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Fieldbreeze CFLs extreme safety hazard

Report of a "Fieldbreeze" CFL sold in dollar storesSee photo. & made in China, that is NOT CSA or ULSee photo. safety rated & can cause a fireSee photo.. Always look for the CSA or UL rating before buying electrical devices.

My wife turned on the recessed ceiling fixtures last night and heard a "pop". At that time, the c/b blew but one of the lights appeared to be partially illuminated. Upon closer examination, the melted (plastic) base of the bulb had "pooled"See photo. in the bottom of the fixture and was burning steadily. I examined the remnants, as soon as the fire was out and the failed bulb was cool. It was a Fieldbreeze 30 Watt unit. I know now that there would be a heating problem with this wattage in an enclosed fixture but it was not used much and it failed on turn-on, not hot. One of the 6.8 mF/250 Volt capacitors seems to have "destructed"See photo., the cover was partially blown off. The plastic base is not only NOT flame retardantSee photo. but NOT self extinguishing either. This would seem to be a very bad state of affairs for bulbs used un-attended. It doesn't matter how much energy you save if your house burns down. I will be switching to conservatively sized incandescent bulbs. They are much safer. As a 30 year avionics engineer, I am astounded at the lack of design constraints for safetySee photo.. A simple fuse may have avoided the problem. Why not an internal shield to protect the plastic? Why not better plastic? I don't think the Fieldbreeze design is safe. I am not sure if any of the other brands are much better.

Follow up comments with pictures:
You may notice the power wires (now toasted)See photo. appear to be twisted around each other. You will see what I mean when you see the photo of the "good" oneSee photo..

You will notice one of the capacitors nearly blew its case offSee photo.. What you don't see is the case is puddled and stuck to the glassSee photo.. The plastic mess was burning when I opened the fixture and had to be extinguished.

You can imagine what would happen if it was situated where the burning plastic could drip onto carpets, drapes, furniture etc...

This failure mode is completely unacceptable. It could be made "fail-safe" by":
1. Use of non-flammable (or at least flame resistant) plastic. 2. Use of protective devices including a current fuse and over-temp fuse. 3. Positive anti-rotation key to allow installation without the possibility of the case turning internally and twisting the main power wires.

These bulbs are apparently not built to ANY standard of safety. Direct connection to mains voltage without any internal protection as well as use of flammable materials, is a recipe for disaster.

Jim Gibson of Pennsylvania.


I just experienced a shock. While working on my computer I heard a sizzle like water on a hot skillet. I looked up and thought the bulb was just burning out. Suddenly one of the Fieldbreeze bulbs blew up and scattered hot fragments all over. It burned a couple of little spots in the linoleum. It sounded just like a gun shot. My husband unscrewed the bulb and found that it had blown the curly glass things nearly free of the "insides" and were hanging by a thread but none of the glass was broken. BOY, you try to save a little money on electricity. 

Pat Johnson of Canada

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