Moderate Lifetime CFL Failure

Not all CFL bulbs fail after a year. This one seems to have lasted six years, only to burn out a few days after the other one:

Burned-out CFL bulb
Burned-out CFL bulb

I’m sure the date code just over the base means January 2006, not June 2001, simply because I used much larger bulbs a decade ago. Those have long since failed…

These bulbs all operate in nearly the worst possible condition: base-up inside a ceiling downlight can, although without a cover glass. It’s much cooler in there than with the equivalent incandescent bulb, but they still get pretty toasty. The housing discoloration and the brittle bosses around the tube glass looks a bit less saturated in real life, but this will give you an idea:

CFL bulb - heat damage
CFL bulb - heat damage

2 thoughts on “Moderate Lifetime CFL Failure

  1. I’ve actually be present when some of my CFLs failed. In two cases, after some unhappy crackling noises, there were visible flames inside the plastic housing where the electronics are. That rather worried me, I wouldn’t want that fire to spread! Now I’m trying to find out if there are any available with known fire resistance. Since these things are cranked out en masse in China and rebranded every which way, it may well be impossible.

    1. visible flames inside the plastic housing

      That seems to be an auto-immune-gone-wild version of “Kill it with fire!

      And I’d say repairing the things makes even less sense than I thought…

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