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Thread: CFL Issue

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
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    North Central Texas
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    472

    Default CFL Issue

    I just inspected a house where the four CFL bulbs in a ceiling fan fixture came on with full brightness when the switch was initially turned on, suddenly dimmed momentarily and then returned to full brightness. Then they would remain at a constant brightness. This happened every time I turned them on. Any ideas?

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Caledon, Ontario
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    5,005

    Default Re: CFL Issue

    Failing ballast.

    Also there have been recalls for CFL's.

    Google 'CFL recalls'


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
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    North Central Texas
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    Default Re: CFL Issue

    @ RW - Thanks.

    Texas Inspector
    http://www.texasinspector.com
    What the plainspoken man lacks in subtlety, he makes up in clarity.

  4. #4
    Nolan Kienitz's Avatar
    Nolan Kienitz Guest

    Default Re: CFL Issue

    I hate CFLs ... their light spectrum still sucks even though it 'supposedly' is getting better.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
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    Snowbird (this means I'm retired and migrate between locations), FL/MI
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    Default Re: CFL Issue

    The affect you describe is a common one with newer "instant on" (or fast-start) CFLs, especially those of the "ceiling fan" duty designation.

    What you describe is exactly how they are supposed to work. You are noticing the change over from the start mode modulating to the run mode from power supply.

    Initially ON and instant thereafter somewhat 'mega' brightening, then adjusting (to a slightly lower "candle power") afterwards. The time-frame from first ON (and seconds thereafter slightly super bright) to the adjusted/modulated regular and continuous brightness "run" mode "ON" can vary from a few seconds to half-a-minute (to adjust-down to rated brightness) or more.

    Older such "instant on" or "instant bright" CFLs might take a few minutes to adjust to their "constant" brightness level.

    Those without the "instant bright" feature tend to be somewhat dim when first turned on and display a flash or flicker when first turned on, and slowly increase in light intensity. This flicker, and slow to progress from extremely dim to brightness time was much more dramatic with earlier CFLs.

    Then we have the multi-generational "dimmable" CFLs some with and some without an "instant bright" or instant on feature. Finding same which are rated for (ceiling) fan fixture duty used to be more than difficult, now much more common.

    Although much more common to find all types of CFLs which are listed and labeled to perform well in any orientation, some CFLs continue to caution against using in a completly upside down (screw shell up) orientation, and/or indicate limited performance when in that orientation. Although difficult sometimes to find the information - it is still essential to read ALL of the information contained within, upon, and oftentimes inside the packaging - to glean information and limitations in the manufacturer's instructions (such as temperature environments, enclosed, open, or partially guarded fixture use, orientation of CFL limitations, damp or wet locations, outdoor use/indoor use, guarded from condensation, splash, etc. and if dimmable, rated for fan use, garage door opener lights, if may be used in loops or fixtures fitted with with photocells, occupancy sensors, etc. etc. These limitations are important, and exist still on a suprisingly high percentage of the products in the marketplace.

    Amazing that one used to have to pay more than five, and often more than 8 dollars for a single CFL with instant bright features just a few years ago, and much more for one rated for (ceiling) fan fixture duty -- Regularly find them for a dollar or less apiece now.

    Looking forward to the LED and other types continuing to come down in price at the same pace in the next few years as CFLs are phased out.

    Last edited by H.G. Watson, Sr.; 01-17-2013 at 05:18 PM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    North Central Texas
    Posts
    472

    Default Re: CFL Issue

    Thanks H.G.

    Texas Inspector
    http://www.texasinspector.com
    What the plainspoken man lacks in subtlety, he makes up in clarity.

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