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Early failure rates of Luminus CFL 145457

After reading the article on Compact Fluorescents (CFLs), I would like to add my own experience with Luminus 14 watt mini spirals (item #145457). About 2 years ago, I replaced most of the incandescent bulbs in my house, and on my property, with Compact Fluorescent ones. Of the many brands and styles of CFL's that I am using, only the Luminus 14 watt mini spirals have failed, and suffered early failure at that. So far 4 out of 5 Luminus 14 watt mini spirals have suffered a similar type of early failure which appears to be ballast related (I'll expand on this later). All of the Luminus lamps were installed in weather protected outdoor fixtures, in the base up position, and 3 were controlled by a mechanical timer so I have a very accurate idea of hours of use. The total hours of operation for the failed lamps were as low as 1000 hours, to 5000 hours for the longest, far below the 9000 hr rating. Manufacturers state that fluorescent lamp life is extended if they are run for more than 3 hrs per start. All of the above lamps were operated no less than 8 hrs per start, so I would expect full rated life, or at least close to it. Although I did not witness the actual moment of failure on the above lamps, the end results were all very similar. The inside lens of the fixture became clouded over with a gray, smoky residue, and there was the distinct smell of burned electronics emitted when I opened the fixture. While one lamp showed some tube darkening, the other tubes still look new, displaying no end blackening whatsoever, which strongly suggests electronic ballast failure, and not actual tube burn out. I have contacted the manufacturer, Conglom, and they said to send the failed units back for replacement, along with a completed bulb failure survey. I have done so, and am now awaiting my new replacements from them. I still have one Luminus 14 watt lamp in active service, with about 6000 hrs on it. It is also in an enclosed outdoor fixture, but is in a base down position. So far it would appear that the ballast are more likely to overheat and burn out on these Luminus lamps in the base up position. The fact that the tubes continue to spiral right on into the ballast housing, with no air space (unlike most others), probably doesn't help the ballast heat situation.

So far I have been happy with most of the 30 or so CFL's I have in and around my house. The major brands like GE, Philips, and Sylvania seem to be performing as advertised, and besides the Luminus bulbs, I haven't had to replace a bulb in a few years now.

Dave Palanycia 11 Euston St. Winnipeg, Manitoba R2G 1R5

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