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Old 07-11-2008, 07:06 PM
stoneunhenged stoneunhenged is offline
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Default Shelf life of light bulbs



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So, Congress banned 100 watt incandescent light bulbs beginning in 2012.

Say you wanted to store some for your own use or sell them on eBay once they are no longer commercially available.

Do you think there is a shelf life to incandescent bulbs? Or, put another way, how long could you store them before you see a deterioration in bulb performance?
Old 07-11-2008, 07:15 PM
Broomhandle Broomhandle is offline
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I can't imagine why you'd want to. Fragile, higher failure rate, triple the power cost...but, please yourself.
Old 07-11-2008, 07:27 PM
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Thanks. While your response did nothing to answer my question, we did get to hear your invaluable opinion. And for that I'll always be grateful.
Old 07-11-2008, 07:41 PM
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i figure theres no disernable shelf life, but it is a good thing there not filled with murcury vapor. that offsets the triple the power thing i figure, and also fragile well both are fragile or did i miss some thing as there both made outta glass mostly. and failure rate really depends on movement with the incandecents but they still fail more than there mucury filled replacements
Old 07-11-2008, 07:56 PM
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There should not be a shelf-life issue with the bulbs. They deteriorate in life due to the number of times they are turned on. The initial arc is the factor and is what burns them out.
A bulb turned on once will have a greater "hr" life than one turned off and on but will still burn out. Most bulbs will burn out when you turn it on .. the initial arc destroying the used filament.
Old 07-11-2008, 08:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Broomhandle View Post
I can't imagine why you'd want to. Fragile, higher failure rate, triple the power cost...but, please yourself.
How about incandescents are made in America and all the bulbs they want us to use are made in China and if China decides to not sell them we are in the dark, literally.
Old 07-11-2008, 08:07 PM
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Failure of the bulbs will result from corrosion. Make sure to treat the bases with something to prevent the corrosion (particularly of the solder) from compromising the bulb. Any sort of grease should be fine.

The mercury vapor in a CFL bulb is nothing to be concerned with. While there is no reason to sit around breaking them to prove the point, the amount of mercury in the bulbs is so low that you are not at risk from the exposure to the broken bulb.

I would have to agree that there will be little practical value in a 100W incandescent bulb, with the exception of the heat source it creates. I don't think this is a repeat of the freon appreciation from the 80's (? that long ago ?).

Any survivalist is much better of with the CFL bulbs - the lower power consumption opens up all sorts of off-grid options for us - but they won't heat your chicken coop or keep a pipe from freezing!
Old 07-11-2008, 08:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Straight Razor View Post
How about incandescents are made in America and all the bulbs they want us to use are made in China and if China decides to not sell them we are in the dark, literally.
Since they last 10x as long as an incandescent I bet we'll have time to start making them ourselves if it comes to that.
Old 07-11-2008, 09:04 PM
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Don't ever break a CFL, or if you do, don't tell anybody, especially not the gubmint.

http://ellsworthmaine.com/site/index...7446&Itemid=31

$2000 for a broken bulb?

Forewarned is forearmed.
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Old 07-11-2008, 09:07 PM
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I will be very likely to store incandescent light bulbs because:
1. Being mechanically much simpler, the incandescent light bulbs should store much better, with an almost indefinite shelf life.
2. I have used decades old incandescent light bulbs that worked with no apparent deterioration.
3. I have found the mercury filled replacements to be fragile with a higher failure rate and relatively short bulb performance life (just a fraction of their alleged performance life). I have had 2 short outs that spumed mercury contaminated vapors over my dining room.
4. Clean up and proper disposal of the mercury bulbs is a hassle, especially out in the country while incandescent bulbs are no problem.
5. I can use dimmers with incandescent light bulbs so they are likely less susceptible to brown outs and irregular voltages which maybe in our future.
My wife refuses to buy any more nasty mercury bulbs (at least while she has a choice).
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Old 07-11-2008, 10:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 230gr View Post
I will be very likely to store incandescent light bulbs because:
1. Being mechanically much simpler, the incandescent light bulbs should store much better, with an almost indefinite shelf life.
2. I have used decades old incandescent light bulbs that worked with no apparent deterioration.
3. I have found the mercury filled replacements to be fragile with a higher failure rate and relatively short bulb performance life (just a fraction of their alleged performance life). I have had 2 short outs that spumed mercury contaminated vapors over my dining room.
4. Clean up and proper disposal of the mercury bulbs is a hassle, especially out in the country while incandescent bulbs are no problem.
5. I can use dimmers with incandescent light bulbs so they are likely less susceptible to brown outs and irregular voltages which maybe in our future.
My wife refuses to buy any more nasty mercury bulbs (at least while she has a choice).
6. They are cheaper than dirt! I am thinking of buying a hundred or so of them, of various wattage, that should give me a lifetime supply of replacement bulbs for my house.
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Old 07-12-2008, 03:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BudgetSurvivalist View Post
Don't ever break a CFL, or if you do, don't tell anybody, especially not the gubmint.

http://ellsworthmaine.com/site/index...7446&Itemid=31

$2000 for a broken bulb?

Forewarned is forearmed.
This woman is an idiot. She isn't paying $2000.00 for a broken bulb, she's paying $2000.00 for her ignorance. There is absolutely no reason to do what she is doing - I would love to have the opportunity to sell her real estate on the moon. The people that worry about the mercury levels in CFL bulbs are the same folks for whom McDonalds is placing "Hot Liquid" warnings on coffee cups.

