CFL Bulbs that really last for 5 Years

Discussion in 'Electrical Forum discussion & Blog' started by DonL, Dec 12, 2011.

  1. BobL43

    BobL43 DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,792
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    LOL, what a nice way to design a "blinker"
  2. capecod

    capecod New Member

    Messages:
    38
    I think you have it down pat, town trying to save money, buying cheap stuff which did not last.
    I cant see the bulbs, but I guess I could try to find out who made them.
    And also they do have the light sensor, they come on at dusk and shut off at daybreak. (One of those sensors fell out of a light and our dog picked it up and carried it home, its in our cellar somewhere.)

    But isnt that really old technology? It sure used to work just fine with the old lights many years ago. They always came on at dusk and shut off in the morning without fail.

    Once these new ones start to fail, they go on and off constantly, with the offending buzzing noise.
    The newspaper stuff is so old that its impossible for me to find the letters or articles.

    But I will be getting the pole numbers and looking for that phone number, and then perhaps I can get the info. As now I am also curious, up until now, I just thought is was a total money saving nuisance.
    Anything our little town does to save money sadly seems to backfire.

    The utility company denies anything to do with these, and they will transfer anybody who calls in, to that phone #.

    From what I see thru my binocs, those sensors point downward, and when the bulbs are functioning, they work fine.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 20, 2012
  3. Runs with bison

    Runs with bison Member

    Messages:
    892
    Location:
    Midwest
    I wish we had some of these, particularly the one across from our home. I would love for it to go out and never work again. :cool:

    I call the city about the ones that stay on 24/7 (dusk to dawn sensor fails leaving the light on.) Usually see a few of these a year along the streets I normally travel.

    Most likely they were trying to reduce the amount of money they were wasting on street lighting. With bulbs that are on 12 hours/night this can be a pretty good long term payback. It's enough that our city has been examining shutting off a portion of the street lights as a budgetary matter. I've volunteered the one across from me!

    I would expect that failed replacements were covered under warranty. The labor is a captive charge although there was most likely some overtime.

    Most of the street lighting design in the US is wasteful and does a poor job of illuminating. There are few full cutoff fixtures, so a large portion of the light goes off at angles that cause glare and skyglow, but don't really illuminate the ground. And the idiotic "security lighting" is the worst offender, scourge to anyone who would like to be able to see the night sky. The public utilities push these on rural customers (and they will not provide a switch even if you offer to pay for it...although a rifle, pellet gun, or rock works wonders.) Unfortunately, people think if the light is shining in their eyes then something is "safe" and "well lit" when the opposite is true. Surprisingly, they use a flashlight correctly though, rather than pointing it in their own eyes the whole time.

    The police I've talked with in several states complain about people's motion sensors being improperly set. They get spotlighted when they are doing a lights-out slow roll through neighborhoods, either looking for someone, or looking for something out of the ordinary.
  4. Runs with bison

    Runs with bison Member

    Messages:
    892
    Location:
    Midwest
    Oh, they fail frequently. Few people notice the bulb running for 12 hours during daylight and fewer still report it.

    The one's around here appear to be mostly early 90's vintage. The sensors are failing at a rather high rate (about 25% were on constantly on our street a couple of years ago, probably 10% for a couple of neighborhoods with around 300 homes.) I've noticed I can often tell which ones are going to fail next, because they turn on earlier than the others...sometimes they will turn on during a gray winter afternoon.
  5. DonL

    DonL Banned

    Messages:
    4,008
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    I thought it was illegal to drive after dark with your lights off, Or are they above the law ?


    The Lawmen should have been on foot.
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2012
  6. DonL

    DonL Banned

    Messages:
    4,008
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    Yes the Radio Shack kit had one of them in it, Worked good too. My boy built it.

    Is there a better way to get into these Dead CFLs ? Then boil them in water until the glue lets loose.

    I have to see what is inside, that failed so quick. Time to void the warranty.
  7. Homeownerinburb

    Homeownerinburb New Member

    Messages:
    525
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA USA
  8. capecod

    capecod New Member

    Messages:
    38
    I wish I had not thrown my CFL bulbs away, as they light up when you give them a blast of static electricity. I havent seen this yet, but my 5th grade grandson might use this for one of his science projects. They've got an old VanDeGraaff generator from an old science project that they might use.
    Though I would rather have him do the original one he planned on hummingbird flight. He also made a 'potato gun' but that was on the not allowed list.
  9. Runs with bison

    Runs with bison Member

    Messages:
    892
    Location:
    Midwest
    No, they do this on residential streets as a sort of covert approach. They have some discretion as to these sorts of things. Obviously it is not something you do on a busy street, but at 2am you can I've seen them do this when pulling up after I made a call about some vandals down the street. They can roll about 10-15 mph and cover a whole neighborhood several times faster than someone on foot.

