cfl vs incandecent whats watt

Status
Not open for further replies.

wired87

Member
does anyone know what the rating in watts ,if a fixture generaly used and rated in watts 60 or 100 watt incadecent max should be if using a 13 watt self ballasted cfl lamp. can i stick a 60 watt cfl lamp in the fixture if i can make it fit? is it a fixture rating problem or a lamp manufacture problem. havent seen a fixture rating for a edison base self ballasted lamp yet . have you
 

kbsparky

Senior Member
Location
Delmarva, USA
Many CFL lamps are marketed with equivalent "watts" listed on the package instead of using the more accurate term lumens.


The maximum rating in watts on light fixtures is there for the allowable heat build-up of the lamps installed.

A fixture rated for 40 watts can safely have a 23 watt CFL bulb installed in it, even though the lumens output of the 23 watt CFL is more than double than a 40 watt incandescent bulb.

Of course, we are assuming that the CFL is approved for use in certain fixtures such as enclosed globe, etc. if that is the case.
 

wired87

Member
thank you ksparky

thank you ksparky

thank you for your opinion, but seems you have sited the same problem i see that the enclosed fixture did not have a rating for the self ballasted cfl lamp. so i am still at square one. i understand the watt luman ratio, but can,t seem to find the heat equivilant rating.
 

Dennis Alwon

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Chapel Hill, NC
Occupation
Retired Electrical Contractor
wired87 said:
does anyone know what the rating in watts ,if a fixture generaly used and rated in watts 60 or 100 watt incadecent max should be if using a 13 watt self ballasted cfl lamp. can i stick a 60 watt cfl lamp in the fixture if i can make it fit? is it a fixture rating problem or a lamp manufacture problem. havent seen a fixture rating for a edison base self ballasted lamp yet . have you

I contend that a CFL in a fixture that says 60 watt incandescent is a violation of the listing of the fixture. I also have never seen a cfl that can go in a fixture that is enclosed, not saying there isn't one- just never seen one. Read the packaging on those bulbs. They won't last long in an enclosed fixture and they usually state not to be enclosed.
 

winnie

Senior Member
Location
Springfield, MA, USA
Occupation
Electric motor research
I have seen CFL packages that specifically state that they can be used in enclosed fixtures. These are few and far between. Most CFLs will overheat their electronics if used in enclosed fixtures.

-Jon
 

jim dungar

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Wisconsin
Occupation
Retired Electrical Engineer - Power Systems
HighWirey said:
Karnak sez that the these wonderful CFL's will explode (figueratively) in the worlds faces in 10 years.

When do/did you start counting? Are you questioning their effectiveness or how "green" they really are?

I first put CFLs in my house more than 10 years ago. And, I have used some listed for use in enclosed fixtures.
 

M. D.

Senior Member
I found this to be interesting , most homeowners will just drop them in the waste basket . And what happens if you drop one in your home??

According the U.S. EPA the Reference Concentration (RfC) for elemental mercury is 0.0003 milligrams per cubic meter. Exposures greater than the RfC, increase the potential for adverse health risks.
The average household use compact flourescent light contains 5 milligrams of mercury. That is enough mercury to contaminate 16,667 cubic meters of soil. That is enough soil to fill a football field from end zone to end zone and sideline to sideline 167 meters high with soil. Another way of looking at it a single line of dirt that is one meter wide and one meter tall that is just over one mile long.
 

HighWirey

Senior Member
"Are you questioning their effectiveness or how "green" they really are?"
Questioning both, not in that order . . .

Jim,

My origional statement "CFL's will explode (figueratively) in the worlds faces in 10 years" was based on what I have observed as a contractor in
the government sector over the last 10 years, and on the US TV Evening News.

In 10 (or so many years) the waste stream from these lamps will catch up with us, worse than those plastic water bottles are catching up with us now. I am not a 'greenie', but in industrial life I have retrofited tens of thousands of magnetic ballasts and their companion T-12 type lamps. On these projects the government was paranoid (to a fault) about the proper handling, removal, disposal, and 'tracking to the grave' of each project's residue. Humm . . .

The residue from the plastic water bottles in the landfill is only plastic, and the plastic only takes up space. True, some contaminates may leach out of the plastic, but not near to the contaminate levels of the cadminum, lead, zinc, mercury, and unknowns leaching out of all those CFLs.

As MD stated "most homeowners will just drop them in the waste basket". There may be some do-gooders out there who will dispose of CFLs properly, but I agree with MD. Heck, the neighbors here will not even use our nice recycle bins for glass bottles. Bet we will be overrun with this poison in 10 years (or so many years).

Hide and watch . . .

Continuing with my CFL rant . . .

