Cold cathode CF bulbs?

Discussion in 'Electrical Forum discussion & Blog' started by Bill Arden, Jan 9, 2009.

  1. Bill Arden

    Bill Arden Computer Programmer

    Messages:
    584
    Location:
    MN, USA
    I'm looking for some 60W equiv Cold cathode CF lights for outside.

    They need to work when it's cold and also need to be able to turn on and off a lot since I am using motion sensors.

    google turned up this one.
    http://www.treehugger.com/files/2007/11/cold_cathode_compact_fluorescents.php
    Unfortunately The website it links to is not valid. (http://www.betterbulb.com/)
    Google cache:
    http://74.125.95.132/search?q=cache:IiUMhEocG24J:www.betterbulb.com\products.html


    This blog post implys that some of the dimmable are Cold cathode.
    http://nslog.com/2007/11/11/dimmable_compact_fluorescent_bulbs

    More links to info, yet no place to buy
    http://www.reuk.co.uk/Cold-Cathode-Fluorescent-Light-Bulbs.htm
  2. thassler

    thassler New Member

    Messages:
    106
    Location:
    Tennessee
  3. thassler

    thassler New Member

    Messages:
    106
    Location:
    Tennessee
  4. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    Although they are rated as dimmable, some manufacturers have been backing off that claim. Dimming performance is often less than optimum.

    And although they are also advertised for frequent on/off, even flashing applications, they will probably NOT work with your typical 3 wire motion sensor.

    Generally, they are low watt models, 2 to 8 watts, which are described optimistically as 10 to 45 watts. Some stretching of reality there.
  5. Probedude

    Probedude New Member

    Messages:
    137
    Location:
    CA
    Bill,
    I'm not sure the expense is worth the effort. I see you're in MN and that said it gets VERY cold there. You may be plagued with starting and brightness issues.

    I may have this wrong but I believe even CCFL have much shortened life when turned on and off a lot, and in a motion detector setup that is definitely going to happen.


    Are you doing this to save the Earth or lower your utility bill? Either way, estimate how long you think the lights would be on each night and how that would equate to your energy bill. You will probably find that the effort to go CCFL in this application, even normal CFL, isn't worth it due to the low life and poor performance.

    dave
  6. Bill Arden

    Bill Arden Computer Programmer

    Messages:
    584
    Location:
    MN, USA
    Thanks

    The sensor I have has a latching relay output and therefore should be fine.

    both.
    I bought CF lights back when you had to take the round ring bulb off in order to get them screwed into the lamp socket.

    I spent $70 for two LED lights, however LED lights are only good where you need a spotlight since they are really good at casting light out in a beam.

    I think I'll try three of the 45watt standard shape bulbs in the head height wall mount lights and then add a dual LED lamp flood light under the roof peak to get more light out into the yard.

    Thanks all.
  7. Probedude

    Probedude New Member

    Messages:
    137
    Location:
    CA
    Ditto here :)
    I've been using them back when they were still using magnetic ballasts - boy has the technology improved! So Cal Edison subsidizes the cost every year and I stock up. All my lights inside the house are CFL with the exception of these areas.

    - hallway - lights are only on for < 1min but many many times during the day.
    - can light over the kitchen sink - I did try a CFL reflector here but took about a minute to come up to full brightness - which is really annoying when you want to do dishes. I put the 75W incandescent reflector back in. Dishes only take ~ 10 mins.

    All my exterior lights are incandescent since they're on motion sensors (including the porch light). They're only on when someone walks by and then only for 10 mins.

    I've found the exterior incandescent flood lights to last for YEARS. In fact I know I haven't replaced any in the last 6 years with their intermittent usage.

    Again, do the calcs on paper to see what you're going to save a year purely from an energy perspective.

    When you have things on all through the night, that's when you'll start seeing savings between CFL and incandescent. If you have a large area to illuminate continuously, look at high pressure sodium lamps. The lower wattage ones don't have great lumens/watts performance, but the higher wattage ones (100W+) are fantastic. You can buy these fixtures pretty cheap off that online auction place. These fixtures also have directionality so you can get your beam pattern just right.
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2009
  8. Bill Arden

    Bill Arden Computer Programmer

    Messages:
    584
    Location:
    MN, USA
    Update:

    Just an Update.

    I bought the Cold cathode lights and have been comparing them to both my LED lights and regular CF lights.

    Here is what I've found so far

    1. The Cold cathode lights are just as dim as the regular CF lights when they turn on at 0F. They do brighten up faster, however they are dim at first.

    2. Both the Cold cathode lights and the regular CF lights start at -15F, however the CF lights glow red on the bulb ends indicating that they are burning the element and therefore aren't likely to last very long. The Cold cathode lights are more likely to last, however it's hard to say at this point.

    3. The flood lights were the most disappointing since they lack a good beam.

    4. The LED lights are still the best at sending out sharp narrow beam and turn on instantly even at -20F.

    Does anyone have any data on how many on-off cycles these Cold cathode lights can handle?
    I'm tempted to put one on a relay that turns on and off and find out.
  9. CarlH

    CarlH New Member

    Messages:
    175
    Location:
    Northern VA
    Go with a CFL or a motion sensor, not both. CFLs are not that good with the frequent on and off that you can have with a motion sensor. I'm not talking about the warm up problem, but the problem where they will fail quickly with frequent on and off. A 60W equivalent CFL bulb is 13-15W. If you use a CFL Just leave it on or use a dawn to dusk sensor. If you have an electric clothes dryer, heat pump, electric range, or other electric item that uses a lot of electricity the cost of running a CFL continuously is minuscule. Assuming a rate of 10 cents a kWh, it would cost you $11.39 a year to run a 13W CFL continuously for a year. Cut that in half if you use a dawn to dusk sensor.
  10. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    Led ????

    I found in the C. Crane catalog a replacement for a regular old 60W A-19 incandescent bulb. LED version is a steal at $119 !!. With the energy savings, you will get you money back in oh, about 119 YEARS!
  11. Scuba_Dave

    Scuba_Dave Extreme DIY Homeowner

    Messages:
    885
    Location:
    South of Boston, MA
    We have a CFL in the bathroom - which is probably the light turned off & on the most. I'm on my 3rd bulb in just over 5 years. I also use a CFL in our outside front door light & it has never failed to go on/off in the cold
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