    On foot they would still have to drive across town, then get out run around, and come back to the car. And if they do it on foot they will most likely need back up (and a lot of those cruising are single patrol.) So on foot would likely cut the number of calls they can cover to about 1/3 as many. But, hey, if a community had an infinite amount of money to spend on police protection...
  10. DonL

    DonL Banned

    Messages:
    4,008
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    They ride bikes and horses here.

    Could you imagine 1 horse power ?

    Good luck on catching the crooks.


    I like the ones in the Golf Carts, at WM.
  11. Runs with bison

    Runs with bison Member

    Messages:
    892
    Location:
    Midwest
    No, they do this on residential streets as a sort of covert approach. They have some discretion as to these sorts of things. Obviously it is not something you do on a busy street, but at 2am you can I've seen them do this when pulling up after I made a call about some vandals down the street. They can roll about 10-15 mph and cover a whole neighborhood several times faster than someone on foot.

    On foot they would still have to drive across town, then get out run around, and come back to the car. And if they do it on foot they will most likely need back up (and a lot of those cruising are single patrol.) So on foot would likely cut the number of calls they can cover to about 1/3 as many. But, hey, if a community had an infinite amount of money to spend on police protection...
  12. DonL

    DonL Banned

    Messages:
    4,008
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    Another GE CFL Dead

    I lost another GE Helical 26 watt CFL today. Made in China.

    It looks like new and lasted less than a year. (but does not light up)

    It was on 24/7 in the living room.

    We did have a storm come thru with lots of lightning, but not sure if that caused a problem or not.

    The baseball sized hail pounded the roof on the house, but should not have damaged the lamp.

    Maybe the thunder did its number.
  13. Hackney plumbing

    Hackney plumbing Homeowner

    Messages:
    1,174
    Location:
    Alabama
    One night I was on my way home from my girlfriends house at 3am and there is a very dark stretch of BLVD and I was going a bit fast. I think it was 65 in a 45 at 3am on a Monday morning. No one was out except for me and the cops. I had about a 5 mile drive from her house to my house.

    So this is a 3 lane street with the center lane not really being used for anything at the present time.....one day it will probably be a turn lane as business develops. This cop was sitting with no lights on and I was bumping down the street toward him and as I said it was very very dark and then BOOM the a'hole cop turns on every light on the car and blinded me and I kinda swerved.....

    So this cop starts with the 50 questions.....Where ya been,where ya goin,where does she live,what street..you been drinking,etc etc. I only answered that I was going home and had not been drinking. The questions he asked that I did not want to answer I simply stated...."I respectfully exercise my right not to answer". He wrote the ticket for speeding and sent me on my way.

    45 days later I went to court and he didn't show up so it was thrown out.....I think he was called to duty in the middle east. Hope he's ok.........I would have won the case anyway because I found out that it was against the police dept policy to be blackedout in the middle of a road taking radar. Too risky....drunks have a tendency to run their A^^'s over.
  14. DonL

    DonL Banned

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    4,008
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    Wow, what a deal.

    When I was working the graveyard shift as NASA I would always get pulled over at lunch time.

    I drove my 1970 Red GTO.

    They never could get me on anything. Would be asked why I was out so late.

    Normally the cop would just say nice car, and send me on my way. I got to know the cops.

    They can pull you over for something to do when work is slow at 3am. After they get their donuts of coarse.
  15. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    I talked to a rep at Intermatic recently about photo controls. There is a difference between brands, as has been discussed here. Less expensive photocontrols are not true "off". They are electronic swicthes, which have some leakage, and that is what drives fluorescents and LED's crazy. Most of Intermatics models contain an actual physical off/on switch and are fully tested to support fluorescent lamps of all types.
  16. Hackney plumbing

    Hackney plumbing Homeowner

    Messages:
    1,174
    Location:
    Alabama
    What is a rep? Are you abbreviating representative without the period?

    What are "swicthes"? Some new type of switch?

    Why did you use an apostrophe like this.......LED's. Is that correct grammer?

    The rules for apostrophes vary with the type of word. Learn where to put apostrophes so that your writing is clear and correct. In short, apostrophes are frequently used to indicate possession and in contractions, but never to pluralize.
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2012
  17. ballvalve

    ballvalve General Engineering Contractor

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    3,261
    Location:
    northfork, california
  18. ballvalve

    ballvalve General Engineering Contractor

    Messages:
    3,261
    Location:
    northfork, california
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2012
  19. BobL43

    BobL43 DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,792
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    I still have and use at least one old Intermatic timer that is all mechanical, plus the clock motor and the micro switches actuated by those metal pices that clamp to the wheel. Had them before 1987, but that's when I put them into use. Still work, and they are outdoors only in their own raintite enclosures.
  20. Ericaminto

    Ericaminto New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    India
    CFLs are four times more efficient and last up to 10 times longer than incandescents. A 22 watt CFL has about the same light output as a 100 watt incandescent. CFLs use 50 - 80% less energy than incandescents.
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