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CFLs (compact fluorescent lamps) eyed for fire danger
MassLive.com ^

Posted on 12/28/2011 7:37:38 PM PST by matt04

Compact fluorescent lamps, or CFLs, have been counted on to light the way to a more energy-efficient future.

Compared to traditional incandescent bulbs, which will gradually be phased out starting in January, CFLs use about a fifth the power and have a life six to 10 times as great.

However, since the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission launched its online safety complaints database in March, there have been 34 reports made by people about CFLs that emitted smoke or a burning odor and four reports of the devices catching fire.

As perspective, though, 272 million CFLs were sold in 2009 in the United States.

Nevertheless, the complaints are a cause for concern, according to Jennifer Mieth, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Fire Services.

“In 2008, the state fire marshal’s office office first alerted the fire chiefs that CFLs could smoke” at the end of their life, she said.

“I’m not aware of any fires that fire departments in the state have responded to that were started by CFLs, but, as a consumer, it’s a good idea to be vigilant,” she said.

An incandescent bulb typically ends its life when the wire filament, which glows to produce light when electricity passes through it, burns out and breaks. Fires from this are almost nonexistent.

A CFL uses electricity to heat an element in the lamp’s base that excites the mercury vapor gas in the coils so that they emit light. When a CFL can no longer produce light, the electronics in its base will still try to function, sometimes leading to overheating, smoke and fire.

(Excerpt) Read more at masslive.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: cfl; clf; environmentalism; epa; incandescent; mercury
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From the CPSC via the article:


1 posted on 12/28/2011 7:37:43 PM PST by matt04
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To: matt04

When I still used CFL’s I had one in a lamp. All of sudden I head a pop, the light went out and a horrible smell filled the room. The glass had broken off the base and the base was in the process of melting into a pile of sludge.

I bagged up the lamp and shade and disposed of it, along with every other CFL I had at the time.


2 posted on 12/28/2011 7:38:28 PM PST by matt04
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To: matt04

Now in economic arson sizes.


3 posted on 12/28/2011 7:39:38 PM PST by cripplecreek (Stand with courage or shut up and do as you're told.)
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To: matt04
All I've run for the last 10 years is CFLs without issues. Your anecdote doesn't make a systemic problem.

/johnny

4 posted on 12/28/2011 7:41:16 PM PST by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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To: matt04
I will however, defend to the death, your right to use carbon arc lamps, if you want. Or regular old Edison bulbs.

To each their own. Devil take the leftists.

/johnny

5 posted on 12/28/2011 7:43:53 PM PST by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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To: JRandomFreeper

I like the CFLs for some things too. They are a fine “Choice” for those who want them.


6 posted on 12/28/2011 7:48:11 PM PST by cripplecreek (Stand with courage or shut up and do as you're told.)
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To: JRandomFreeper
That's because you don't install them like you toss a dart. Think about it. You can still get 150’s and 75 100 150 bulb if you have the three way.
7 posted on 12/28/2011 7:53:36 PM PST by Domangart
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To: matt04

I’ll say one thing for the CFLs, they are an outstanding way to introduce more mercury into the landfills. A big thank you shout out to the dumbass environazis!


8 posted on 12/28/2011 7:57:03 PM PST by FlingWingFlyer (Stop BIG Government Greed!!!!!)
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To: cripplecreek; All
Instead of discussing relative merits of light sources.... we should be discussing why we have a federal government that thinks they have a say-so.

And whether, such a government, so constituted, should remain in power. Or whether it's legitimacy is long gone.

"--That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness."

We get a do over if we don't like it.

Personally, I have no use for a Federal government outside of protecting the borders. States do well at laws.

But the whole meddle in our business thing?

Out. Right out.

/johnny

9 posted on 12/28/2011 7:58:30 PM PST by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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To: matt04

This lone “data point” has had multiple personal experiences with fried/scorched CFLs that fail scarily. No fires, but they wouldn’t surprise me a bit. Fluorescents’ actual failure rate (among dozens in my home) is extraordinarily high compared to the promised lamp life.

