This is more of a public service FYI than anything. I thought the CPF folks might benefit from my research. I know Playboyjoeschmoe stated his exterior CFLs tend to burn out quicklydue to his fixtures, so this info may be helpful.
I have exterior light fixtures which have both photocells (dusk-to-dawn), and motion detecting. They remain at 50% power until they detect motion, then they increase to 100% for a preset number of minutes, before dimming again.
I liked them at first, and my wife likes their appearance.
BUT, they can only use incandescents. The photocells and dimming are deadly to fluorescents, so I set out to find a screw-base photocell based exterior light which was safe for CFL use.
There aren't any, at least not for a reasonable price anyway. I found a very nice line by a company called Maxlite, but they use Gu24 fluorescents, and I want the option of using standard screw base bulbs if needed. It is also nice for using those screw-in adapters for Christmas lights, etc.
A side note here: I want the lights automatically on at night, and I want them to run all night for safety and security.
So, I decided I could bypass the electronics in the fixtures (making it essentially a "normal" light, and use a photocell adapter.
I looked high and low for a simple, reasonable-length (to allow use in an enclosed fixture), CFL-safe, screw-base adapter with photocell...there are two made by Amertac: FLC8BC and SLC6CL.
I cannot find the FLC8.
The SLC6 is available at Lowes for about $9. The problem? It uses a programmable timer (1-12hrs) along with the photocell. We have 14+ hours of darkness here during winter. 12 hrs is not long enough for my needs, but might work for some.
The other issue is in the programming itself: you have to cover the eye, and wait for flashes to confirm the programming. But, I cannot reach the eye when the unit is installed. Bummer.
Even more annoying is that it loses programming in a few minutes if power is lost. I believe it defaults back to 2hrs. What were they thinking?
Intermatic also makes one: NE200C. The problem? It is 5.5" long! Even with one of the newer ultra-short CFL's (and considering our fixtures have a lot of internal space), they simply will not fit. Arg.
So, with more searching, I found some hard-wire photocells at Home Depot. They happen to be made by Amertac, and are OK with CFLs. The model I purchased is SW103CT, about $10 (there are two other models for roughly the same price, having different shapes for different mountings).
I tested it, and it works fine. There is no flickering, and no detectable current leakage which could harm CFL's.
So...it appears that there could be a market for a SHORT CFL-safe screw-in photocell which is purely dusk-to-dawn.