+ Reply to Thread
Results 1 to 10 of 10
  1. #1

    Default CFLs - are they safe to use in enclosed globe fixtures?

    Are there certain types of older lighting fixtures into which CFLs should NOT be used?

    I currently have 4 in larger table lamps (all lamps from the 1960s with narrow "harps"). The fourth table lamp is controlled by a timer - 6 hours on, 18 hours off.

    But hesitated to install any in the glass globe ceiling fixtures in the bathroom and kitchen (these fixtures are totally enclosed with no apparent heat venting for the 60-75watt incandescent bulbs now used). I was concerned about potential heat-buildup problems. (Since these lights are not turned on for long periods of time, it might not be cost-effective.)

    We now are using GE or Sylvania, but previously started with smaller Ikea CFLs.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Pacific Northwet
    Posts
    1,418

    Default Re: CFLs - are they safe to use in enclosed globe fixtures?

    Some specifically say not to use in enclosed fixtures. Others specifically say it's OK. Everything else -- your guess is as good as mine.
    The "Senior Member" designation under my name doesn't mean I know a lot, it just means I talk a lot.I've been a DIYer since I was 12 (thanks, Dad!). I have read several books on various home improvement topics. I do not have any current code books I can refer to. I was an apprentice plumber for two years.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    731

    Default Re: CFLs - are they safe to use in enclosed globe fixtures?

    Quote Originally Posted by condo_renter View Post
    Are there certain types of older lighting fixtures into which CFLs should NOT be used?

    I currently have 4 in larger table lamps (all lamps from the 1960s with narrow "harps"). The fourth table lamp is controlled by a timer - 6 hours on, 18 hours off.

    But hesitated to install any in the glass globe ceiling fixtures in the bathroom and kitchen (these fixtures are totally enclosed with no apparent heat venting for the 60-75watt incandescent bulbs now used). I was concerned about potential heat-buildup problems. (Since these lights are not turned on for long periods of time, it might not be cost-effective.)

    We now are using GE or Sylvania, but previously started with smaller Ikea CFLs.
    If your older table lamp does NOT have a POLARIZED PLUG (that is one blade on the plug is wider than the other) then you should NOT use CFLs in it.

    Enclosed fixtures should not have regular incandescent bulbs used more than 60 watts. Back in the day these fixtures may have been labeled for 75 watts or unlabeled, problem being is that they heat up and that heat is carried by the electrical wiring to the circuit. This is why modern enclosed fixtures are normally limited to 60 watts, and that new ceiling mounted flush or enclosed fixtures carry warnings that they should only be connected to wiring rated for 90 degrees C instead of 60 degrees C wiring.

    CFLs still produce heat, just less of it compared to the amount of light they produce, they do require a means to put off their heat, normally some access to air to put off their heat (the base where the circuitry is enclosed).
    Last edited by Blue RidgeParkway; 01-05-2009 at 10:44 AM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Pacific Northwet
    Posts
    1,418

    Default Re: CFLs - are they safe to use in enclosed globe fixtures?

    If you replace the cord on an existing table lamp, I suggest using an extension cord of the "lamp cord" style; just cut the female end off. When you connect it to the lamp, be sure to connect the ribbed wire to the terminal that connects to the shell of the lamp socket. This ensures that the polarization of the plug is connected properly. The narrow prong should always connect to the switch of the lamp.
    The "Senior Member" designation under my name doesn't mean I know a lot, it just means I talk a lot.I've been a DIYer since I was 12 (thanks, Dad!). I have read several books on various home improvement topics. I do not have any current code books I can refer to. I was an apprentice plumber for two years.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    731

    Default Re: CFLs - are they safe to use in enclosed globe fixtures?

    There are Listed portable lamp rewire kits available as well as individual Listed parts for refitting older lamps. I would not recommend using an extension cord to rewire a lamp.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Pacific Northwet
    Posts
    1,418

    Default Re: CFLs - are they safe to use in enclosed globe fixtures?

