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COMPACT FLUORESCENT BULB (CFL)
ESA is concerned that it can be difficult for consumers to
distinguish between what is normal and what may be a precursor to fire or some
other hazardous condition. As a safety precaution, ESA
encourages consumers to replace CFLs at the first sign of failure or aging.
The early warning signs to look for include: flickering, a bright orange or red
glow, popping sounds, an odour, or browning of the ballast enclosure (base).
Wonder if the odour is very good for you?
WARNING - The new compact
fluorescent bulbs are burning, and could pose a fire hazard. I wouldn't
leave my home with the light on if I were you. Not after looking at the
There is a website with photos of compact fluorescent light bulbs which have
melted. Looks like they are burning where the glass meets the ballast.
Have a look at these photos. Have a look at that one bulb...melted almost
in half... now how can that not be a fire hazard. Do you believe yet, that
we need to get rid of the word govern in government?? The govern may mean
to burn peoples homes down.
This same scenario happened to okanaganlakebc.ca friend who is the one to alert
us and so we though we should try to alert everyone we can as well, including
CHBC news. This friend said her compact fluorescent bulb was not the brand
that was recalled because of fire hazard reasons. Her compact fluorescent
bulb burnt at the base with smoke and stink!
How is that not a hazard? This friend has gone back to regular
|Hold the ballast part of the compact fluorescent bulb and
not the spiral glass portion of the bulb when screwing the bulb into
the base, or unscrewing the bulb from its base, as you could break
the seal. CFL's contain mercury.
In 2005, the authority issued a recall for Globe mini-spiral
13-watt lamps that were made between January 2002 and April 2003 after
concluding that the parts could fail and melt a hole in the enclosure.
okanaganlakebc.ca has a 23-watt
Globe mini-spiral that is very dim and not because of the color bought. It
failed within a very short time of starting to use it. Fried fingers
trying to remove it from socket before it cooled off. Thought they didn't
|Heat is the worst enemy of ballasts. It is not a safety
hazard, but can reduce ballast life 10-50%, depending on how long
the CF bulb is on at any one time.
After about half of the CF bulb's life, light output can decrease by
as much as 25%. But if you buy an Energy Star labeled CF
bulb, it must lose no more than 10% of its total light output
at 40% of its rated life.
CFLs and mercury content and recycling
Compact fluorescent bulbs do include small amounts of
mercury, a toxic metal that can
lead to adverse health effects for fish and humans. But with amounts of less
than 4 mg of mercury per bulb – about one-fifth that found in the average watch
battery and less than 100th found in your typical amalgam dental filling – and
convenient access to CFL recycling facilities, the threat is not considered
Some manufacturers, including Philips with its 'Alto'
CFLs, offer even lower amounts of mercury in the bulbs.
Did you know that frequent on and off switching can shorten a CFL's life?
|Can CFLs be used outside in cold temperatures?
Yes, there are CFLs that can be used outdoors in temperatures as low
as -30 °C. However, check the low
temperature rating on the package to make sure it suits your local
climate. It is also preferable to have your CFL enclosed in an
outdoor fixture to protect it from the cold, wind and humidity. If
your CFL is used outdoors with a motion detector, the life of your
CFL may be shortened.
How does a CFL do in areas where power surges occur, such as
CFLs may not hold up to the stress of power surges. So using them
in areas such as workshops may not be advisable.
Where CFL's should not be
Pay attention to the manufacturers'
recommendations regarding installation location. Know that unless
otherwise specified, CFLs should not be
used: in totally enclosed recessed fixtures because of
the possibility of the lamp overheating and failing prematurely;
with dimmer switches; in touch lamps with photocells or with
electronic timers; where exposed to weather; or where exposed to
water. Read the text on the base of the lamp or contact the
products' manufacturer for additional information if required.
CFLs end-of-life, is it safe?
With the old incandescent light
bulbs, we know it doesn't work anymore when it doesn't light up.
Because a CFL contains electronic components, it is equipped with a
mechanism to prevent overheating when it fails. If a light bulb
fails, this mechanism, which acts like a fuse, kicks in. When that
happens, the CFL base can discolour, and give off a small puff of
smoke as well as release an unpleasant odour. In some cases, the
plastic at the base of a CFL can melt, and turn black, but major
manufacturers have designed the base with special flame retardant
plastics that do not burn or drop molten particles. In cases where
this situation happens, it is a sign that the bulb's end-of-life
mechanism worked as it should have.
How to dispose of the mercury from a broken compact fluorescent bulb.
You will find
Okanagan BC businesses, services, free classifieds, local arts and crafts, vacation rentals, plus
much more located in communities around Okanagan Lake BC. We will be adding to this
site constantly, so come back and check it often.