Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Works for Me Wednesday: CFL Lifespan Tips

CFL's are great. They are more energy efficient, but they do cost more. Do you realize, though, that CFL's aren't great everywhere? I found this out when we blew two in our bathroom. I e-mailed GE to let them know that they had only been installed in October 2008 and failed to work only months after. Though I pitched the e-mail, I did do some fact finding to help y'all not lose your expensive lightbulbs.
CFL's aren't good in the bathroom because of moisture and constant on and off. CFL's are designed to take a few to fully brighten and the continual on and off, such as the bathroom or a hallway, shortens their lifespan by upwards to 85%. Bummer. The US Energy Star program suggests leaving lights on for 15 minutes to avoid this problem.

I also learned that at the end of their life, CFL's produce 70-80% of their original light output. Hmm. Good to know. I don't recall having read this on the package, though.

So, I wanted to pass energy and money saving tips on to you. Keep those CFL's on for 15 minutes for maximum bulb happiness. For more information about CFL's, go to Wikipedia or to this GE link. There was a very interesting article in Time Magazine on January 12, 2009 about America's Untapped Energy Source: Boosting Efficiency. It's amazing how much energy efficiency can save us!


Rach said...

We have been replacing our incandescents with CFLs as they burn out in our lamps and overhead fixtures and hadn't yet made it to the bathroom. I'll take your information and run with it and NOT get them for my bathroom vanity (for the time being).

Thanks for all your research for us. :o)

Janelle said...

We have used CFL's in our bathroom for 6 years now with no real problems. The bulbs last about 4 years a piece. Not quite the 7 as advertised on the package, but still out of warranty. We also write the install date on the ballast with a sharpie so we'd know how long they have been there.

Jamie said...

I never would have thought NOT to put them in the bathroom, but we have two in our ceiling fixture now (we don't have a vanity light) and they've been in there for about 5 years and I haven't had any problems.

I have these in all but two lights in my house - two of our lamps take funky bulbs. But Jeff hates those lamps and wants to get new ones, so we'll probably replace those eventually. I have yet to have any burn out and I jumped on that bandwagon when they first came out so we've had them for quite a while.

Kaycee said...

This is good info. My husband works for an electric supply company and get's CFLs for way cheap, I wonder if he knows this.

Sharon said...

Thanks for the info. I have them in the lights above my mirror, but I tend to leave them on for a while. The one where the actual toilet and bath/shower are hasn't been changed yet and do tend to be a quick on/off so I'll keep those the same for now.