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Fluorescent Phaseout

3lectr1c

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Compact fluorescent lamps? They're the worst of the technology. I think the only one I have left is in the front porch light. Standard fluorescent lamps (4' or 8') can last a long time. The way the 4' and 8' lamps wear out is usually because the phoshors dim after awhile.
IMG_4462.jpeg
This is the only photo I have of mine at the moment, I’m on vacation right now.
Not sure exactly what type they are beyond that they’re tubes, not too well versed in lighting stuff.
 

Chuck(G)

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Those look like the standard 4 foot T8 (T=tube; 8=8/8 inches in diameter) tubes; nominally 32W. They could also be the somewhat fatter T12 40 watt lamps; it's impossible to tell with the diffuser in place.
CFLs are the curled/bent-up compact lamps--a plague on humanity.
 

3lectr1c

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Ah, you were talking about the curly ones that fit in standard light sockets?

I'll have a look once I get home in a couple days.
 

Plasma

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LED has come a long way in the past decade, and finally caught up with fluorescent. I recently replaced 60 fluorescent T8 bulbs with LED retrofits in my garage. They are just as bright, use less than half the power, but most importantly (for me) put out much less heat. And I haven't even removed most of the ballasts yet. Additionally, the color temperature on LED doesn't shift like fluorescent. (My 10 year old bulbs started out as 5000K but were more like 4500K when I removed them.)

That said, I am 100% opposed to banning incandescent/fluorescent/halogen bulbs. If LED is truly better, people will buy them. Just like there is no need to ban gasoline engines to force people to buy electric cars.
 

vwestlife

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Tube-style fluorescent bulbs are being banned across the EU this year. In the U.S., bans are on a state-by-state basis, mostly in the Northeast and West Coast, and often with an exception for bulbs with a CRI (Color Rendering Index) below 87:


So you should still be able to get the commercial-grade bulbs that make everything look pale and greenish, but not the good ones anymore.
 

the3dfxdude

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I've been doing some renovation projects, replacing incadescent and flourescent lights. Many times the flourescents are those compact types or just quite old so they had to go. I agree I'd have no problem with LED if they simply worked. Some of the boxes I purchased, I'd say about 30% fail in a few weeks, and a few boxes, 50-100% fail in a year. I've tried many brands throughout this, so I kind of have a feel. I do think the GE ones have done fairly well (the ones in the brown "contractor" boxes") but you really do need to be careful about the store brands and even the more well known brands in the smaller, regular store packaging. There is something about those...
 

rmay635703

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I really like how if you're gauche enough to dare get a fingerprint on a halogen bulb when you're installing it just your finger grease might be enough to cause problems.
You are thinking of low pressure sodium (which I wish were miniaturized like cfl) they are still more efficient than 99% of LEDs but if you break a bulb you can get a fireball.

The standard a19 halogen energy saver bulbs were no different than standard incandescent bulbs as far as I could tell . Could touch them all day and they always just worked.

I wish they were still available for my mom’s antique appliances that use standard light bulbs for the oven and hood. Nothing else works and a19 aren’t going to get grandfathered , plastic LEDs won’t work in a 350’ oven
 

Unknown_K

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I figured those household bulbs were getting phased out when the local Marcs discount store had a box of a dozen or 20 60W equivalent bulbs for $3 last year (snagged one for the lamps as emergency bulbs).

I think it was last Friday that the house got hit by lighting and the LED in my hallway lit up like the sun and died. The surge took out a GFCI socket on my porch, 2 1GB switches, the cable companies' router, and at least one ethernet port on my main PC which was on and in use at the time. Have to check the other machine that was on. Luckily PCIE GB ethernet cards are dirt cheap.

I think the whole house had LEDs when I did a bulk purchase a few years ago minus the one in the garage that gets little use (I turn it on long enough to get to the back where the cord is for the shop lights). The Mercury vapor lamp on the garage was replaced a few weeks back and it was in use for 25 years (was used when I got it). had a spare bulb I purchased many years back thinking it died but it was just the light sensor. The guy who climbed up to replace it said they are getting expensive (bulbs) these days.

To be honest they don't make fluorescent light bulbs like they used to, they just don't last very long. There was a GE plant down the street from me that made bulbs back in the day. Close by in Warren, OH was the old Packard lamp plant opened by the Packard brothers in 1890 (before they made cars) and was producing bulbs for 123 years until 2014.
 

njroadfan

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Incandescent "appliance" bulbs are not banned, so you'll still have your oven lights. I'm surprised at the T8 ban though. They are fairly efficient with electronic ballasts and basically last a decade. Does this ban cover T5 as well? Guess they REALLY want to force offices to LED lighting.
 

rmay635703

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Incandescent "appliance" bulbs are not banned, so you'll still have your oven lights. I'm surprised at the T8 ban though. They are fairly efficient with electronic ballasts and basically last a decade. Does this ban cover T5 as well? Guess they REALLY want to force offices to LED lighting.
Her appliances are antiques that use standard a19 100 watt bulbs, so yeah they are banned.

