[***Updated*** by Bold and Italicized text.]

DANGER — Arcing and burning Compact Fluorescent Light (CFL) bulbs are hazardous to your health and home. My experience.

A year or so we bought a multi pack of 20 amp CFL (Compact Fluorescent Light) bulbs (made in China, distributed by a company N:Vision and sold by Home Depot). This was before the Geeenies began demanding them — or before the US Government mandated their future use.

[After several letters to N:Vision, I discovered the CFL BULB is manufactured by GE, NOT N:Vision. All references to N:LVisiuon are in error. I apologize. However the story is still true.]

We found that CFLs do not last as long as regular incandescent bulbs.. so we decided we would use up the remaining two and never buy any more — unless forced by our benevolent government.

A couple of weeks ago we were working in the office where a CFL bulb blacked out. I had no reason to replace it immediately so I continued working on the computer.

Soon there was an acrid odor in the room. I looked at the lamp which held the CFL bulb and there was a plume of smoke beginning to fill the area., I looked at the bulb and it was brightly arcing, burning and smoking right at the place where the glass tube meets the base. As soon as I could get to it, I switched the lamp off,  however not before the room and part of the house was filled with the awful odor of something burning and arcing electricity.

I took a picture of the burned CFL bulb and emailed it the distributing company N:Vision, with a description of the problem, (N:Vision is not the distributor/manufacturer – It is a GE manufactured Bulb]

They apologized for the problem but without any explanation of why or what to do, except I should seek medical attention if I felt ill. Also they could find no information about whether or not the smoke we breathed is toxic.

Just think what could have happened had the CFL bulb been in a room unattended or in a ceiling fixture. Would the whole house have filled with toxic fumes? Were the “well advertised” CFL mercury fumes borne about on the rising smoke? Would the burning bulb ignite other stuff in the room? Would it have exploded?

Folks be VERY careful when using the CFL bulbs. Or better yet, DON’T use them at all.


Does anyone know to whom this can be reported — someone who will take some action, advertise or warn of  the problem?

Please write a comment with explanation if you know of someone.

Click here — Find out how to be absolutely sure of Heaven.

149 responses to “CFL BULB BURNS, ARCS & SMOKES ***UPDATE***

  1. Hi Jack,
    That is some story. I was just thinking how pleased I am that the CFL lights I purchased from Home Depot three years ago have NEVER burned out or needed replaced in our ceiling fan light (five of them). I used to have to replace those bulbs every month or two and we’ve now gone almost three years. Your story sounds frightening enough to make me reconsider. Having experienced some fires, I know how difficult it is to get rid of the odor of smoke.

  2. Thanks Gene,

    Please remember, this was my personal experience.

    A good friend who is the County Facilities Manager for a large county in Florida says they have thousands in use all ovcr the county — with no trouble,

    It had to happen to me!!

    In Christ eternally,


  3. Uh oh! I’ve got one of these in my basement. We often leave that light on — unattended. I’ll have to remove it now.

    We didn’t buy the bulb. Some greenie gave it to us.

  4. AOW,

    Didn’t yo Momma tell you “:Never take gifts from strangers — Especially from Greenies?”

    AOW this is my experience — I can’t speak for everyone but I will not buy any more — nor will I accept any from Greenies.,

    In Christ eternally,


  5. jack – i had our son remove at least 12 of them from this house right after we moved in – we put them in old socks and into a plastic bin and there they sit on a shelf in the garage – i don’t really know if our recycler knows what to do with them IF we do bring them in!

    as for me, i’ll stick with what works and has worked for well over many decades! same goes for aspirin and real sugar!

  6. Nanc,

    It bothers me that what should be fair, Free Enterprise competition of ideas and innovation has turned into a socialist forced scheme… perpetrated by the wierdo greenie left.

    Thanks, Al Bore and our beloved leaders in Washington!

    In Christ eternally,


  7. Jack, I have used CFL’s for quite some time with exceptionally good service. Two thing CFL’s don’t like are LOW VOLTAGE and high voltage spikes. Sadly, a lot of people in older homes may not realize that their electrical service may no longer be adequate or up to code. People have a tendency to purchase power hungry portable appliances and gadgets without upgrading electrical circuits. Its a good practice to have a qualified electrician come out every two or three years and have their service panel checked over. Just some advice from an old retired electrician. God Bless, Herm

  8. Goodness, Jack, it was a very good thing that you were in the room!
    I did have 1 CFL bulb, in a lamp above my computer, it lasted a long time, but I really don’t care to have to deal with a possible mercury contamination…so it was the last one I bought.
    And I hate having a nanny state telling me what I can or cannot do, have or buy!


  9. “It bothers me that what should be fair, Free Enterprise competition of ideas and innovation has turned into a socialist forced scheme…”

    Were you forced to buy the bulb. Is anyone? It says a lot that you blame “socialist force” in spite of the fact that none exists. In fact, your story would make a good case for how the free market should be regulated more strenuously.

  10. Wil,

    No I was not forced to buy the bulb. We bought them before the “Must Buy” mandate was announced. The idea of a CFL is OK but limited in use.

    I am asking for less regulation and let the Free Market eliminate by choice, the dangerous products like CFLs.
    See the WorldNetDaily report:
    “WASHINGTON – Despite a congressional mandate banning the sale of common incandescent light bulbs by 2012, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is warning that their compact fluorescent replacements are not safe to use everywhere.”

    In Christ eternally,


  11. I’ve never heard of anyone having a bad experience, until this story. But CFL’s are made by people, and everyone makes mistakes. I’m sure someone somewhere bought a faulty Maytag, and every now and then they sell a Snapper lawn mower that doesn’t start. I can’t see that they are “dangerous.” I’ve had convential lightbulbs actually explode just from being turned on.

    Hey, we’re about to travel so Merry Christmas Jack!

  12. Clark,

    Merry Christmas to you yours. Have a safe trip.

    Yes, man makes macines and machines make bulbs — but I fear governmental mandates for a product that should be proven in the market as superior in every way to incandescent bulbs. So far that hasn’t happened.

    Until then, I’ll buy Incandescent.

    Thanks for your comment.

    In Christ eternally,


  13. Just a note to everyone who’s worried about the mercury in cfl’s. A cfl contains approx. 4.5 mg of mercury. The extra electricity used by an incandescent light releases approx. 4.2 mg of mercury into the atmosphere from the generating plant. With proper care and handling, the small amount of mercury inside a cfl should not deter you from using them.

  14. Ron,

    Thanks.. good information but really proves that the incandescent does less “damage.”

    Just one less freedom has been mandated away from Americans.

    What do we do when we want to use bulbs in sunlight detector security lights, dimmer switches, etc?

    The main point is still government coercion — which should not happen in a free Republic. But I guess we must get used to that — it will only get worse.

    In Christ thankfully and eternally,


  15. Jack

    We had the same experience yesterday – did you seek medical attention? We are not sure what to do. We left the house when it happened and let the smell dissipate. What about residue on clothing etc.

  16. Srrabago

    Several folks who should know advised us that any mercury release would be minimal if at all.

    GE made very little comment except it was “safe” and they sent a coupon for $10.00.

    Maybe more folks should complain to GE and to Congress for the proposal to force them on us.
    Contact them:

    Just pray y’all are safe.

    In Christ eternally,


  17. We just had the same thing happen to us today. Our laundry room light which is a ceiling light had a N:Vision CFL bulb in it. I started to smell something burning, like a plastic smell and searched all over the house. Well the light switch for the light in the laundry room was in the off position but the light was glowing and the smell was very strong in that room. I turned on the switch and the light got brighter, when I turned off the switch the light went out and within 30 seconds it started glowing again and then I could see the smoke. I immediately turned off the main breaker for the entire house. I dismantled the light fixture and found the bulb to be melted at the base where the plastic meets the glass bulb itself. Not knowing what had happened and fearing it was an electrical problem I had our electrician come immediately, he checked things out for a couple of hours and could not understand what had happened, how a light in an off position could be glowing. After a thorough check of all wiring and panel he put in a regular bulb and everything is fine. I decided to search the net to see if anyone else had experienced this and found your site. Now I am even more concerned as I handled it, breathed in the fumes for hours as it lingered in the air and did not know how bad these things were until finding your site. Had I not been home at the time this happened I am sure we would have had our house burn down. This is extremely frightening stuff. I will be reporting this once I find out who to report it to.

  18. parakeet owners

    We just had a new N:Vision small dimmable cfl bulb melt – on the lamp and it dripped a blob of ?? on the table – with a horrible smell. Home Depot, where I bought it, offered another bulb – not exactly what I’m looking for. They were not interested in looking into it – or replacing my lamp.
    If some one were not home – not sure what would have happened. We had to open windows despite the cold and eventually, the smell was gone. I’m glad to say my parakeets are still alive.

    I am trying to make a complaint to some official complaint taker or consumer protection place.

  19. I herd that they are bed for health and cane cause canser

  20. Pingback: Scary Bulbs.. The Beginning « Scary Lightbulbs

  21. jack weaver and his ministry is the reason i trusted christ as my personal savior, his clear simple gospel message finally got thru and i’m thankful he never gave up until it did, i’m the friend that has thousands of these bulbs in use, never had one do what happened to jack, to put the amount of mercury into perspective, the old thermometers my mother used to stick where i didn’t want it contained about 500 grams of mercury while the cfl’s contain 4-5 milli grams, the good news is that while incandescents will not be produced much longer LED’s are a more promising replacement for them than cfl’s , i’ve been testing them, when they get to 120 lumens per watt instead of the 60 they are now they will be worth the cost, andy

  22. ran out or space so heres more, my concern for jacks situation is of fire, smoke detectors are worth every dime and should be checked often, when i do get to miami jack i will check your voltage but i do not think that was or is the cause.andy

  23. in my 1st response it should read 500 milligrams not 500 grams, andy

  24. Thanks Andy, see you soon//.

    In Jesus Christ eternally,


  25. Andy,

    When LEDs get as cheap as incandescent, will the brightness be adjustable with resistance similar to incandescent?

    Or will they work as a day/night light sensitive to the sunlight to turn off?

    Just curious.

    In Jesus Christ eternally,


  26. A few days ago I bought a new computer, and I started to smell a strange smell.
    I put it down to the computer ” burning in ”

    About 20 minutes ago, I heard a funny crackling noise, one of the curly bulbs in the ceiling light had flames coming out of the side of the base, black smoke and soot was spreading over ceiling.

    I turned the light out, flames stopped.

    There is a 5/8 inch diam. hole burnt in the side of the base and I can see what looks like a charred resister.

    The bulb is marked —-


    FCC ID: N6AFJEE0109

  27. Thanks Trev,

    Sorry you had to be one more victim… who knows how many who have not reported the problem.

    In Jesus Chrsist eternally,


  28. UPDATE

    Recall of Spiral Lightbulbs

    From the Quinte West Fire Prevention Office and the Ontario Fire Marshal

    The public is being advised to check any spiral type lightbulbs in your home as they may potentially pose a fire hazard. Specifically, these bulbs are identified as GLOBE MINI – SPIRAL 13W self ballested lamps produced between January 2002 and April 2003. These compact spiral fluorescent 13 watt bulbs are being sold throughout Canada and the USA. More specific information is available through the websites of the Ontario Fire Marshal ( and Underwriters Laboratories of Canada ( Although the information advises that the problem is with bulbs manufactured up to April 2003, on approximately February 6, 2005 a Quinte West fire fighter experienced a smoking bulb manufactured by Globe in June 2003. He quickly removed all of this type of bulb from his home.

    Update March 2007

    The Electrical Safety Authority (ESA) is receiving increasing reports from concerned consumers regarding the end-of-life failure of Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs). The end-of-life failure for CFLs may vary depending on the manufacturer of the CFL, and on the type and location of the lighting fixture being used. When CFLs fail they may emit smoke, an odour, or a popping sound; and the plastic base may become discoloured, charred or deformed. Certification agencies have advised that this failure does not present a shock or fire hazard for approved products.

    This picture is representative of CFL failures reported to ESA.

    ESA is concerned that it can be difficult for consumers to distinguish between what is normal and what may be a precursor to fire or some other hazardous condition. As a safety precaution, ESA encourages consumers to replace CFLs at the first sign of failure or aging. The early warning signs to look for include:

    flickering, a bright orange or red glow, popping sounds, an odour, or browning of the ballast enclosure (base).

    ESA is also advising consumers that different CFLs are required for different applications and use. CFLs may lack information on the packaging, or provide conflicting information about safe product use.

    Consumers are encouraged to read the base of the lamp and to contact manufacturers for additional information if required. Unless otherwise specified, CFLs should not be used: in totally enclosed recessed fixtures; with dimmer switches; in touch lamps with photocells or with electronic timers; where exposed to weather; or where exposed to water.

    ESA is encouraging product manufacturers to review packaging information to support consumers in making safe product decisions. Activities are underway to update the existing Canadian safety standard for CFLs to address consumers’ end-of-life product issues.

    Contact: Electrical Safety Authority: Ted Olechna, Provincial Code Engineer, 905-712-5366.

  29. This appears to be an ongoing problem !!

    UL Warns of Potentially Hazardous Compact Fluorescent Lamps

    Northbrook, Ill. USA, August 11, 2009 – Underwriters Laboratories (UL) is notifying consumers and retailers that the compact fluorescent lamp (CFL), identified below, may pose a shock and fire hazard. This product does not comply with UL’s safety requirements and is not eligible to bear the UL Mark.

