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  1. #1

    Lightbulb CFL Bulbs: Love 'Em, Hate 'Em, or Both?

    How are the new compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs working out for you? There are dozens of different types to choose from at local retailers, but do those funky spirals have any shortcomings when it comes using them at home? The editors at This Old House want to know if you've had any problems, and how you've overcome them. Tell us where you use CFLs and what brands you like, or don't like, and why. Your CFL bulb tips—and trials—could be featured in the September issue of the magazine.

  2. #2

    Default Re: CFL Bulbs: Love 'Em, Hate 'Em, or Both?

    The buzzing and whirring can be a pain. And, I hate that they don't fit into some of my lamps and sconces.

    My lampshade is at a forever tilt because there's no round bulb for it to grip onto. How can I fix that?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    South Jersey
    Posts
    11

    Thumbs down Re: CFL Bulbs: Love 'Em, Hate 'Em, or Both?

    I recently purchased and installed a new ceiling fan from Lowes, I think the brand was Hampton Bay. I found that it came with a new CFL and that the light socket is only rated for 13 watts! This was pretty upsetting because now I have to buy the more expensive bulbs. I probably would have returned the ceiling fan if I hadn't already installed it.

    So far it doesn't seem too annoying, but I can't get used to the delay when I flip the switch. I just hope that these new bulbs last as long as they say they do.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    1,160

    Default Re: CFL Bulbs: Love 'Em, Hate 'Em, or Both?

    I've had a number of the CFL's not last nearly as long as advertised.
    The color they put out is sometimes harsh or unpleasant, although I've found some that aren't bad. Many now give the color temp so it's a little easier to figure out once you know what the degrees K means in relation to color.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    16

    Default Re: CFL Bulbs: Love 'Em, Hate 'Em, or Both?

    I don't like the delay they have coming to full light. Our ceiling light / fan fixtures all have two light sockets so I put a regular bulb in one and a CFL in the other. That way I get a good bit of light immediately and still have some savings by using the CFL.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    florida
    Posts
    598

    Default Re: CFL Bulbs: Love 'Em, Hate 'Em, or Both?

    Quote Originally Posted by YukSchmuk View Post
    I don't like the delay they have coming to full light. Our ceiling light / fan fixtures all have two light sockets so I put a regular bulb in one and a CFL in the other. That way I get a good bit of light immediately and still have some savings by using the CFL.
    You may want to ck this product out for the bulbs when using lamp shades.

    http://www.magictoob.com/
    Gizmo

    Cut it 3 times & it's still to short.
    Inventor of the Miter Master Plus.

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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    1

    Default Re: CFL Bulbs: Love 'Em, Hate 'Em, or Both?

    I use CFL's throughout my home and I'm very happy with them. However, one of their biggest sticking points based on many people I've talked to is that the most common and least expensive spiral shaped ones work very poorly with clip-on shades. GE rolled out a new CFL in Dec 2008 that has a more traditional incandescent shape that solves the problem except for one thing: They cost at least FOUR TIMES AS MUCH as the spiral ones of the same wattage! (They're also VERY slow to brighten up compared to their spiral counterparts.)

    This prompted me to come up with a solution that my friend Gizmo just alluded to. It's called the Magic Toob Lampshade Leveler. It allows people to make a simple adaptation to their existing clip-on shades that allows them to grip those funky spiral shaped bulbs perfectly! The cost to consumers is only about $1 per lampshade and once they've been modified the problem goes away permanently! You can see a demonstration and find out more at:

    http://www.magictoob.com/

    I would be happy to provide a free sample to anyone who is interested. Just e-mail me at: jack@magictoob.com

    Jack
    Nimble Jack Enterprises

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    St. Louis, MO
    Posts
    24

    Angry Re: CFL Bulbs: Love 'Em, Hate 'Em, or Both?

    [johnHome] I, for one, hate them, WHEN they break, they break in a billion pieces; we have a beagle/corghi, 6 years old...she sniffs for this kind of thing. Another dislike, is the fact you cannot put a shade on them, I was told at Home Depot, that they are designed for overhead lights...bad enough the light breaking at desk level; let alone above your head! I believe more safety needs to go in the manfacture of these bulbs....I am old fashioned I guess, I still like the standard light bulb!
    STLOUIEY
    "The best house is an old house." "You can't fix stupid!"

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Pennsylvania
    Posts
    246

    Default Re: CFL Bulbs: Love 'Em, Hate 'Em, or Both?

    All the technology we have and this is the best they [manufacturer] come up with. We need HAZ MAT to dispose bulbs properly. What’s with that? Who is paying for it?
    What if we drop the bulbs while the kids are around? This is ridiculous.

    On other hand, these bulbs suck badly. They do not last longer than regular bulbs. I had to replace mine 4 times in less than 5 months.

    For those who say it is cost effective, I say it is BS. If your electrical bill is too high then turn off any unnecessary lights. I can’t fathom the idea of homeowners leaving lights on multiple rooms while they’re staying at one room. There is no reason to leave lights on every room when there is nobody there.
    You want to conserve energy then start using your head wisely.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: CFL Bulbs: Love 'Em, Hate 'Em, or Both?

    Growing up with incandescents,it took some time getting used to,but there ok,I have not had to change a lightbulb for almost four yrs now,as far as the coloring of the bulbs,there are now a lot of cfl's that mock the incandescents,which would be the kitchen&bath,there are others that have a higher color rendering index to receive truer colors close to the way they appear in the sun,for outside fixtures with motion sensing,it is not ideal,for the cfl's,according to consumer reports should stay on 15 minutes or otherwise it shortens the life span,and there are some that will work with photocells,but that would mean buying the light fixture(pole lights).With the ceiling fans it would be better to use incandescents because of vibrations,but the cfls do work,in the matter of dimmers,there are dimmable cfl's that will work in fans,with the candelabra base(small base).I am sure as time passes they will improve as well as maybe a lesser price & when the start improve the led lightbulb maybe the do away with cfls.As far as disposal,it takes some getting used to just like recycling,other than that we all have been throwing away flourescent tubes away for years & there is a lot more mercury in those than there is in a cfl,but anyway.Just checkout consumer reports.com
    PS If by doing all of this with cfls to slow the use of fossil fuels by the electric companies,which will slow the green house effect,I'm all for it,as well as the money I have saved on my electric bill since i have been using them.

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