They really stink.


10 posted on 12/28/2011 8:03:28 PM PST by Atlas Sneezed (Author of BullionBible.com - Makes You a Precious Metal Expert, Guaranteed.)
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To: Domangart
3 way light bulbs... Gone the way of the 8 track and virginity.

/johnny

11 posted on 12/28/2011 8:05:01 PM PST by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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To: JRandomFreeper

Fred Upton is the next district over from mine but I can’t decide whether to lay siege to his district or Ann Arbor on the other side.


12 posted on 12/28/2011 8:05:01 PM PST by cripplecreek (Stand with courage or shut up and do as you're told.)
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To: JRandomFreeper

So in the entire 10 years that you’ve had CFL’s, you’ve never had to change a single one? Because that’s what the pro-CFL crowd claims. I write this in the dark because my CFL’s tend to burn out every 2-3 weeks.


13 posted on 12/28/2011 8:09:56 PM PST by Question Liberal Authority (I also think that Obama should be defeated.)
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To: matt04
“have a life six to 10 times as great”

Not true for us. Personally, we replace our CFLs because of failure at a rate about the same as we did when they were real bulbs.

I've stockpiled incandescents. Putting a CFL, that takes a minute or two to fire up, in places like closets or bathrooms is silly. And, putting them in places where a bulb can can get broken is nuts.

14 posted on 12/28/2011 8:10:10 PM PST by Proud2BeRight
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To: JRandomFreeper

I saw two cases at home depot last week.


15 posted on 12/28/2011 8:12:03 PM PST by Domangart
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To: cripplecreek
:) I think we've had this discussion... Depends on how much forest you can clear-cut for trebuchets.

But it should never come to blows. One of our founding documents says that we have a right to modify our government.

Or remove it completely.

Of course, the people in charge of the current government get pissy about it.

But I'm for non-violent change. It's a shame Geo. Wash. had to get scrappy about it to get left alone.

/johnny

16 posted on 12/28/2011 8:12:34 PM PST by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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To: Beelzebubba

At least half of the twisty bulbs I’ve used, get a toasty brown base when they die, and many smoke or fill the area with a burnt odor.

I wonder if a dirty little secret is that they are not rated past 120 volts. When it’s common today to get household voltages up to 130 in newer neighborhoods where the power distribution has been upgraded for all the McMansions that were expected.


17 posted on 12/28/2011 8:15:32 PM PST by HiTech RedNeck (Sometimes progressives find their scripture in the penumbra of sacred bathroom stall writings (Tzar))
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To: Question Liberal Authority
So in the entire 10 years that you’ve had CFL’s, you’ve never had to change a single one?

Whoa, nelly... I never said that.

I've had a few burn out. Less, actually, than tubes in my Drake receiver.

And if you buy crappy chineese stuff, expect to change the bulbs a lot.

Cheap is expensive. Pry open that wallet and look for quality instead of best price.

/johnny

18 posted on 12/28/2011 8:15:57 PM PST by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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To: matt04

When are the rules for disposing of used up CFL’s going to be coming out?

I expect a fee for their disposal because of the toxic mercury they hold.

Also——Who here on FR wants to use such a bulb OVER their cooking areas????


19 posted on 12/28/2011 8:17:40 PM PST by ridesthemiles
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To: JRandomFreeper
Pumpkin Guns
20 posted on 12/28/2011 8:18:20 PM PST by HiTech RedNeck (Sometimes progressives find their scripture in the penumbra of sacred bathroom stall writings (Tzar))
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To: Proud2BeRight
Putting a CFL, that takes a minute or two to fire up,

Spoken like a man that tried the early stuff back around 1998, and made up his mind. And that's it.

/johnny

21 posted on 12/28/2011 8:18:47 PM PST by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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To: matt04

Yea had that one explode on me. Thankfully, it only broke the plastic, not the glass part with mercury. Otherwise, I would have had a Hazmat situation on my hands. Later “analysis” of the thing showed that the most likely culprit of the boom was electrolytic capacitor in the base,which actually exploded.