    Name of Product: Bright Effects Compact Fluorescent Lamp

    Units: Unknown quantity

    Manufacturer: Zhejiang Yankon Group Co, Ltd., Zhejiang, China

    Date of Manufacture: Units manufactured on and prior to July 2007

    Hazard: The lamp may overheat and melt the enclosure, exposing live parts and creating a shock and fire hazard

    Identification: On the Product:E137657Self-ballasted Lamp5K53 13W 120V 60Hz 190mACF13EL/MINISPIRAL Y728-1

    To view the product:

  30. Thanks Trev… Good information.

    And to think we will be forced by our government to buy nothing buyt CFLs soon.. What a tragedy. And we live in what used to be America, the Land of the Free!!

    In Jesus Christ eternally,


  31. Can’t beleve this!! Sunday evening we had company and a lady noticed smoke coming from a spiral bulb,Commercial Electric bulb. Model#C8PESL23TM. I called their 866-326-2852 customer service and got the answering machine. Today “Maryann called me from FEIT Electric (562-463-2852) and told me we were in no danger…either from smoke or fumes. Then! she proceeded to tell me this bulb was 8 years old and they didn’t manufature it anymore. Our house is 7 years old! Besides, there wasn’t enough mercury in it to be concered and just dispose in a plastic bag in dumpster! Who are these people trying to kid!? Is there a product liability attorney out there???
    Call me if you find one! We had folks with headaches, and fumes causing discomfort. We DID call the fire department. They told me I couldn’t just throw it away as usual. Call their management dept. Now I think I’ll go buy all the regular bulbs I can find!! This country has gone to the “IDIOTS”!!!!!

  32. Linda,

    Officially, there is no problem..

    Reality — THERE IS A PROBLEM.

    Thank Mr Obama and his Green-Lefties for this monstrosity…

    Don’t know of an atty who will touch it..

    In Jesus Christ eternally,


  33. A couple of weeks ago, I was in my room when the lights started flickering. They were flickering like they do when my dad uses his air compressor in the garage, but he was in the shower so I knew that wasn’t it. It didn’t occur to me to look up at the ceiling light fixture at the time (It was a 2-lightbulb fixture). After flickering for a few minutes, the light just got darker and stayed like that. A few minutes later I started smelling something akin to an electric burning smell (or like evaporated salt-water). I then immediately jumped up and turned off the light and left the room because I was afraid it was shorting out and going to cause a fire. About an hour later I ventured back into the room and risked turning on the light so I could look at it, and saw that “Oh, one of the bulbs just burned out. But what was that smell?” When I got my dad to change the bulb I looked at it and one of the places where the tube goes into the base was burned dark brown and had started to melt a tiny bit. I held it up to my nose to verify that yes, that was what I had smelled. Does anyone know about what percent of CFLs burn like this? Is there any documentation or anything? I have no idea what company made this bulb or where I bought it or how old it is.

    Here is all the info on it:
    130W 120V 60 Hz 175mA
    CF13EL/MINISPIRAL Y517-1 then an Hg inside a circle; Self-ballasted lamp 5K53, UL listed; It has a symbol of FCc with the second “c” inside the first one. Then the caution, then Transport and Distribution, Inc Made in China.

    How would I find out what company made it?

    Would the BBB take complaints? Or has anyone else figured out who to report this problem to?

  34. JenLR,

    Your experience is not isolated. but common.

    Usually there is a manufacturer name.. but yours seem to have none.

    The Government won’t help you because they are mandating that these bulbs MUST be exclusively used soon. (I forget the exact date) and — incandescent bulbs will not be sold. Sheer stupidity.

    Thanks for stopping by,

    In Christ,

  35. We just had a bulb do the same thing. The house stinks of the burning smell. The bulb we had was a Sylvania. I have these bulbs all thru my house and now I am starting to worry. I also have them in my horse barn so I am going to replace those ones in the morning.

  36. Marilyn

    If you still have the faulty bulb, could you please supply all the information written on the base of the bulb.

    eg. this is from one of my faulty bulbs—-

    Identification: On the Product:E137657Self-ballasted Lamp5K53 13W 120V 60Hz 190mACF13EL/MINISPIRAL Y728-1

    I have posted previously, that I had one bulb burst into flames, and replaced all the faulty ones, some of them with Sylvania !!!


    Information on bulb that went on fire is

    GLOBE mini spiral 13 w. 120V 60Hz 225 mA. BH342.

  38. Check out this link.

    My faulty bulb looks just like the one shown.

  39. More information, check the comments about different Brands of bulbs, near the end of the article.

  40. Marilyn and Trev,

    Thanks for your info.. seems we are a clearing house for dangerous CFL bulbs.

    The larger issue is that we are being forced to use these bulbs and our “benevolent” government is going to outlaw incandescent bulbs. That is tyranny!!

    Better stock up on incandescent bulbs while we can.

    Thanks for your information.

    In Jesus Christ eternally,


  41. hey jack, shirley, thanks for praying for debbie she is well, that dr. you recommended did retire. not sure if i mentioned this about cfl’s but they nor any fluorescent light can be placed on dimmer switches or those type of light switches that have multiple clicks for different light levels, both will cause cfl’s and any fluorescent light to overheat. all fluorescent s now use a switching power supply that will cause harmonics to build up in neutral conductors, even the old 4 ft tube fluorescent lights burned down many a building before they installed protection with in the ballast itself,just thought this might be good info for your readers of this thread about dimming swithches and cfl, praying for you all. andy

  42. Thanks Andy,

    Glad Debbie is better,,

    Our post on CFL’s are getting lots of readers and comments.. Your expertise is welcome and will be valuable for my readers.

    Just pray the idiots in Washington will wake up before the mandate date comes and we cannot buy incandescents.
    Praying for y’all,

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  43. Erin sent this note by email and said:

    Greetings, this exact scenario recently happened to two cfl’s in one of my two ceiling fixtures. The following explanation was found at :

    Q 8: When my CFL recently burned out, it smelled funny and smoked. Are these bulbs a fire hazard?
    A 8: For some CFLs made before 2005, this was due to the CFL overheating causing the epoxy glue that holds the glass tubes to the base to melt, smoke and turn black.
    Overheating is caused when the glass tubes are roughly handled (when screwed into a socket by holding the glass tubes for instance), the vacuum inside the tubes is lost and oxygen comes into contact with the tungsten filament at the base of the glass tube (the filament assists with bulb start).
    It is not the plastic base that is burning or melting, as it’s a high temperature lexon material that is UL approved as a material appropriate for high heat (although it will darken when exposed to high heat.)

    Now, I am trying to learn how to discern from the packaging what the manufacture date of the cfl is.

  44. I posted a note from Erin — for your information in case anyone can help.

    In Jesus Christ eternally,


  45. I just noticed this blog as this morning the same thing happened to me. I shut the light off, and smelled smoke. Turned the light back on and noticed the offending cfl bulb not working…took it out and noticed that horrible acrid smell. My internet search brought me to your site and comments. I thank you for them as they helped to alleviate some fears I had.
    Also in my search I found this site from a Canadian news item. It seemed to answer some of the questions regarding the burning and smoke from the burning out bulb.