The following information about CFLs is based only on my personal experience with the lamps at my residence. No 'quality' brands here (unless you want to include those GEs), all were from the box stores. I've not seen a CFL yet that was not 'Hecho in China' (my ignorance?) Are there major brands not made in China? Nothing wrong with China, just wondering if all manufacturers are on the same playing field? Bet you they are . . .

Sounds like your on borrowed time if you have a CFL working for 10 years! What brand are they? Need to get me some.

After the CFL disposal problem is solved, my observations about CFLs are (I started counting 6 years ago) :

1 - Lamp lifespan is grossly exaggerated. I have 7 dead ones on hand.
2 - Two of the 7 dead ones died catastrophically - let the smoke out amidst a scary noise. The advertised dollar savings on these lamps may be correct, if I could get one to last long enough to compare!
3 - The power factor is stinky. (.56 for several manufacturers), as measured by me, vs those good old incandescents. One or two homes with CFLs may not affect anything , however billions of those things may.

Unload on me, been incorrect before . . .

Best Wishes
 
Location
South, Fl
As an inspector I wouldn't pass it unless the manufacturer specifically listed it for the fixture. That said, I don't care what the lumens are, they are not as bright as the incandescents.
 

jim dungar

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Wisconsin
Occupation
Retired Electrical Engineer - Power Systems
I do not have CFLS that are 10 yrs old, I have been using them for that long. I have replaced them all at least once. Just like incandescent they eventually loose their efficacy. But I have never had any fail as violently. I currently have eight in my house. 2 of them are on timers so they burn an average of 4hrs/day 365 days/year. One is enclosed and burns all night 365/yr. I am very pleased with their lifspan and I feel they have been worth my investment.

As far as lifespan of light bulbs go, manufacturers use the median not a true average. They turn on 100 lamps and see how long it takes 50 of them to burn out. So, if 49 burn out within 1 minute but it takes 750 hrs for the 50th to fail the average life is reported as 750hrs.

Disposal is a problem with most products today so I won't go there. But the news people tend to misrepresent numbers, so I don't trust them as a final source.
 

jim dungar

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Wisconsin
Occupation
Retired Electrical Engineer - Power Systems
M. D. said:
Sorry Jim, I did not mean to confuse the issue , however there is an issue with how these millions of lamps will be disposed of.

This is where I got the above quote from ,..

http://www.bancfls.com/Mercury_EPA.cfm

Note how they neglect to tell you about the time frame for exposure.
Mercury absorbtion is a problem over time not instantaneously. And while we are discussing toxicity don't forget about disposable batteries.
 

cschmid

Senior Member
wow one of my pet peeves CFL lamps and I have not seen fixture rated for them..how many home owners read the label of a CFL..most are not permitted to be used on dimmer or upside down..non are rated to be in enclosed fixture that I have read..they are complaining about mercury contamination like big dogs.. they have eliminated magnetic ballasts and t12 due to mercury content but encourage you exponentially by CFL so our mercury use continues..except there is little way to enforce or even encourage proper disposal so the amount of mercury we are exposed to now grows expotentially..You got to love big brother..
 

winnie

Senior Member
Location
Springfield, MA, USA
Occupation
Electric motor research
The mercury in CFLs is a very real issue. However one needs to consider that there are many other mercury sources. In particular, coal fired electricity production releases _lots_ of mercury into the environment, and that mercury isn't neatly packaged in glass tubes for easy recovery.

Given the current mix of electricity generation in the US, and the amount of mercury released into the environment when electricity is produced, the energy savings when using CFLs rather than incandescent lamps, and the expected lamp lifetime, using a CFL results in a net _decrease_ in the amount of mercury released into the environment, even if the lamp is not recycled.

The makes a bunch of assumptions about CFL light life, energy production, waste distribution, etc. It is really fairly characterized as a 'back of the envelope' assessment than a hard core theory. See, for example http://maryland.sierraclub.org/newsletter/archives/2007/07/a_012.asp

IMHO CFLs are a good 'environmental' choice for many lighting situations. They are certainly not the cure to all woes, and they are certainly oversold and overhyped. I am generally against any mandate to eliminate incandescent lamps, since these are actually a very good choice for many applications.

I wonder if there is some way to require people to prepay for some fraction of the electricity used by inefficient lamps, so that the total cost of ownership doesn't change, but people are made aware of the long term ownership costs.

-Jon
 

cschmid

Senior Member
How about making it mandatory that the people who sell CFL take them back and dispose of them properly..you could actually require a deposit so it works like a battery pay extra or return the old one..you know the exchange theory..
 

dereckbc

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Plano, TX
CFL's do contain Mercury but let?s put it into prospective. You oral/rectal thermometer contains about 100 times more, and the bulb in your HVAC thermostat contains about 1000 times more. So for me I am not worried about the amount of Mercury in CFL?s as I have bigger fish to fry like getting food poisoning at a restaurant.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top