Martin Rowe- July 25, 2012Last year, I bought new lighting for a home renovation. That, of course, included a new four-bulb fixture for the master bath. Now here’s a place you want good light. Wanting to cut energy use this year, I replaced the four 60-W incandescent bulbs with 23-W CFL bulbs.
Little did I know when I bought the 23-W CFLs (100-W equivalent), that they’re too big. Their length exceeded the length of the glass surrounding them. If you opened the mirror door, it could crash into the bulb. That's not exacly desirable, especially with mercury in the bulb. The bulbs immediately came out and went to the basement.
I installed four 18-W bulbs. The fit, but little did I know at the time that CFL bulbs come in several color temperatures. Unknowingly, I picked bulbs with a 6300K color temperature. That’s really white. My family complained that the room looked blue. So, I replaced them with low-profile 23-W bulbs with a 3100 color temperature. They fit nicely inside the glass. The harsh blue-white light was gone.
The next day, one of the bulbs failed to light, but then it would light once in a while. I returned the bulb to the store and received a replacement, which also failed after one day. I moved the bulb to another socket. It again worked a few times and failed. Then, one of the other bulbs that had been working really failed: it sizzled before failing in a puff of smoke. I assume the electronics inside the base failed. If not for the mercury, I’d try to crack open the base and look inside.
Three of five bulbs failed, and these were from a well-known bulb manufacturer. The two remaining failed bulbs are headed for the local hazardous-waste recycling center. The hunt for the perfect bulb goes on.