Using CFL bulbs with ceiling fans

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Jim Mcc, Mar 6, 2012.

  1. Jim Mcc

    Jim Mcc Producer

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    Do these work well in ceiling fans? Is the vibration a problem? Thanks
     
  2. Hugh Jackes

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    I don't know, but I wouldn't. The vibration wears out the filament on incandescents much more quickly than stationary lamps, but the bulbs are so cheap, who cares? CFLs are, IMO, too costly for this application. But, as I said, that's just my opinion, not actual concrete knowledge.
     
  3. Jason Charlton

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    I'll check the fans in my house tonight to be certain, but I'm pretty sure we went all CFL not too long ago (including the fans) and haven't had any problems with the bulbs.
     
  4. John Gido

    John Gido Second Unit

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    I've had CFLs in the ceiling fan in my bedroom for years. The fan runs all night, every night while we are sleeping and the bulbs seem to always work when we turn on the light.
     
  5. Todd Erwin

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    The only issues would be how exposed the bulbs are (a bare CFL can be quite glaring) and if you intend to use a dimmer. Most CFL's still cannot be used with a dimmer, and those that can are incredibly expensive.
     
  6. Jim Mcc

    Jim Mcc Producer

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    Thanks. We don't use dimmers on the ceiling fans anyway. John and Jason, do you ever use your fans on high? If so, that hasn't been a problem? CFL bulbs don't have a filament(to get damaged by vibration) like incandescent bulbs, do they?
     
  7. Jason Charlton

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    Hmm, well, I was mistaken. Two of our three ceiling fans have "exposed" bulbs - the decorative shaped ones - so we don't use CFLs there. The last fan does have a dome over the lights, but we must have missed those when we swapped bulbs.


    Sorry about that.


    You are correct, though, that CFL bulbs have no filament - the tubes are filled with gases that when "excited" by an electric current produce UV light which, in turn, stimulates a fluorescent coating (phosphor) on the inside of the spiral tube which is what produces the visible light (thank, you "science.howstuffworks.com"!).


    It took a little while to get used to the CFL bulbs. They're a lot better than they used to be, but there is still a period of "warmup" where the lights aren't quite at the level they will be after they're on for several seconds.


    We changed just about every bulb we could almost a year ago and have not had to replace a single CFL yet.
     
  8. John Gido

    John Gido Second Unit

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    Yes, Jim, the fan does run on high. And, like Jason says, they do take some getting use to. Especially the "warming up" period, which is a little longer in colder weather.
     
  9. Jim Mcc

    Jim Mcc Producer

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    I know about the slight warmup time. We use CFL's now, just not in ceiling fans.
     
  10. Stan

    Stan Producer
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    Our electric utility company recently shipped me about 15 CFL bulbs in a variety of sizes and wattages. They say they're free, but I'm quite sure they'll sneak it into my bill somehow. They're actually doing it throughout the city, I just happened to be in the right neighborhood and got the first batch. Easily would have run over $100 in a store. Anyhow, these are much better than any CFL I've owned before. No warm up period, just instant-on. Also create a very comfortable atmosphere. Rather than the harsh bluish-white of earlier bulbs, these are actually a nice pinkish-orange color, very comfortable on the eyes. Technology seems to improve and the consumer has a lot to say about it. Sorry, but I haven't tried them in my ceiling fan. Don't use the lights very often just the fan. In fact I have the same bulbs, kind of fancy chandelier bulbs that I first put in when I bought the house, and that's over 15 years now. They way it's designed I can't imagine CFLs in it, they aren't very attractive, at least not yet. I love CFLs. I've got a couple places where I leave them on constantly and they literally can go 2-3 years before they burn out.
     

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