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Ask the Experts

10 September 2008

What is the best brand of light bulbs to buy and where do you get them? For all types of fixtures.

Learn more about the best kinds of compact fluorescent light bulbs to buy at our website!

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Lyn permalink
    15 February 2009 12:59 pm

    I have used these new bulbs since they first came out and I can’t get them to last longer than a year! They burn out almost as fast as the ordinary type. None of these bulbs are on any longer than about 3 hours per day. Now 3 years later I have spent more on bulbs (due to the cost of them) than I have save on electricity. What’s the answer as I am seriously considering going back to the old stye bulbs just to save money.

  2. 16 February 2009 8:45 am

    I’m sorry to hear that you have been having problems with the compact fluorescents. Here are a few common causes of quick burnouts:

    – Using non-dimmable CFLs on a dimmer switch. This will significantly shorten the life of your bulbs. They do make dimmable CFLs, but they dim in stages rather than gradually, so you might think about incandescents for dimmer switches.

    – Using CFLs with timers or motion sensors. This can cause the electronic ballast in the CFLs to work overtime, thus shortening the life of the bulb.

    – Using non-EnergyStar-rated bulbs. You should always buy bulbs with the blue EnergyStar logo on the package. You may be able to find cheaper bulbs, but if they aren’t EnergyStar, there’s no guarantee that they will operate like they should. I’ve never had any problems with Sylvania bulbs; Home Depot’s nVision brand is also pretty good.

    – Using CFLs in non-recommended positions. Some CFLs have difficulties functioning when installed on their side (horizontally) rather than vertically. The box for the bulbs should have recommended use on it; if not, check with your local hardware store.

    If none of the above apply to you, let me know – it may be your electrical system rather than the CFLs. If so, there are some other actions you can take that will help reduce your electricity use, but CFLs remain a quick and easy way (if they work)! For more information about CFLs, check out our Frequently Asked Questions post on the blog:

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