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CFL light bulb catches fire.

Started by Data, February 17, 2011, 11:21:51 AM

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I was e-mailed this by Duskrider and thought it important enough to post, It also rang alarm bells as a friend of mine said almost exactly the same thing on the phone the day before but I don't think it was the same make of bulb. 

    Below  is a picture of a CFL light bulb from my  bathroom.  I turned it on the other day and  then smelled smoke after a few minutes.   Four inch flames were spewing out of the side of  the ballast like a blow torch!  I  immediately turned off the lights.  But I'm  sure it would have caused a fire if I was not  right there.  Imagine if the kids had left  the lights on as usual when they were not in the  room.
I took the bulb to the Fire Department  to report the incident.  The Fireman wasn't  at all surprised and said that it was not an  uncommon occurrence.   Apparently,  sometimes when the bulb burns out there is a  chance that the ballast can start a fire.   He told me that the Fire Marshall had issued  reports about the dangers of these bulbs. 

Upon doing some Internet research, it  seems that bulbs made by "Globe" in China seem  to have the lion's share of problems.  Lots  of fires have been blamed on misuse of CFL  bulbs, like using them in recessed lighting, pot  lights, dimmers or in track lighting.  Mine  was installed in a normal light socket. 

I bought these at Wal-Mart.  I will  be removing all the Globe bulbs from my house.  CFL bulbs are a great energy saver but make sure  you buy a name brand like Sylvania , Phillips or  GE and not the ones from China . 

Just to add a little, LED bulbs are on their way, they take less power than CFL and I wouldn't mind better they will eventually replace them.


Bizzare, I have been using these types of bulb for five years or so now.  Mine were made by Phillips though.

You are right about LED lighting.  You can already get LED aquarium lighting but it costs and arm and a leg....and a fin....erm...


I've seen a few CFLs burnt out but none as bad as your one Duskrider. The main problem I have with them is you can't dim them. And if you do put them on a dimmer at full brightness it kills the dimmer after about 6 months. I modified mine to be a switch now  for the CFLs and an old style bulb to dim in the middle of the room. Am I the only person who likes mood lighting when watching TV?
Also, if you have active 3D TV you have to turn off your CFLs 'cos the flash really annoyingly with the active glasses on.

LEDs are the way to go. Downlight spots are about £20-35 each and you need the expensive ones if you want to dim them. Not seen aquatic ones but love the arm and a fin comment ;D.

Found this site with IP65 (splash proof) fittings...
"I cannot remember the books I've read any more than the meals I have eaten; even so, they have made me."

Ralph Waldo Emerson