22 posted on 12/28/2011 8:19:09 PM PST by alex2011
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To: matt04

I’ve had three of these things burst into flames in my house. Two went out before flames could spread. One was scorching the ceiling before I beat the flames out. We had to leave the house because the fumes were searing to our lungs and eyes.

They don’t last any longer than incandescent bulbs, either.


23 posted on 12/28/2011 8:20:48 PM PST by gitmo (Hatred of those who think differently is the left's unifying principle.-Ralph Peters NY Post)
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To: ridesthemiles

“Specialty” bulbs ought to be around a while yet. It’s probably unwise to use a twisty bulb in an over-the-stove hood, just because they won’t fit where a normal bulb would. A bulb-break accident would mean pitching all uncovered food whether it was twisty or normal bulb.


24 posted on 12/28/2011 8:20:48 PM PST by HiTech RedNeck (Sometimes progressives find their scripture in the penumbra of sacred bathroom stall writings (Tzar))
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To: ridesthemiles
As a professional in the food business. I'm fine with it.

Why don't you debate whether we need a federal government or not. Because I don't think we do, outside of protecting the borders.

Nope... you are fixated. Made up your mind.

/johnny

25 posted on 12/28/2011 8:22:14 PM PST by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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To: gitmo

You’d think that even the liberal likes of Consumers Union would be going ape over the twisty bulbs that catch fire. Liberals birthed this baby, why can’t they at least rate the best ones?


26 posted on 12/28/2011 8:23:08 PM PST by HiTech RedNeck (Sometimes progressives find their scripture in the penumbra of sacred bathroom stall writings (Tzar))
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To: HiTech RedNeck
I don't even need to click. My hairband popped, I grinned so loud.

I'm good with those. But trebuchets are cool. And later, you can load up the weight so the arm is horizontal and hang politicians off of it.

/johnny

27 posted on 12/28/2011 8:24:56 PM PST by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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To: JRandomFreeper
But it should never come to blows. One of our founding documents says that we have a right to modify our government.

Or remove it completely.

Which is why the people who say the southern states had no right to secede are absolutely wrong. The South found the feds position untenable and decided to exercise their rights under the constitution to change their government. We still have that right today and if things get much worse some states should start implementing that right.

28 posted on 12/28/2011 8:27:45 PM PST by calex59
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To: JRandomFreeper

“Spoken like a man that tried the early stuff back around 1998, and made up his mind. And that’s it.”

Wrong. Tried the first ones in about 2007. The small floods I put in about 3 years ago in a home office take about 3 minutes to get bright enough to read by.


29 posted on 12/28/2011 8:30:14 PM PST by Proud2BeRight
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To: ridesthemiles
When are the rules for disposing of used up CFL’s going to be coming out?

The safest thing is to mail them to the EPA or to Congress. They're the experts.

30 posted on 12/28/2011 8:31:03 PM PST by gitmo (Hatred of those who think differently is the left's unifying principle.-Ralph Peters NY Post)
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To: matt04

Have we tested the actual current draw of CFLs and computed the ACTUAL power they use? Or have we bought the envirocabal’s crock about efficiency just like some have bought the AGW crock? I won’t USE CFLs, and have stocked up on real light bulbs, but on several occasions have noticed how HOT a CFL is when I happen to get near one. IT TAKES POWER to create that much HEAT..........which makes me question just how much less power the CFLs might ACTUALLY use. When LED bulbs get down to a sensible price I’ll use THEM, but no CFLs.


31 posted on 12/28/2011 8:33:54 PM PST by Tucker39
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To: matt04

At least the CFLs have really helped the economy in China.


32 posted on 12/28/2011 8:35:16 PM PST by Proud2BeRight
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To: HiTech RedNeck
At least half of the twisty bulbs I’ve used, get a toasty brown base when they die, and many smoke or fill the area with a burnt odor.

I have had some toasty brown bases too. Couldn't really put a percentage on it. Haven't had any break.

33 posted on 12/28/2011 8:35:29 PM PST by pepperhead (Kennedys float, Mary Jos don't)
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To: Proud2BeRight
Well pry open that wallet and buy some good ones.

