CFL bulbs short life?

  robgf 11:39 08 Feb 2009

I've used CFL bulbs for years now and in the lounge, where they are on for hours, they do last several years. But I have noticed that those in other rooms don't seem to last as long as a tungsten bulb would.

Out of curiosity, I have been marking the date on the side of the casing in recent years. The kitchen bulb failed last night, installed 19/03/08, the previous failure was in the hallway, which lasted 14 months 2 days.

One bulb was made by Osram, the other Philips. Both state a considerably longer life. The Philips spec says 10 years, or 10,000 hours.
Neither bulb came anywhere near that time, at a generous guess I would say the kitchen bulb was used for about 400 hours, 9,600 hours short of its projected life.

It does make you wonder how green these bulbs truly are, given the larger amount of materials used in manufacturer and the resources needed to recycle the toxic elements they contain?

  Forum Editor 11:54 08 Feb 2009

in my house. I haven't been as thorough as you in recording the installation date, but my wife - who has a good memory for such things - tells me they last nowhere near as long as we're given to believe.

  octal 11:55 08 Feb 2009

Yes, I've had a couple pop before their time, the other thing I've noticed is that they go very dim over a short period of time.

I've been saying for a long time that these lamps are not as green as they make out. None of the manufactures seems to mention the cost of disposal, don't they come under the WEEE regulations for disposal of electronic equipment? Then only a licensed organisation are permitted to remove and dispose of them, probably the local authority are licensed, but it's up to you to take them to the local disposal site using more petrol.

  jack 12:09 08 Feb 2009

I obtained a supply from one of those 'weekend' catalogues offering packs of 5 for a bargain price- several have 'blown' in no time at all.
At my gym the ceiling lighting are clusters of the things and there is always one out somewhere.
My daughter put one in a kitchen fitting and it had blown on the 2nd turn on.

Back to the drawing board me thinks.

  WhiteTruckMan 12:32 08 Feb 2009

are based on continuous usage trials. If you accept that on the whole the most stressfull event in the life of an electrical device is the cold turn on then its cycling though these temperature changes that will shorten its lifespan.

A 10,000 hour lifetime sound like a long time but is only about 13 months of continuous use anyway.


  canarieslover 13:00 08 Feb 2009

As someone who turns lights out if not needed they are not going to be the 'greenest' option if I have to leave them on permanently to achieve the 10,000 hour lifespan. Agreed that they use much less electricity whilst they are on but failure rates are such that costs are not recovered. My wife's objections are purely aesthetic, they don't show off her crystal light fittings to their best at all. There's no clear bulb option available.

  Stuartli 13:04 08 Feb 2009

If you examine the lamp's box more closely, you'll find that a claimed 10 year bulb life, for instance, is based on around 2.7 hours' use a day.

  Pine Man 14:18 08 Feb 2009

At least three or four years now and never had one fail or go dim.

Apart from a few seconds wait while they warm up I haven't really noticed any difference, in fact some rooms seem brighter.

I still have some of the old spotlight bulbs in use in the kitchen so I'm not sure how the new ones will work though.

  Stuartli 15:12 08 Feb 2009

Virtually every one I know, along with me and the other half, find that energy saving bulbs are nowhere near as bright as the claimed tungsten equivalent.

I've just been fortunate enough to find a source of 150w tungsten bulbs (we use two in the main living room); I had to pay somewhat more than in the past, but it's worth it as we have 11ft high ceilings and the extra power is needed.

Using 100w bulbs is nowhere near as good and, as for energy saving types, forget it...:-)

  Pine Man 15:56 08 Feb 2009

In my lounge I had 60 watt tungsten bulbs in my wall lights and all were replaced with (the equivalent of) 75 watt green bulbs and they definitely give a whiter and brighter light but you have to wait for it for a while.

  paddyjack 16:22 08 Feb 2009

I have a few of these bulbs still going strong after 10+ years use.

This thread is now locked and can not be replied to.

Elsewhere on IDG sites

The Evil Within 2 review-in-progress

Adobe shows still-in-development tools, including automatically colourising black-and-white photos

iPhone X news: Release date, price, new features & specs

Comment transformer un iPhone en borne Wi-Fi ?