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Is this really normal?

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Posted by Barry on November 30, 2006, 11:31 pm

I have replaced all the bulbs in my basement with Sylvania CF spirals.  I
was down there tonight when one suddenly dimmed.  Then it flickered a little
at the base and suddenly it is smoking.  I quickly took it out.  It is
melted thru where the spiral meets the plastic.  A quick search of sylvanias
site found nothing.  A quick google found a site explaining how this is
normal as the bulbs burn out.  It said it is not dangerous.  Of course
anytime I see something hot enough to smoke in my house and melt plastic, I
get nervous.  Is this really OK and safe.



Posted by Damon Hill on December 1, 2006, 12:09 am

I've never seen a CF fail on its own like that.  The glass
spiral may be cracked or broken, or the little inverter power
supply in the base may have failed.

Do you have the URL for the site claiming this is "normal"?


Posted by Barry on December 1, 2006, 12:23 am

I looked it up again



Posted by Damon Hill on December 1, 2006, 1:23 am

Well, that's interesting.  It roughly confirms my observation that
CF lamps don't last as long in an enclosed housing with little or
no ventilation--although I'm using several that way throughout my
house.  I find them to be slightly more reliable than incandescents.

So far as I can tell, CF lamps aren't a fire hazard any more than
any other electrical appliance.  The sole occasion I saw one in a
hazardous condition was the biggest CF I'd ever found, which my
cat knocked down and broke while it was on.  The inverter did
generate a bit of smoke and noise, until I turned off the power.
So much for a $0 lamp...


Posted by CM on December 6, 2006, 6:42 am

No, it is not normal to melt the plastic. Definately overheating.

I had one fail that was in an enclosed globe - definately caused by trapped
heat, but it didn't melt or smoke.

Had two get broken - my fault, couldn't blame the cat!

Other than that, have had very good results with them.


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