Saturday, March 28, 2009

Compact Fluorescent Bulbs

The light fixture above the mirror in our bathroom has eight 40W globe bulbs. I need a step ladder to change them and you never need 320W of light in such a small space—especially, first thing in the morning. My goal is to keep between four and six of them lit, but that changed recently...

Last summer I noticed Costco was selling a compact fluorescent version of the 40W globes. They come four to a pack. I bought some and put four in the fixture. A week or two ago, I noticed we were at the dreaded three bulb, time-to-get-the-step ladder, point. I also noticed it was 2 incandescents to 1 compact fluorescent.

The race is on!

And it's tightened! One of the incandescents went dark the other day.

That light fixture is not my only source of disillusionment with compact fluorescent bulbs. I've had my doubts about the ones I've installed elsewhere. None of them seem to be lasting as long as promised, so I've decided to write the installation date with a Sharpie on each one before putting it in a fixture. When it dies, I'll write that date on it too. The bulbs have a limited warranty which probably wont help; however, I'm sure Costco will communicate both my dissatisfaction to the manufacturer, Feit. After all, I'm not the only one having problems with compact fluorescents purchased from Costco (via Instapundit).

Here's my first 60W equivalent with an installation date:

The Instapundit has also noticed reliability problems with compact fluorescents. To answer his question ("If you made a shift, what’s your experience been?"): We've made the shift gradually. That combined with the relatively small impact each bulb makes on our bottom line, means that we haven't noticed any savings.

If have experience with LED bulbs, please tell me about them in the comments!

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