  46. This just happened to me. I walked away from a room with a CFL lamp only to come back and find that the lamp was no longer producing light. After inspecting the bulb, I noticed the burn marks — and I did smell the foul burnt odor. After seeing those burn marks, I am beginning to wonder about potential fire hazards with some of the bulbs that do this.

  47. John,

    Many say ” no fire hazard.” But I hesitate to take the chance and trust the “experts.” I will not buy any more CFL bulbs as long as I can find filament bulbs.
    However our government has already set up to ban filament bulbs — not sure how that will work..

    In Jesus Christ eternally,

  48. This happened to me twice. I thought it was a fluke the first time, but now, no way. I was in the shower, and the bulb started smoking. I breathed a LOT of those fumes, and started retching. I’m scared. We wrote to Energy Star, and they said it wasn’t harmful, BUT I don’t think the body’s physical reaction would be so extreme if it were not dangerous. I am a big environmental activist, but I just cannot make people believe that these things are not the answer people said they would be.

  49. Thanks for dropping by, Tara.

    Get ready — your “friendly government” has deemed that you MUST buy them in the near future.
    Government should not be governing our light bulbs.

    In Jesus Christ eternally,

  50. Tom and Nancy

    [This comment was sent to my email account.. but I think it is important enough to enter here.]

    Dear Mr. Weaver; We had a 3-way Compact Fluorescent Bulb EXPLODE three months after installation. I turned the switch to our floor lamp (with the cfl) to the first position, nothing happened. Turned switch to the second position and again, light did not come on, but we heard a very audible clicking sound coming from the bulb. I Immediately turned the lamp switch to the off position. Tried to turn it on several more times with the same result. I thought it might be dangerous, so I decided to leave it alone. I then got up from our love seat that was right next to the floor lamp and was about 6 feet away when I heard a loud pop. I turned around to see vapor coming from the top our lamp and glass flying in all directions. My wife, who was on the other side of the love seat had glass shards all over her. Thank God she was not hurt and thank God I had gotten up, the lamp shade is just above eye level and I surely would have been injured, probably with eye damage. In cleaning up, we found glass shards up to 4 feet away. I have since found out that we shouldn’t have used a floor vacuum, we probably spread mercury back in the air again. This happened 10 months ago and I still think of what could have happened. I have sent 2 emails to SYLVANIA about this with no responce. In searching the Internet I have not found many reports of this occurring. I wish we had known about the dangers of these bulbs and proper clean up and disposal methods before I purchased them.

    I do think we should be concerned about energy usage. Coal burning electric plants and forever lasting nuclear fuel waste has to have a negative impact on our environment, Even if it’s not as bad as the doomsday scientists say it is. Any thoughts? Thanks for taking time to read this.

    Tom and Nancy

  51. Tom and Nancy,

    Thanks for stopping by. Sorry you had a bad experience with the curly bulbs.. many people have suffered. Just think of how many have not been reported. The media refuses to report it. But get used to it — as we soon will be forced to buy and use CFLs rather than tried and true incandescent bulbs.

    Speaking of the “doomsday scientists” I believe they are all hype with very little truth.

    I believe we need all the resources we are now using to produce energy for our country — otherwise we will be relegated to a third world country. At the rate we are going, we will have energy prices necessarily go “sky high” as our president promised about his energy plan.

    We need atomic energy, coal, oil and every means of power we can find — within proven practicality and reason.

    In Jesus Christ eternally,


  52. Tom and Nancy,

    Here is the President saying our energy prices will skyrocket under his plan.

  53. Julia Smith

    I just had the same thing happen to me today, May 13, 2010. I wasn’t able to get the bulb out so I dismantled the light fixture. I am taking it to our New Channel to see if they would like to investigate.

  54. Julia,

    Thanks for your report. Have your news channel read our reports of those who have had the same experience — and I will let your News channel know how to contact each one (only with their individual permission).

    Thanks for your concern.

    In Jesus Christ eternally,


  55. John Romano

    Hi Jack,

    As a sustainability advisor in the field of environmental assessment and consultation, I have a lot of experience with CFL bulbs. Unfortunately, your CFL bulb may have met its end much like a lot of CFL bulbs do. Some CFL bulbs share an alarming end of life cycle characteristic. Some bulbs have been reported to glow, smoke and melt where the glass coil meets the ballast. This should not pose a fire risk because all energy star CFL bulbs are mandated to be made with a fire retardant ballast. I have not heard of one report of a fire caused by a CFL bulb, but I realize that may not be your concern.

    Now I can’t say that your bulb didn’t actually do something that isn’t normal because I did not see it happen and I have not seen the bulb itself. However, what you describe is something very similar to what happens in certain situations to CFL bulbs. The fumes from burning plastic is obviously not safe, much like breathing in fumes from many man-made things. If proper steps are taken following the burn out, the fumes will not be an issue. You can refer to the energy star website for more information.

    My point: CFL bulbs are not dangerous when handled properly. Of course everyone knows that CFL bulbs contain mercury. However, energy star has recently tightened restrictions on mercury in CFL bulbs. Using incandescent bulbs runs the risk of overheating, causing fires. Did you know that 95% of the energy used by an incandescent bulb is lost as waste heat? Only 5% goes into that burning filament inside there, incredible.

    So here are some tips for buying CFL bulbs in the future. If you follow these guidelines, you should have no problems at all.

    -You get what you pay for- CFL bulbs are not something that you want to buy for cheap. The cheaper bulbs may not even be energy star qualified, and even if they are, the life-cycle may be shorter, lumen depreciation may occur sooner and initation of the bulb may take longer than high quality bulbs.
    -BUY AMERICAN- Do NOT buy bulbs made anywhere else. Quality control in countries like China is far worse than here in the US. If the box says anything other than “Made in US,” it would be wise to avoid it. Of course this is much more difficult, but the returns are worth it. Energy Star is a US based rating system. However, it does not have the ability to control, screen or test for quality control. Just because a bulb has the energy star label, does not mean that it is a good bulb. Your bulb was made in China according to your description, which does make sense.
    -Consider buying LED lights. Return on investment is a bit longer with LEDs because the initial cost is higher. But LED lights are mercury free if you’re concerned about that at all. They consume 85% less energy than an incandescent and release almost no heat.
    -I have dealt with companies such as Philips, GE, Sylvania and TCP and have not ever had any problems with any of them. I would recommend each of those companies to buy from.

    I hope this information helps and I hope it was insightful. This one was a freebie, I usually charge for this kind of information :-)

    If you have any other questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to email me with them.

  56. Hi Jack,

    As a sustainability advisor in the field of environmental assessment and consultation, I have a lot of experience with CFL bulbs. Unfortunately, your CFL bulb may have met its end much like a lot of CFL bulbs do. Some CFL bulbs share an alarming end of life cycle characteristic. Some bulbs have been reported to glow, smoke and melt where the glass coil meets the ballast. This should not pose a fire risk because all energy star CFL bulbs are mandated to be made with a fire retardant ballast. I have not heard of one report of a fire caused by a CFL bulb, but I realize that may not be your concern.