    Chicken Little, there is ABSOLUTELY NO DIFFERENCE between a "replacement lamp cord" and an extension cord with the end cut off, other than a higher price for the "replacement lamp cord." Besides, if it's connected to an older lamp that isn't UL listed, adding a UL listed cordset or "portable lamp rewire kit" isn't going to make the lamp UL listed, as the UL listing applies only to the individual parts and not the final assembly. The only way it could apply to the final assembly is if the end user hauled it down to the UL testing lab and had them inspect it.
    The "Senior Member" designation under my name doesn't mean I know a lot, it just means I talk a lot.I've been a DIYer since I was 12 (thanks, Dad!). I have read several books on various home improvement topics. I do not have any current code books I can refer to. I was an apprentice plumber for two years.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    731

    Default Re: CFLs - are they safe to use in enclosed globe fixtures?

    Frankly there is. Amongst other things, the presence of a fuse.

    It is also considered a violation using/deconstructing a listed item and using it for another purpose. Should such a modified device be traced causal to a loss insurance underwriter may elect (and rightfully so) to exclude the loss. Negligence could rightfully be assigned if using items in an unsafe manner, or not in accordance with their listed purpose.

    Besides if the portable lamp is of the vintage that it does not have a polarized plug it likely should have the lampholder (socket) and/or switch upgraded as well.

    However, your "experience" that the listed kit or individual listed components are more expensive than an extension cord are not shared. Perhaps it is a matter of knowing where to shop.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Pacific Northwet
    Posts
    1,418

    Default Re: CFLs - are they safe to use in enclosed globe fixtures?

    I'm interested in seeing one of these cords or lamp kits you mention that has a fuse. I've never seen them; I've only seen fuses on Christmas lights. Perhaps you can provide a link?
    The "Senior Member" designation under my name doesn't mean I know a lot, it just means I talk a lot.I've been a DIYer since I was 12 (thanks, Dad!). I have read several books on various home improvement topics. I do not have any current code books I can refer to. I was an apprentice plumber for two years.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Pacific Northwet
    Posts
    1,418

    Default Re: CFLs - are they safe to use in enclosed globe fixtures?

    If I was an insurance underwriter or adjuster, I would be suspicious of any lamp repaired by a homeowner, even if UL listed parts were used according to the directions. Remember, adjusters work for the insurance company, not you, and they'll use any excuse to deny a claim. If you use a UL-listed kit, are you not effectively performing a "modification"? Certainly no manufacturer can expect that people will follow instructions exactly, nor do they have any control over the lamp their products are installed in.

    I still maintain there's no difference in the cords. Sure, it might be a "modification" but any reasonable person will be able to see that the "modification" is no different than using a product so labeled for the purpose.

    Sure, sometimes inspectors and adjusters can be unreasonable. They tend to follow the letter of the law rather than the spirit. This is what leads to unreasonable requirements and frivolous lawsuits.
    The "Senior Member" designation under my name doesn't mean I know a lot, it just means I talk a lot.I've been a DIYer since I was 12 (thanks, Dad!). I have read several books on various home improvement topics. I do not have any current code books I can refer to. I was an apprentice plumber for two years.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    731

    Default Re: CFLs - are they safe to use in enclosed globe fixtures?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fencepost View Post
    I'm interested in seeing one of these cords or lamp kits you mention that has a fuse. I've never seen them; I've only seen fuses on Christmas lights. Perhaps you can provide a link?
    No the extension cord may have a fuse, NOT the listed componant parts or a REAL portable lamp rewire kit.

    I disagree with your suggestion and your assertions for many reasons, beyond what has already been mentioned. I feel no obligation to discuss or debate the subject further with you, Fencepost.

    Back to the main on-topic of the original poster's posts:
    Some, if not most, CFLs are listed for dry location only use, or dry and damp location use. Some CFLs are listed for indoor use only. Most bathroom locations are considered, at a minimum, damp locations; some bathroom locations are considered WET locations. Certain Kitchen areas may be similarly dry location, damp location, or wet locations, with added concerns regarding grease/oils in addition to moisture, dust, etc. in the environment: every kitchen environment has its own unique characteristics.

    Some CFLs are specifically labeled/restricted to their use as to orientation (not to be used "upside down", etc.) Many CFLs are labeled as limited to temperature of the environment, limitations as to use on a timer controlled or photo-eye controlled switch; many are labeled as to their compatibility with dimmer controlls, etc. It is best to use CFLs within the labeled and listed use designations.
    Last edited by Blue RidgeParkway; 01-05-2009 at 04:44 PM.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •