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12-Volt CFLs

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Posted by vaughn on January 12, 2010, 8:40 pm

I have been using 12-volt CFLs for several years now.  I love their efficiency,
and I love that I can operate them directly from my little 12-volt PV system
without bothering with an inverter.  Their disadvantages include cost and
availability.  My experience is with only one product, the Feit BPESL13T/MAR12.
It is a "60 watt" bulb that takes about 1 amp at 12 volts.  The lamp screws into
a regular lamp socket.  Be careful to not get your spares mixed up with your
120-volt lamps!  I have seen lamps from other manufacturers offered at a few
alternate-energy retails sites, but always at a high price.  The Feit bulb seems
to be the only one that you can actually find hanging on a hook in a store,
(though only at specialty stores.)

You should be able to buy them "off the shelf" at any McLendon Hardware (about
$5) or West Marine (about $0).  The best deal I have found is at
homedepot.com.  (about $) but they only sell them by the case of 12.  (SKU
100653123) Try a google search on " BPESL13T/MAR12" to find other sources.

If a new bulb lasts the first 30 days, it is probably good for several years of
daily use.  I have had a few failures, but always on relatively new bulbs.  Feit
has an 800 number for warranty claims, and it actually works.  Have the bad bulb
and your sales receipt in your hand when you call.


Posted by news on January 13, 2010, 1:24 am

On Tue, 12 Jan 2010 15:40:09 -0500, "vaughn"





$4.45 each at amazon.com - buying 2 gets you above $5 so you get
free shipping.


Posted by harry on January 13, 2010, 3:30 pm


Why don't you ditch the CFLs and start with LED bulbs?  They are
available in 12v and are much cheaper.  100,000 hrs life allegedly.
You may need to change the lampholders.   They use less than 1/10 the
current of a CFL.

Posted by vaughn on January 13, 2010, 3:43 pm

If you can show me how to get 600 lumens for 1/10 of an amp, I would be very
interested!  I have looked at LED lamps, but have found nothing that approaches
the 600 non-directional lumens I get from the CFLs.  Link?


Posted by wmbjkREMOVE on January 13, 2010, 3:48 pm

On Wed, 13 Jan 2010 10:43:32 -0500, "vaughn"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unobtainium   :-)


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