MaxLite Candelabra CFL: FAIL

The bathroom ceiling fixture has a nightlight position that we use occasionally, but eventually the little 7 W Christmas Tree bulb failed and I installed this hulk from a box of CFL bulbs a friend scrapped out after switching to LED bulbs:

MaxLite CFL - overview
MaxLite CFL – overview

I never tested whether it actually drew 3 W, but, hey I could feel good. Right? Right?

Anyhow, this one failed after a few years, too. The “bulb” envelope looked like it might make an attractive blinkie or glowie, so I decided to harvest it.

The candelabra screw base felt loose and popped off with a push:

MaxLite CFL - overflow cap
MaxLite CFL – overflow cap

Perhaps they chose the envelope before finalizing the circuitry?

This is why you need a lathe in your shop:

MaxLite CFL - lathe cutting
MaxLite CFL – lathe cutting

It wasn’t particularly well centered, so that was done dead slow and finished with a few hand turns of the chuck. Obviously, I need a crank for the spindle.

The rest of the circuitry is pretty well packed under that tall cap:

MaxLite CFL - circuitry
MaxLite CFL – circuitry

Pulling the PCB out revealed the tube wiring:

MaxLite CFL - tube wires
MaxLite CFL – tube wires

Cut the wires and chuck it up again:

MaxLite CFL - envelope turning setup
MaxLite CFL – envelope turning setup

Turn dead slow again until it breaks through:

MaxLite CFL - envelope breakthrough
MaxLite CFL – envelope breakthrough

Then finish by hand:

MaxLite CFL - tube and envelope
MaxLite CFL – tube and envelope

It’s too cute to throw out, but … sheesh you can see why recycling this stuff is so difficult.

For whatever it’s worth, I replaced it with a 3 W LED candelabra bulb that is way too bright.

4 thoughts on “MaxLite Candelabra CFL: FAIL

  1. We use a few-decades old luminescent panel for a night light in the bedroom. It’s faded seriously, but the main use is to assist in navigation in the wee hours.

    I keep a stash of 3W and 7W incandescent bulbs for the night light that overrides the minimum 50F thermostat/sensor for the shop/barn heater. It’s mounted in such a way to give 38F for winter.

    Another incandescent bulb takes care of a warming box for glue and varnish. I can do woodworking without the glacial wait for the glue to flow.

    1. I love the spindle hand-crank for threading. Makes for lower amounts of nervousness since I don’t thread that often.

      Mine uses a piece of pipe turned to the suitable diameter, cut for expansion. A round wedge is threaded onto some all-thread and locked in place. The other end goes to the crank-throw arm, so the nut tightens both ends. If the spindle ID were larger (3/4″), I’d do a more robust way of tying the pipe to the arm. This version has a long slot to vary the throw–never needed the flexibility, so any MK II crank would skip the slot.

      By some oversight of Murphy, the same crank works on both my Enco 9 x 20 lathe and the 12″ Atlas.

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