    Now I can’t say that your bulb didn’t actually do something that isn’t normal because I did not see it happen and I have not seen the bulb itself. However, what you describe is something very similar to what happens in certain situations to CFL bulbs. The fumes from burning plastic is obviously not safe, much like breathing in fumes from many man-made things. If proper steps are taken following the burn out, the fumes will not be an issue. You can refer to the energy star website for more information.

    My point: CFL bulbs are not dangerous when handled properly. Of course everyone knows that CFL bulbs contain mercury. However, energy star has recently tightened restrictions on mercury in CFL bulbs. Using incandescent bulbs runs the risk of overheating, causing fires. Did you know that 95% of the energy used by an incandescent bulb is lost as waste heat? Only 5% goes into that burning filament inside there, incredible.

    So here are some tips for buying CFL bulbs in the future. If you follow these guidelines, you should have no problems at all.

    -You get what you pay for- CFL bulbs are not something that you want to buy for cheap. The cheaper bulbs may not even be energy star qualified, and even if they are, the life-cycle may be shorter, lumen depreciation may occur sooner and initation of the bulb may take longer than high quality bulbs.
    -BUY AMERICAN- Do NOT buy bulbs made anywhere else. Quality control in countries like China is far worse than here in the US. If the box says anything other than “Made in US,” it would be wise to avoid it. Of course this is much more difficult, but the returns are worth it. Energy Star is a US based rating system. However, it does not have the ability to control, screen or test for quality control. Just because a bulb has the energy star label, does not mean that it is a good bulb. Your bulb was made in China according to your description, which does make sense.
    -Consider buying LED lights. Return on investment is a bit longer with LEDs because the initial cost is higher. But LED lights are mercury free if you’re concerned about that at all. They consume 85% less energy than an incandescent and release almost no heat.
    -I have dealt with companies such as Philips, GE, Sylvania and TCP and have not ever had any problems with any of them. I would recommend each of those companies to buy from.

    I hope this information helps and I hope it was insightful. This one was a freebie, I usually charge for this kind of information :-)

    If you have any other questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to email me with them.

  57. Also, here is some more information regarding mercury in CFL bulbs compared to Incandescent mercury output overall-

  58. jack, you may get 2 of these as my 1st did not go thru from my ipone, in while i agree with most comments above about cfl bulbs i would caution the use of LED’s, i’ve been using them for over 15 yrs in certain application, (exit lights), they only put out 60 lumens per watt as compared to 120 per watt for florescent, when they get to the 120 mark then i will start using them, Cree has reached the 120 mark in labs but i think they are waiting for all the 60′s to be sold, have to recoup their R&D cost, another concern i have with present LED’s is the amount of heat they produce, many have to have heat sinks, and then there is the problem with the blue spectrum, i’m sitting under 2 LED replacement tubes that i’m experimenting with as i type this , work fine but again only producing 60 lumins per watt, need to get to 120 plus. andy

  59. Andy, good point. LED lighting isnt for everyone or for every application. Kitchens are great for them (I have them in recessed cans in my kitchen) but are not feasible for everything. Philips has recently introduced the first LED light bulb that is comparable to a standard incandescent. It hasn’t entered production yet and will probably cost a pretty penny, but advances are finally being made.

    Also Jack-
    I forgot to mention that you might want to avoid dimmable CFL bulbs. Incandescent bulbs are most feasible to use there as CFL bulbs will not provide as much of a return in these fixtures and are not ideal.

  60. JJ Romano,
    Thanks for your comment.
    And thanks Andy for your remarks.

    Being a free-market person I would prefer the market to control our choices of everything… not the government.

    If CFLs win out in free competition then OK.. If LEDs OK — but now Incandescent win and I would like to buy them by choice – not by government edict.

    Same with Gasoline powered Cars vs Electric vs pedal. Let the best win.. in free competition.

    Thanks for the freebie, JJ…

    In Jesus Christ eternally,


  61. hey jack, you really miss the whole point which is what i do not understand, how do you expect the O man to implement his agenda if you continue to think like a capitalist. andy

  62. Andy,

    Maybe I am just one in a million.

    In Christ, Jack

  63. Your point about free market is taken. I understand that. But the fact that many people have misinterpretations about CFL bulbs (the media grossly skews this,) is limiting CFL use around the country. Far too many people think that CFL bulbs are dangerous when they really aren’t. As long as you know how to handle them when they break, they are safe and a fantastic way to reduce energy use.

    Quite frankly, it doesn’t matter to me if people believe in global climate change or not. I have written many papers about global climate change and I am a strong supporter of climate change action, but using CFL bulbs is not all about climate change. And the “hype” you speak of in regards to climate change is actually called science. Climate change skeptics have no problems calling environmentalists and climatologists (those who actually make a living studying the history of earth’s climate) and tell them that their science is wrong. But I dare skeptics to tell a physicist or a chemist that THEIR science is flawed. After all, climate change science is fundamentally based off of chemistry and physics (see greenhouse effect.) That simply wouldn’t happen, nobody would tell them that. Doesn’t it mean something when a VAST majority of scientists (all fields) across the world believe in global climate change? Unfortunately, climate change has inevitably latched onto the political scene and has been watered down by skeptics. People forget that this is SCIENCE and not environmentalism. I wasn’t going to comment on anything regarding climate science until I read your comment of the “hype.”

    But I digress. Reducing energy use is not just about climate change. Its about using less of the non-renewable resources that we utilize today. Did you know that if China consumed electricity like we did in the US, they would consume more coal than the world even produces in a year? Coal and oil are non-renewable resources that will run out one of these days, thats a fact of life. Why wouldn’t we reduce our dependence on them? Why wouldn’t you want to live more sustainably?

    On top of that, CFLs can provide between a 3,000-6,000% return on investment! Just changing 20 incandescent bulbs with CFL bulbs can save you over $1,500 over the life-cycle of the bulb. CFL bulbs are one of the rare sustainable practices that you can utilize right now without breaking the bank or waiting years for a return on investment. Why not live more sustainably (and gain a higher sense of ethos along with it) AND save yourself tons of money at the same time? Makes sense to me, especially because they’re safe. You just have to be sure to choose the right one.

  64. JJ,

    We all have our opinion — mine, on man caused Global Warming, is based on scientists who realize the lie of the IPCC as illustrated by Mike Hulme, a prominent climate scientist and IPCC insider.

    Read here:
    Hulme is one among many deserting the sinking ship of “scientific consensus” on “man-made global warming.”

    And here:
    And here:
    And about greenhouse gasses:

    But we must all make scientific judgments based on available — unvarnished – truth. Science is not by consensus but by honest independent individual or corporate research and then honest peer review.