If they get educated about the actual dangers of mercury in the levels being referenced people will likely be able to set aside any fears about using these bulbs. On top of that, these bulbs are perfect for those of us who want to be able to generate light with less consumption of resources. The incandescent is nearing the end of its life and making way for CLF and LED technology. This is NOT a bad thing!
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Old 07-12-2008, 03:18 PM
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well i've heard a diff story on these mecury levels and there dangers now i'll admit that i don't know all there is to know about cfl's and there mercury content but what i do know is mercury is very bad for you and even worse in an inhaled vapor form "oops droped a bulb and while i picked up was breathing in the proccess"

and the mcdonalds comparison is no where near on the same level to cfl light bulbs
yes i agree about incandesnts be'n on there way out

matter of fact i'd say that half the people on this board don't know theres murcury in the cfl bulbs not because there stupid and need a sign its just something that is commonly not know unlike a hot coffee in a mcdonalds cup where everyone should know that coffee most likely will be hot when freshly served.
Old 07-12-2008, 03:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hawk View Post
The incandescent is nearing the end of its life and making way for CLF and LED technology. This is NOT a bad thing!
The bad thing is the gubmint mandating that we stop using incandescents based on the BS that is global warming. If CFLs are so great, then the market should dictate that they will replace incandescents, not a nanny state.
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Old 07-12-2008, 03:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BudgetSurvivalist View Post
The bad thing is the gubmint mandating that we stop using incandescents based on the BS that is global warming. If CFLs are so great, then the market should dictate that they will replace incandescents, not a nanny state.
Ok - fair enough... but if you hold that opinion I certainly hope that you NEVER complain that the government is responsible for finding ways to lower the gas prices. Demand for energy drives fuel costs. Incandescent bulbs take 4x the power that CFL bulbs do. There is a direct correlation between the use of standard bulbs and the cost of fuel. Drill new wells, explore alternative fuels, and / or use less energy - they are all part of the solution. This is one way that the government is taking a proactive long term approach to reducing our energy dependance. Good for them - just my opinion. YMMV.
Old 07-12-2008, 04:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hawk View Post
Ok - fair enough... but if you hold that opinion I certainly hope that you NEVER complain that the government is responsible for finding ways to lower the gas prices.
No, only the ignorant believe GWB or any other Pol has a sooper sekrit "Lower Fuel Prices" button next to their desk.
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Demand for energy drives fuel costs.
Among MANY other market forces.
Quote:
Incandescent bulbs take 4x the power that CFL bulbs do.
Irrelevant to my position.
Quote:
There is a direct correlation between the use of standard bulbs and the cost of fuel.
Correlation, but not causation. Cum hoc ergo propter hoc is not a truism.
Quote:
Drill new wells, explore alternative fuels, and / or use less energy - they are all part of the solution. This is one way that the government is taking a proactive long term approach to reducing our energy dependance. Good for them - just my opinion. YMMV.
Without so much government interference, new wells would have been drilled years ago. If alternative energy sources were viable yet, the market would have exerted itself and we would all be driving solar powered cars.

Government is not the solution to the problem; Government is the problem. -- Ronald Wilson Reagan
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Old 07-12-2008, 06:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Straight Razor View Post
How about incandescents are made in America and all the bulbs they want us to use are made in China and if China decides to not sell them we are in the dark, literally.
Maybe someone in America should start making them.
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Old 07-13-2008, 02:03 PM
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Just wanted to clear up a few things I've ready in this thread. I used to work at a fluorescent lighting factory in the United States. So no, not all fluorescent lights are made overseas. There really isn't a lot of mercury in them either. Trust me, I've been around production lines where they are made and have been there when hundreds have broken at one time. We used to get tested every 6 months for mercury exposure and I've never had a problem.

Second, as far as I know, there is no shelf life of a light bulb. The amount of time it lasts once you use it depends on the type. How long a fluorescent light lasts is highly dependant on how many times you turn it off and on. If you leave it on continuously it will last much longer than switching it off/on on a regular basis(although you will waste more electricity). On the other hand, the life an incandescent light depends a lot on how long you keep it on. The number of on/off cycles is pretty irrelevant to them.
Old 07-13-2008, 02:23 PM
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Good news on the mercury exposure.

Can you take your own temperature without a thermometer?
Old 07-13-2008, 02:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hawk View Post
Failure of the bulbs will result from corrosion. Make sure to treat the bases with something to prevent the corrosion (particularly of the solder) from compromising the bulb. Any sort of grease should be fine.

The mercury vapor in a CFL bulb is nothing to be concerned with. While there is no reason to sit around breaking them to prove the point, the amount of mercury in the bulbs is so low that you are not at risk from the exposure to the broken bulb.

I would have to agree that there will be little practical value in a 100W incandescent bulb, with the exception of the heat source it creates. I don't think this is a repeat of the freon appreciation from the 80's (? that long ago ?).

Any survivalist is much better of with the CFL bulbs - the lower power consumption opens up all sorts of off-grid options for us - but they won't heat your chicken coop or keep a pipe from freezing!

He has got it right here. Incandescent doesnt last as long and uses more power but it also generates pretty good heat. Remember the easy bake oven? GE makes a florescent bulb that is American Made.


-Cade
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