I think the electricity here HATES me...

PlayboyJoeShmoe

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Actually I think it is BAD for compact flourecent bulbs.

I put a new CF fixture on Dads building and it lasted maybe a week.

I put a new light sensing fixture on the garage under a lip, and two CF flood bulbs. One is dead maybe two weeks later.

Back porch light went perhaps a week.

So far, my bathroom has gone nearly a month.

It really pisses me off!

Am I barking up the wrong tree?
 

PhotonWrangler

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I think the CF lamps in the light sensing fixture are a no-no. Those fixtures use triacs for the power switching and they usually produce a funky AC waveform which in turn tends to overheat the driver electronics in the CF lamps from excessive harmonics.

You also might have dirty power. I guess you could try 130v bulbs in the hard to reach areas.
 

PlayboyJoeShmoe

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I think it's FILTHY power myself.

The dead fixture was built as a light sensing.

And come to think of it, the dead CF flood was in the Living room in Houston for a couple years but not used a whole lot...

I'm still not sure what to think.
 

James S

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loose or corroded sockets eat CF bulbs for breakfast. I don't know if it's heating or just power fluctuations but that just destroys CF bulbs.

Thats probably not likely on a new fixture that you put in (though if it is an SCR or other controlled switch that MIGHT reduce the life of those bulbs, it depends on the build of the ballast. I have some that have been on X10 "lamp" controllers for years with no signs of trouble and other brands that overheat, buzz and just generally hate it and burn out.)

It's quite possible that you have some other larger electric issues in the house? These problems are across multiple circuits? So it isn't likely to be a single loose connection to a circuit breaker? I would definitely have a good close look at the panels, you might have a loose feed wire! This is very dangerous, and it might not be obvious that there is any heating or problems from just looking at it. If you can't find anything else get an electrician to come out and give the box a tuneup and inspection. Shouldn't be that expensive, but since you can't actually turn off the feed into the box and so tightening the connections with a wrench could be deadly if you're not comfortable with doing that sort of thing. If that doesn't show anything then you can ask the power company to come out and put a monitor on the line. I had one for a while, they did it for free. The never did find out what was causing my power to drain by about 20 volts every 25 seconds or so. I could watch it with a meter even with every circuit breaker in the house turned off. They never got back to me with any information or anything, but only 6 weeks later they pulled new underground feeder cable through the whole neighborhood, coincidence? I think not /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif

Good luck!

Oh and even beyond funky power wave forms going through the motion lamp, you're not going to save any money with CF bulbs in there if it triggers more than a couple of times a night. CF bulbs generally have a limited number of starts in them before they start to wear out. If they are going on and off 6 or 7 or more times a night they will burn out much faster than if you just leave them on for longer times.
 

VidPro

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agrees with Photon Wrangler.
i tortured various Compact florescents Via the motion sencors.
Some are OK with it totally, one litterally blew up, the caseing came apart, and smoke came out of it.

I Have 80% of the house on motion sencors, before we tried to go florescent TOO.

i had the IN the wall switch motion sencors, they are either triac or (i think) Scr (1/2wave).
if you observe the connection on this type, it requires going THROUGH the bulb to operate. and that can be VERY bad for some CF, you can see them flicker when off, if you SNEAK past the motion sencor /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif

simple circuit example of them
120 --------Sencor switch-----Bulb-------120
see without a bulb the sencor is not powered.

all the BALAST type florescents are not only doing ok, but even though florescent does not like being turned on and off like a yoyo, they are all lasting longer than they ever did ?? so the 80W things are ok.
another NOTE on the 4Foot florescents, the 34W bulbs did not fire up well with these in wall switch modules.

I did , get a rack of vanity 14W florescents working with it, and so far they are surviving, but there is 8 on the rack, so when it runs its LOAD THROUGH them (when off) the quantity might be able to handle it better.
the older vanity bulbs i HAD TO put in one normal bulb, with the rest being CF.


in Bedrooms, and in the shower locations,and some bathrooms the sencor had to be put up in the sky , that meant using a Outdoor (type) motion sencor. they have a RELAY, not solid state junk.
with those, even the $1 garbage CF, and every CF put on them work just fine. there is no Load routed through the bulb when its off, and it does a FULL connection when its on.

simple curcuit with the relay type modules
120------sencor--------------------120
120 -------Bulb--- relay switch----120



Even in the wall switch type (the bad for CF ones) you can put a sigle incadescent on the same curcuit, and the "off load" doesnt damage the things.
so like in the garage, there is a CF and a single normal bulb, and that one works ok too.

in the HALLS, the light only satys on for seconds , while walking through, they are set for 10 seconds, so i will NOT EVER put a florecent of any kind on those lights.
switching a florescent on and off in 10 second intervals would just ruin it.
instead we just put halogen in, and got high dome halogen flood, to get the RECESSED lighting (junk) to put the light OUT of the recess, instead of having it all going by by into the ceiling.

SO
be Very carefull HOW you use CF with solid state motion sencors without relays. and Determine if the off load goes through the bulb.

as the research and use of CF has increased, there are more that can/will handle this , mabey cheaper (unloaded) ones will still have more problems.
 

James S

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[ QUOTE ]
you can see them flicker when off,

[/ QUOTE ]

I'm actually running a test with some that do this right now /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif I've got a small fill in light for evening lighting in the bathroom that comes on at dusk (or when the outdoor ambient light sensor tells me that it's dark outside like during a storm or overly cloudy day) and since it's a single bulb it flickers quite brightly when it first turns on because the gas in the tube is still hot and conducts very easily. Once it cools down the flash is hardly noticeable even in the very dark bathroom. But if you go over there and touch the bulb it will flash very brightly again as the rf or whatever grounds through you /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif I had originally thought this bulb would die in short order doing this, but it has lived out 6 months or so now and is still going strong.

you're other suggestion about putting 1 normal bulb in line with them to get them to work with remote controls is very good, and something I do all the time. I have a bank of 5 80 watt equivalent floods in the family room and 1 regular 65 watt flood. The regular bulb lets me control the whole chain of them from an inexpensive X10 wall switch module. Without the regular bulb in there they flicker and often fail to respond to on/off signals. i've also done up the children's rooms this way, 4 bulb fixtures, 3 CF's and a regular so that the computer can turn the lights off if they leave their rooms and leave them on /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif

But you do have to test the bulbs that you're running with these things. As you said some really dont like it at all, and others can run for years. So DON"T just plug and walk away, it could start a fire later. I always run a lamp for a while as I'm watching it and then check to be sure that it's not overheating and such. Some bulbs are very obvious that they don't like it, others are harder to see that they are over heating.

Fun stuff though!
 

PlayboyJoeShmoe

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I am comfortable enough with electricity to check out the panel(s).

The one on Dads building has 24hr power, and I got a new non-sensing fixture for it into which I will install a CF. I figure unless the electricity is screwy that I'll get maybe 6 months or more out of it.

I've never heard my UPS get weird, so maybe the power problem is only on certain circuits.

Tomorrow is a work on the house day, plumbing, lighting etc. So I'll check out what I can.
 
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