    In Jesus Christ eternally,


  65. the last time i thought about i think the earth itself is it’s largest source of pollution, volcano’s as one source., but it is Gods design and is in His schematic/ design development so who can argue with that intelligently. 4 ft tube fluorescent lights that were originally produced without protected ballast have caused more fires than any other electrical device i can think of, had one of my county buildings burn from a unprotected ballast. eventually LED’s will put the cfl out of business , if only because of the small amount of mercury, another of Gods creations, the only metal in a liquid form in it’s natural state yet a pollutant. We got lots of questions to ask God when we get to heaven Jack. andy

  66. jjromano

    You say–

    Far too many people think that CFL bulbs are dangerous when they really aren’t. As long as you know how to handle them when they break, they are safe and a fantastic way to reduce energy use.

    Are you actually reading, and understanding these posts ???

    A few us us have had these bulbs burst into flames , and you say that this is not dangerous


    Are you sure that you don’t work for a Company that Manufactures these fire starters ??

  67. Trevor-

    First off, if you read my earlier comment, you would know that I don’t work for a CFL company. In my tips for CFL usage I recommended 4 companies that have great reputations and that I have worked with personally. WITH, not FOR.

    And I am reading these posts, and most of them sound like they are referring to the end of life characteristic displayed by some CFLs in certain situations. Also, correct me if I’m wrong, but I cannot find one other comment on here other than one from “Trev.” (which I’m assuming is you?) I can’t say for sure what happened with yours if it literally had flames coming from it, but it was either a faulty bulb or a bulb that was manufactured several years ago. Most of the reports on here describe glowing and smoking, not flaming. This glowing and smoking is consistent with the end of life characteristic that some CFLs display in certain situations. So I have read all of the posts, and from what I can tell, the stories are all consistent with this.

    The complaints that you hear about CFL bulbs nowadays is mainly due to the fact that people who purchased earlier versions of CFL bulbs a few years ago, are now unfortunately seeing their bulbs come to the end of their lives. Some of these, like a lot of the CFLs manufactured before 2007 I believe, did not have the kind of regulation that they do now. I would recommend anyone who owns CFL bulbs to check the dates on their bulbs to see if they are fairly new, 2008 or newer is a safe date to go with.

    Also, it seems like most of the complaints on this posting are from people who had older bulbs or have had dimmable or three way CFLs. Generally, you should try and avoid dimmable and three way CFLs, because those bulbs seem to experience the most problems. In addition to these problems, your energy return on investment will also be longer due to a lower lumen/watt ratio than standard CFL bulbs. It would be wise to avoid dimmables and three way CFL bulbs. Somehow the word needs to get out there.

    Also, I never even realized that expreacherman had posted a picture of the burnt out bulb until now. That bulb looks almost identical to the CFL bulbs that I have seen reach their end. It can be quite scary and alarming when a CFL meets its end like this, but if you have a energy star rated bulb, this popping, glowing and smoking is not hazardous. I hate this characteristic of certain CFLs too, they would be wise to fix it somehow, but all of these stories are consistent with this characteristic.

  68. like i’ve stated before i have thousands of cfl’s in use with not a problem to date, what concerns me now is that mine are older models and those of you experiencing problems now may have newer ones, made in china and it makes me wonder if UL has been contaminated and they are labeling a defective product, used to be underwriters labs was tops, now i wonder. not to belabor anything but do not ever put a cfl or any fluorescent light, 4 and 8 ft tubes included on a dimmer switch, fluorescent s require a special reactive ballast and dimmer to work and not overheat. one of these days i will make it to Jack and Shirleys to look at his, those that have had a problem ought to mail one in to UL or better yet to ETL. andy

  69. Hi Jack; I sent an email Thursday morning at about 12:30 am. I was wondering if you got it, don’t see it on your site. My last post on May 8, got sent to your email address not to this discussion page. My computer skills are somewhat shaky. It was in responce to two of John Jomano statements in which I think he is overstating information or just leaving out info that might not support his claims. . Jomano sounds like a black and white kind of guy. There is not much leeway or acknowledgement of a different opinion being valid . I have done a lot of research into CFL’s and think they have many problems that need to be fixed and the the upcoming ban put on hold. I think most people don’t realize the problems and need sites like this.

  70. My interest in the problems with cfl’s started last year. That is how I found this site. My first comment was on May 8,2010. It was about my family’s experience with an EXPLODING CFL. Please go back and read our horror story posted on this page. Prion to this happening, I was very enthused about saving money/energy and I’m always interested in new technology. The complexity of the components in the small CFL base is amazing. After ours exploded, I have become leery of them, specifically in locations of close proximity to our body’s and especially the eyes and face, as was our floor lamp with the exploding CFL. I still think of what could have been had I not moved from my location, sitting right next to the CFL floor lamp and the lamp shade above my left eye. We did an interview with our local ABC TV station about our experience. We were not aware that it would be picked up nationally, but it was, by ABC and SctiptsHoward news service. The reporter downplayed our experience by saying that the EPA said ours was a rare experience. To them it is all about percentages, how many people are injured versus how many bulbs are in use. An
    experience like ours was ONLY a potential for injury. My contention was and always will be that the conditions were there for me to have gotten glass in my eye. That glass WOULD have contained, Mercury, Phosphors and possibly Lead. Mr. JOHN ROMANO has made a lot of claims on this site that many informed individuals would dispute. I think it is just plain wrong to downplay the dangers of CFLs. It causes people to not to worry about them and possibly not read all the warning s on the bulb or package. That is if they can decipher the info since in some cases, it’s not spelled out or even there. We’ve never had to with incandescents except for not using too high of a wattage bulb. One of JJROMANO ‘s statements was that he had not heard of one report of a fire caused by a CFL. It took me about 30 seconds to find a story from The Cumberland Times News, about a fire caused by a CFL connected to a dimmer switch. The fire damage was estimated at $165.000. The family’s split-level home was destroyed. The home owners, Rick Jenkins, his wife Angie and their six year old daughter were not injured, Thank God, even though they lost everything. I don’t even remember JJROMANO specifically mentioning not to use a regular CFL with a dimmer switch. The information that I have is that even if you use the CFL with the dimmer switch in the full on position, there is a potential fire hazard and that even at 75% in some cases you might not notice any problem until it’s too late. The warnings should be LARGE and BOLD. NEVER USE A REGULAR CFL WITH A DIMMER SWITH !!!! This also brings up another point, when you talk about the cost of a CFL, the cost of replacing dimmer switches and the millions of light fixtures that CAN’T be used with CFLs needs to be factored in. Don’t forget the cost of electric power needed to produce the fixtures, light switches and the complex CFL components etc. AND the MERCURY EMISSIONS from coal – fired power plants that JJROMANO quoted from the ENERGYSTAR website . The difference there being he was using that to talk about the extra costs of using an incandescent bulb. We should also factor in the cost of certified electricians most of us will have to hire to replace all of the switches, fixtures, etc., since most of us aren’t qualified to do that kind of work. Speaking of MERCURY, JJROMANO’S info link to ENERGYSTAR, comparing “Mercury in CFL bulbs compared to Incandescent Mercury Output Overall”, was interesting. Energy Star stated that even if a CFL bulb is broken in a landfill, it releases much less mercury than the mercury released from a coal – fired power plant for the electric power needed to produce an incandescent bulb. Their calculations are based on EPA estimates of the yearly release of mercury emissions form coal fired power plants. Besides not factoring in all the power form non- coal plants, Energy Star seems to be more than doubling the total power plant mercury output by using the US TOTAL release of mercury emissions, not just from power plant sources. Add to that the EPA used tons. not metric tons of mercury as the energy star calculations are based on, according to there website. (a metric ton is about 10% more than a us ton.) All this to support a flawed argument. JJROMANS point on that comparison should be lost soon anyway. Mercury emissions will decline due to current EPA regulatory requirements for controling sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides and particulate matter. That is in addition to the EPA Clean Air Mercury Rule, established under the Bush Administration, finalized in March 2005 and reaffirmed on May 31, 2006 in responce to petitions for reconsideration. Another part of the over all cost of a CFL compared to an incandescent includes lifespan. I have read that the stated lifespan is general when 50% of the bulbs are still working. That would mean that half are NOT working if that is the case. I would assume that such tests would be run under ideal operating conditions, such as not switching on and off and in well vented fixtures, not in real use conditions. Call me cynical, but I’m just keeping it real. Here is another MANIPULATION of the facts. JJROMANO asks,” Did you know that 95% of the energy used by a incandescent bulb is lost as wast heat? Only 5% goes into that burning filament inside there, incredible.” We live in Cincinnati, Ohio. We have only 5 months in the year that we don’t use ANY heat. That means for 7 months of the year “that wasted heat”, is not really wasted at all. Did you know that electric heat is 100% efficient. Now it’s my turn, INCREDABLE !!! Also, our main source of heating is an oil furnace, which as of yet, are not high efficient units. Did I mention that we live within 5 miles of a multi state landfill AND within 25 miles of a coal – fired power plant? Oh My! That’s all for now, THANKS for reading!
    Sincerely; Tom Heim, aka incandescent man.

