years), I have not had a single failure, nor have I
> experienced any RF noise. I haven't done the arithmetic, but rough
> estimates suggest that the savings on my PG&E bill are pretty close to
> off-setting what I paid for the bulbs.

We replaced almost every light bulb here (not those on a dimmer) by CFLs 
(mostly Sylvania) when we moved here a little over 7 years ago. I 
haven't kept detailed statistics on failures, but some definitely didn't 
seem to last long, and at least one failed with a distinctly "fried 
electronics" smell; none have caught fire. (Perhaps the Sylvania brand 
is the problem: I had a pack of Sylvania incandescents at our previous 
QTH, two of which popped as soon as I hit the switch and others that 
lasted only a day or two.) Some do generate RFI, detectable if I stick 
my SW radio's telescopic antenna next to the bulb, but I don't detect 
any reduction in the noise level on my rig if I turn off those lights.

In theory LEDs are more efficient still, but our experience has not been 
good. The only ones we have bought have been "Lights of America" brand 
from Costco or Sam's Club; Sylvania LED bulbs are many times more 
expensive. The ones we had bought from Costco were recalled by Costco 
because it had been found that they did not live up to their longevity 
claims. One that I bought from Sam's quit altogether, but I could not 
find the receipt to return it. The others are still OK, but are the same 
wrt to RFI as the CFLs.

If LED bulbs become cheaper and more common, will homes and businesses 
eventually be wired for a suitable low voltage?

Re: disposal of CFLs. The same precautions are required as for the 
fluorescent tubes we've been using for decades.


Alan NV8A
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