[RFI] CFL Bulbs

Roger (K8RI) k8ri at rogerhalstead.com
Wed Nov 12 16:20:00 EST 2008

EP Swynar wrote:
> Hi David,
> Yes, but how are they in a cold environment...?
> Some years ago I went to considerable expense installing a bank of
> ceiling-mounted tubular fluorescent lamps in my garage --- after just one
> winter I took them all down again, gave them away, & replaced them with
> incandescent bulbs.
> Our cold Canadian winter here just flat-out would NOT permit the
> fluorescents to fire up!

They are two different animals although the CFLs are fluorescents.
With the ceiling fixtures you need those with good starters.  I'm using 
11, 8 foot long,  2 tube units in my shop.  They start right down to 
zero F, but man are they noisy when that cold. Not RF noisy, but audible 
buzz.  I should replace them with the new, 4' units made for that kind 
of use, but I really don't want to spend that much.  22, 75 watt tubes 
is 1650 watts of fluorescents.  I'd have to put in 22, two tube, 4' 
fixtures and besides cost that's a lot of work.

The thing I've found with CFLs in my garage (I have 4, 200 watt units) 
is with age they are taking longer to come up to full brilliance. When 
new they came on right away. Now they are several years old (Man they 
were expensive for 200W back then) and take about a minute to come up to 
full brilliance.  Now I see they have 300 watt units and locally the 200 
have disappeared.  300 is too big and 150s aren't quite enough.

The only incandescents we have left are the exteriorsecurity lights on 
the garage and each corner of the shop. Even our end table lamps have 
CFLs and it's been nearly a year since the last one failed. 

I've never had one that was noisy, RF wise, but I'd bet it depends on 
the balast/starter used.


Roger (K8RI)

> ~73~ Eddy VE3CUI - VE3XZ
> *******************************************
> ----- Original Message ----- 
> From: "David C. Hallam" <dhallam at rapidsys.com>
> To: "Andy" <ingraham.ma.ultranet at rcn.com>; "RFI" <rfi at contesting.com>
> Sent: Wednesday, November 12, 2008 11:18 AM
> Subject: Re: [RFI] CFL Bulbs
>> As far as life goes, CFL's have definitely gotten better.  A couple of
> years
>> ago, I was replacing the spiral type MUCH more often than incandescent.
> Now
>> that is not true.
>> David
>> KC2JD/4
>>> -----Original Message-----
>>> From: rfi-bounces at contesting.com [mailto:rfi-bounces at contesting.com]On
>>> Behalf Of Andy
>>> Sent: Wednesday, November 12, 2008 11:09 AM
>>> To: RFI
>>> Subject: Re: [RFI] CFL Bulbs
>>> Just as another data point ...
>>> I have several compact flourescents in the home and a few standard
>>> non-compact types.  By far the noisiest of them is NOT a CFL.  I
>>> am not much
>>> a weak signal listener, but the CFLs are pretty quiet, whereas
>>> this non-CFL
>>> roars over the HF spectrum.
>>> I also get pretty good life out of my CFLs.  At this point I
>>> think I've had
>>> two start to flicker, in well over 10 years of use.
>>> Maybe I'm just getting the right brand(s)?
>>> Is there anything NOT made in China?
>>> Andy
>>> _______________________________________________
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>>> RFI at contesting.com
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