Cheap is expensive.

/johnny

34 posted on 12/28/2011 8:38:32 PM PST by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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To: matt04

Incandescent bulbs Can and do start fires as well. Many barns have burned down from fires started by bare 100 watt incandescent bulbs.

Also, “explosion proof” enclosures for incandescent bulbs are required in certain industrial locations.

Some of the problems come from the bulbs getting damaged, then failing and starting fires, but not all.

The ballast in standard fluorescent fixtures can cause fires as well.

The biggest fire danger with the CF bulbs are installing them in dimmer equipped circuits, this greatly increases the danger of fire unless special “dimmer compatable” CFLs are used.


35 posted on 12/28/2011 8:38:41 PM PST by wrench
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To: cripplecreek
I like the CFLs for some things too. They are a fine “Choice” for those who want them.

I agree they are a fine "choice" for some of us. But shouldn't our only choice along with LED.

I use mixture of bulbs around my house. Got 100W in the garage and garage door. Use 60W in closets and bathrooms. Use CFL's in like 3 rooms. The rest is old bulbs or small fan bulbs. The CFL's are dimmer. So I have do use some 100w equivalent ones. They do now make some that go on faster. The cool benefit from those is they are smaller. So the 100w equivalent is like a 60w equivalent in size.

36 posted on 12/28/2011 8:42:10 PM PST by pepperhead (Kennedys float, Mary Jos don't)
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To: matt04
I am a retired maintenance mechanic with commercial electrical training & ample experience. I would not put one of these bulbs in my home for any reason. They are an electrical danger and UL should have never listed them. Thank you once again mother hen government for trying to decide what you think is best for me. If I wanted to burn down my home with an electrical fire I think I could do the job without your meddling mandates. /sarcasm and just plain getting fed up

folks you want safe fluorescent lighting that works in all temps? Go get the good old reliable transformer type ballast fixtures. The heat gets displaced. CFL's and even some newer tube fluorescent are using electronic starters. They are junk. They also fail in temps below about 30 or so.

Now for the million dollar question needing answering. Who made the fortune off of them and got this insane law against incandescents passed to start with?

37 posted on 12/28/2011 8:43:20 PM PST by cva66snipe (Two Choices left for U.S. One Nation Under GOD or One Nation Under Judgment? Which one say ye?)
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To: Tucker39
Have we tested the actual current draw of CFLs and computed the ACTUAL power they use?

Yes, actually, this cook has, including the power factor on start-up. You do know the P=I* V * cos(q) rule... right?

In the summer it's MUCH cheaper. In the winter, it's a wash. Edison bulbs do put out some serious heat.

I also look forward to properly diffused LEDs. But they ain't there yet.

/johnny

38 posted on 12/28/2011 8:46:31 PM PST by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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To: JRandomFreeper

Really? Just bought a box at Walmart for my 3-way lamp in my office


39 posted on 12/28/2011 8:58:33 PM PST by OldGoatCPO
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To: matt04

I’ve had a couple burn a hole clear through the base.


40 posted on 12/28/2011 9:00:06 PM PST by PAR35
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To: wrench
Incandescent bulbs Can and do start fires as well. Many barns have burned down from fires started by bare 100 watt incandescent bulbs.

A barn fire is far more likely to be spontaneous combustion OR caused by the wiring going too the 100 watt bulb. Barns are not known for safe wiring practices. Put the bulb up where it can't be hit and it's safe. BTW I just placed a thermometer on the 100 watt bulb in my hall. It reached about 195 degrees surface temp. A 60 watt bulb I can unscrew one hot with my bare hands.

The ballast in standard fluorescent fixtures can cause fires as well.

Generally they make smoke & thats it. We even used them onboard ship. A ballast in that case is a simple step up transformer. The difference is it has a lot more room too displace heat. Such a ballast usually gives you ample warning it is going bad also.

41 posted on 12/28/2011 9:02:28 PM PST by cva66snipe (Two Choices left for U.S. One Nation Under GOD or One Nation Under Judgment? Which one say ye?)
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To: matt04

Proud to live in a CFL free home. Always.