  71. Hi. I read my comments back and think I should APOLOGIZE for saying, “Here is another MANIPULATION of the facts”. I don’t normally speak like that so I shouldn’t write like that either. That was rude of me, sorry. Another correction, Writing about JJROMANO’S comment on, ” Incandescent Mercury Output overall”, I meant to say, Energy Star stated that a broken CFL in a landfill, releases much less Mercury than the Mercury released from a coal -fired power plant for the electricity needed to OPERATE an incandescent bulb. If anyone besides Jack actually reads this entire comment, I’d like it be as clear as possible. again, THANKS for reading. Sincerely, Tom H

  72. I am sorry to hear about your problem, but you hit the nail right on the head. Your problem was using a regular CFL bulb with a dimmer switch. And you’re right, there should be more information out there for people to learn before using a CFL bulb. In my opinion, environmental education is severely lacking in this country and the same rings true here. To me, since I know that dimmer bulbs are out there, it seems like a given that you shouldn’t use a regular CFL bulb with a dimmer switch. The fact that they even make dimmer CFL bulbs is enough for me. But the fact of the matter is that lot of people may not know that dimmer CFLs even exist. Furthermore, many people also think that CFL bulbs work similarly to incandescents and that using a CFL with a dimmer switch is fine. I forgot to mention that in my first post, but I mentioned it in a follow-up. I even said that incandescents are comparable to dimmer CFL bulbs and I would not recommend them. You can use dimmer CFLs with a dimmer switch, but like I mentioned, the energy savings would not be nearly as significant when the bulb is dimmed when compared to standard CFL at full power. Your reference to the news story about the fire is also referring to a similar situation. Regular CFL used in a dimmer switch. Regardless, people need to know, if they already don’t, not to use a regular CFL in a dimmer. Just like people need to know of how to properly dispose of a CFL bulb. That energy star file that I linked to has proper procedures for disposing of a CFL bulb. However, I think that these procedures should be put on every box and made mandatory. They should also recommend recycling of CFL bulbs as well as opposed to standard trash disposal. Its a much better option to recycle these bulbs. A quick search will show you can recycle CFL bulbs around your area.

    Also, I wasn’t using that Energy Star link to reference energy savings. Not much on that has anything to do with energy savings. It was to show that more mercury is released into the air that we breathe (particularly for you since you live close to a coal power plant) is much greater than what is even in a CFL bulb. And you say that “Besides not factoring in all the power form non- coal plants, Energy Star seems to be more than doubling the total power plant mercury output by using the US TOTAL release of mercury emissions, not just from power plant sources. ” I don’t understand your argument here. Energy Star clearly states that the 104 metric tons of mercury is a US yearly figure, not a coal power plant figure. The calculations are on mercury per energy unit, which would remain the same regardless of the total output of electricity or mercury. So I really don’t understand your argument that mine is flawed. Mercury density doesn’t change in this case. And Bush’s “environmental” legislation in this case, hasn’t done much really. We produce more mercury per year from power plants than we did back in 2005 and 2006. Mercury density may have gone down slightly, but not enough to make any kind of difference. Lets be real here, Bush was no friend to the environment, evidenced by his Clear Skies initiative early in his presidency. It was all for show and nothing else.

    Your comment about the lifespan is also incorrect. Energy star tests these bulbs extensively, making sure that quality control is maintained. However, questions can be raised about the quality of bulbs that are sent in for testing and the ones that are produced today. A company could possibly produce great CFL bulbs and then make crappier ones once they get the energy star label slapped on them. This is why I suggested that you buy from a notable and reputable CFL company. Buying cheap CFL bulbs will not yield you good results, return on investment or satisfaction. In this case, I would have to agree that you are just being cynical, because CFL bulb lifespan is legitimate. Even if they do burn out, energy star REQUIRES that they provide a replacement warranty anyways. Warranties vary though. Energy star requires a minimum of a 1 year warranty. However, some guarantee the bulb for the lifespan (8,000-12,000 hours.) Again, another reason that you should buy from reputable companies. In order to avoid being labeled as “someone who works for a CFL company,” if anyone is interested in a spreadsheet of the performance of CFL bulbs from certain companies that we have worked with, I would be more than happy to provide them to you upon request.

    Your point about wasted heat is valid. However, my point was that 95% of the light electricity that you’re paying for is being wasted as heat. If you want to get electric heat, buy a space heater. But your argument that electric heat is 100% efficient would mean that natural gas heat is 100% efficient. Oh, and air conditioning is 100% efficient too. Nothing, in theory, is 100% efficient. The closest you’re going to come in this case, is through naturally produced heat or cooling. I am LEED accredited and I could go on and on about ways to utilize passive solar and wind around the house to save you money and energy, but that is not the point of this blog posting. After all, as a sustainability advisor, that is my job.

    I appreciate your comments, but realize that it only reinforces my previous assessment that I made earlier that the general public is vastly under-informed and mis-informed about the use of CFL bulbs. Steps need to be taken to educate people on the benefits and safe handling of CFL bulbs, which is what I was intending to do through these posts.