Thankfully about a decade ago when incandescents were going to be banned my father bought 20 of them so we are good for a while.
 

Eudimorphodon

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Incandescent "appliance" bulbs are not banned, so you'll still have your oven lights. I'm surprised at the T8 ban though. They are fairly efficient with electronic ballasts and basically last a decade. Does this ban cover T5 as well? Guess they REALLY want to force offices to LED lighting.

The fluorescent ban is also about hazardous chemicals; they don’t have *much* mercury in them anymore but, yeah, people worry. I guess wouldn’t recommend spending much spare time sucking on discarded LEDs either, but their trace amounts of copper, lead, and other heavy metals are generally considered relatively harmless by comparison.
 

Chuck(G)

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You are thinking of low pressure sodium (which I wish were miniaturized like cfl) they are still more efficient than 99% of LEDs but if you break a bulb you can get a fireball.

The standard a19 halogen energy saver bulbs were no different than standard incandescent bulbs as far as I could tell . Could touch them all day and they always just worked.

I wish they were still available for my mom’s antique appliances that use standard light bulbs for the oven and hood. Nothing else works and a19 aren’t going to get grandfathered , plastic LEDs won’t work in a 350’ oven
The T3 halogen tube lamps run at very high temperatures and use a quartz tube. You don't get finger oils on that stuff. I've got a few work lights and at least one torcherie floor lamp that uses those. I don't know if there are LED equivalents for the 500W lamps, but I suspect not.

I keep a bunch of 60 and 75 watt incandescents around for my media "oven". They're cycled to control the temperature. But rather than start them from a cold start every cycle, I use a power resistor to keep the filament barely glowing when cycled off. Cuts down on the thermal shock and inrush current.
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Back in my youth, when I worked as a projectionist in a drive-in theater, the exciter lamps for sound were similarly kept barely glowing when not active. The phototube outputs from both projectors were paralleled and the "pop-less" switching was accomplished by switching the power to the exciter filaments. Big carbon-arc DC lamps for the regular film light source.
 

Chuck(G)

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Took a close look at my garage LED fixtures tonight. Of the 8 LED replacements, three have failed outright (purchased in 2019) and three others can be seen to have individual LED chips out. This leads me to believe that the LEDs are being over-driven with the resulting eventual failure.

4 years of service is not that great for LEDs.
 

Gary C

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What I miss are the low pressure sodium lights.

There is something comforting about that warm orange glow compared to the harsh bright white LEDs fitted by Local Authorities, though maybe a comforting, warm, relaxing glow isn't what you really want late at night on a boring motorway drive.
 

Chuck(G)

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vwestlife

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Low-pressure sodium lamps emit a single wavelength of pure yellow light. Astronomers love them because all you need is a filter on the lens of your telescope to block that one wavelength and then they become invisible.

High-pressure sodium lamps add a few wavelengths of red and green light to give them some color definition, although it's still quite poor. "Deluxe" HPS bulbs with a white coating are available but are rarely used.
 

NeXT

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I use a portable SOX lamp for monochrome photos for that purpose. Ultimately though the sheer amount of volatile sodium in the bulbs make them far more hazardous to dispose of compared to fluorescent, given how a broken bulb has a reputation to start fires when the sodium is exposed to open air.
 

Bob-O-Rama

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Honestly, I am rarely replacing LED bulbs any more. The ones that survive just keep on surviving. Flicker from some CFL and from LED in my peripheral vision is super annoying for me at least. For a couple panel LEDs where the drivers are a thin PCB strip in the frame, they are easily modified to add a capacitor to reduce the flickering. That may cause the driver to fail since its sourcing higher average current, but compared to the hugely expensive, boutique flicker free ones its a bargain. So far so good. Some of the modern ones with a lot of "air" inside can also be modified. But again... voiding your UL listing.
 

Chuck(G)

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The danger with a lot of the LED replacements now is the tendency to cheapen out by over-driving the things. I took apart one of the T8 4' failed lamps. The ballast (if that's the right word for it) was fine, outputting 100VDC, but several of the LEDs on the aluminum-backed strip had failed. Problem is that since they're series-connected in several strings, when one goes shorted, the others get run even harder. The other laughable thing is that the output of the ballast is 100V, filtered by a 100µF/100VDC capacitor. Nothing like designing close to the margins...

Big Clive on YT has lots of examples of the Chinese "economizing" on LEDs. Opening one of these beasts is non-trivial.
 
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