42 posted on 12/28/2011 9:10:30 PM PST by upchuck (Let's have the Revolution NOW before we get dumbed down to the point that we can't.)
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To: matt04

I don’t give a rip how long they last.

I don’t like the type of light they put out.

They are ugly.

They are a pain in the but to clean up when you break them.

I have over 1,000 of the 100watt bulbs and I am getting more tomorrow.

Got hundreds of the 75, 3 way, 150 watt each.

I will never run out of them.


43 posted on 12/28/2011 9:30:48 PM PST by Vendome (Don't take life so seriously, you won't live through it anyway)
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To: upchuck

CFL lamps are not the devil. I love using them in my bathroom.. Light comes on right away, but not full bright for a couple seconds so my eyes can adjust.

Everywhere else I use LED lamps though. There is zero reason outside of obstinance not to use the best technology avaiable.


44 posted on 12/28/2011 9:31:59 PM PST by Homegrown1
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To: PAR35

I do not know your particular situation, however, using CFL lamps in an enclosed environment will sometimes cause catastrophic failure.

Also if they are used in the base up position CFL lamps can over-heat if they do not have enough ventilation. This is caused from the electronics necessary to maintain the fluorescent arc located in the base.

Not a bad technology just does not have the right information surrounding it to make sure that there are no issues.


45 posted on 12/28/2011 9:32:10 PM PST by Homegrown1
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To: Question Liberal Authority

I have over 220 CFL’s in my home... Essentially all in recessed “can light” fixtures. In about 5 years I’ve replaced about 10% to 15% of them. None smoked or otherwise catastrophically failed.

Many of those 200 CFL’s have a lot of hours on them.

And “10 years” is not what is actually claimed. It is based on an “average” use of x number of hours per day. A good incandescent bulb is good for about 2000 hours. A good CFL is good for about 6,000+ hours.

I don’t buy the cheapest CFL’s I can find. I buy ones that work well with a good color temperature and are usable as soon as you turn them on (cold). The added cost, about $8 a bulb, is well worth it. They pay for themselves many times over in saved electricity costs over the life of the bulb.


46 posted on 12/28/2011 9:42:43 PM PST by DB
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To: cva66snipe

You are right about sub par wiring in barns. Oily rags, are yet another source of fire in outbuildings (used to be worse when boiled linseed oil was a commonly used farm chemical).

But bare inc. bulbs have been known to break and drop superheated tungsten. This will ignite flamable debris should it come in contact.

The point is NO light source is 100% safe, close but not 100%. Just look what the Mine Safety folks require for light sources in explosive environments, same requirement when I was using lights inside fuel tanks during repair operations.

This hysteria about CFLs is just that, hysteria. When you but billions of electric devices into service, some will catch fire, but the rate will be so low as to be insignificant.


47 posted on 12/28/2011 9:44:48 PM PST by wrench
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To: matt04
I've had a few CFLs fail in a puff of smoke, but not the
Trisonics mentioned in the article. Most of those didn't
work right out of the package.
48 posted on 12/28/2011 9:44:56 PM PST by clearcarbon
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To: JRandomFreeper

I use more than 220 TCP 1R4014IB CFL’s in my home. They are enclosed in a normal R40 flood light glass envelope so you can’t easily see the curly light inside. In addition they are in recessed “can light” fixtures so you don’t see much of the bulb to begin with. These bulbs are not “ugly” and have a good color temperature. TCP calls them “Instabright” and have about 80% of their brightness when turned on cold making them great for hallways and bathrooms.

I also have florescent tube lights, incandescent lights and LED lights in various places...


49 posted on 12/28/2011 10:07:25 PM PST by DB
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To: DB
I really want LED lights to work... I'm a big fan of the flashights. But the whole phased emiission thing? De're lazars! OMG de're lazars!

Which is cool in some situations, not so cool for reading, fornicating, etc...

Diffusion will be the key to winning.

/johnny

50 posted on 12/28/2011 10:18:41 PM PST by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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