  73. i agree the industry has done a poor job protecting the general public from the proper use of cfl’s, efficiency is another subject, stating that electric heat heat strips are 100%eff. is a half truth, the real truth is that heat strips do use 100% of power provided but that just makes them inefficient, for every KW of power put into a heat strip you will get an equal amount of kw heat output, it is correct in stating that this is 100% eff. but with a heat pump type air conditioning system with a COP of lets say 3, for every kw of power supplied you will get 3 kw of heat output thus making heat pump air conditioning more efficient. i believe GOD will not allow us to attain 100% eff. in anything, clearance volume will always prevent that and that probably makes GOD laugh at us, think i did read in the bible that GOD laughs, ( Jack?)LEEDS compliant buildings help in some ways but also hurt in others , not all of LEEDS aspects are energy efficient, done a number of LEEDS buildings and can easily demonstrate the short comings both in theory and application, for the USGB council to retain credibility they are going to have to police their ranks, too many agencies claiming they are LEEDS compliant when in fact they have never submitted to the usgb for approval, when you ask for their score card they will then state they WOULD have attained a gold rating had they submitted. the problem with LEEDS is the application fee’s are too high and they do not follow up to see that what is submitted is actually done, a fact that is causing them to lose credibility. i’m all for energy efficiency in everything including CFL’s but the problem is the folks that have had problems now cannot sleep at night, they should still the choice to buy what makes them feel secure.

  74. Jack; How are things in sunny Florida today? My 92 year old mother lives in Lake Worth, Florida. If you ever visit there, I would highly recommend eating at John Gs near the beach. We would like to treat you and your wife to a wonderful breakfast there some year or on the east coast, we have relatives there also. I appreciate having this website to discuss a mutual interest subject. My sister and 2 cozens and aunt also live in Florida, so we try to fly down every year.

    As I have mentioned, my computer skills are somewhat shaky, I was wondering if I can compose my comments on CFL bulbs on Microsoft Works Word Processor and copy/paste to this comment page? That would help to review what I’m writing before I send it. My writing, spelling and composition are poor (I should have paid attention in school), and my vision is not that great, no sympathy, just fact.
    Sincerely, Tom and Nancy

  75. Tom,

    Thanks for the invitation to visit with you and Nancy but my health is such that we are unable to travel much more than to Doc’s offices and occasionally the grocery store. Even Church is out because of my compromised immunity problem.. You are very kind to offer.

    I have used several word processors to write articles and comments — so I assume Works or maybe WordPad or NotePad would work. I often use my email program, to compose a comment, then select it, copy it and paste it into a comment page.

    You might want to use my personal email address for personal notes, since comments go to everyone who comments on this post subject.

    Thanks again for dropping by. and offering your cogent comments.

    In Jesus Christ eternally,


  76. JJromano; Thanks for responding. It’s a good discussion topic. I would have gotten back sooner but I had other things “cooking”. We had a storm w/ much lightning.That seems to have caused a voltage surge. Anyway, my internet modem got fried along with a number of other things. ( a $400.00 control board in our HVAC, darn!)
    I’ve only have a few minits so I’d like to correct just one thing you said. I mentioned our CFB exploition and rather than telling the whole story again, since I can’t seem to make it short, referenced my original post date several times recently. If you have the time, go back and read it. The post was dated May 8, 2010. I try not to operate in a blistfull ignorance mode and have never used a reg. CFL Bulb in a light socket with a dimmer switch. It was a 3-way CFB, in a 3-way floor lamp and had been in use for about three months on a daily basis. I only mentioned CFLs in dimmers and that house fire because I didn’t see any referance to that in any of your posts.
    Sencerely, Tom H.

  77. Hi Andy; You and JJROMANO seem to have a lot more technical knowledge than I do. I’ve never heard of LEEDS compliance, or for that matter, heat strips. My reference to electric heat being 100% efficient was simply that there is no lost heat up the CHIMNEY, as in an electric furnace with resistance coils for heat. I’m thinking of having a GEOTHERMAL Heat Pump installed. That sounds really exciting in terms of energy and money savings. Thanks for reading.
    Tom H.

  78. One final note about our 3-way CFB Bulb EXPLOSITION. The bulb was never dropped or anything else that would have damaged it AFTER I purchased that CFB. If that happened beforehand, I assume the damage would have to have to been to the glass spiral to explode like it did. When I completely removed the bottom of the base to reveal the electronics, one of the 2 capacitors seemed slightly swollen on the bottom, but not much. There was no signs of any overheating described by so many others. I still would like to know what that rhythmic clicking sound could have been Anyone have any ideas? Thanks Much, Tom

  79. hello tom. the rhythmic ticking you heard could have been a bi-metal overload protector opening and closing doing it’s job to protect against failure, or since most of these electronic ballasts and bulbs use a switching power supply that could have been what you heard, these switching power supplies are what causes harmonics that give us problems more in the commercial setting which is another subject. geothermal is a great system if your in a cold climate , here in florida you would probably never see your ROI if you factor in the installation cost, i usually look for a 5 to 10 yr. payback and in fl our winters are not that bad so air to air heat pumps give the best bang for the buck, in northern states geothermal give you a more stable heat source so you don’t have the reduced heat output as the o.d. air temp. drops, we compensate here in fl with backup electric resistance heat strips, when you have tempt. constantly below 35 degrees then geothermal make sense. the only real reason i see that folks do geothermal in fl is so they can wear a I love Al Gore button, crunching the numbers just does not show it worth the cost but it is an excellent system , reduced installation cost would make it beneficial here too. andy

  80. Many thanks, all of you, for the informative debate. I just had a similar experience to many of yours with a Sylvania CFL bulb, and was very concerned. Found more good info and reference sites here than on a dozen other sites that popped up on my search. I read every comment, which is unusual for me – normally blogs turn me off after the first few posts, because people use them as a soapbox rather than a platform for a real exchange of information, and the comments rapidly degrade into insult-swapping. I appreciate the facts, references, opinions – but most of all the RESPECT that all of you have shown, even when you disagree. What a breath of fresh air (especially after after the stink of my melted CFL – ha!).

  81. Thanks Keckman,

    Glad we could be a help.. Appreciate anything you can add to the discussion. Drop by again and visit our other topics. You will find them interesting.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  82. Hi Jack,
    I was reserching cfl’s today after we had one of are dimmable cfl’s fail in one the four lights on are ceiling fan in are living room. I was laying on the floor with my 10 month old daughter when the light bulb mad a loud pop and was arching and smoking like crazy. I immediatley turned off the light and removed my daughter from the rom

  83. (accidently posted to soon,sorry for spelling errors)…room. The room filled with a nasty foul smelling black smoke that stained the ceiling and glass cover (not enclosed) on ceiling fan light. The bulb itself did not break but seperated from the base(ballast) which is where it was arching from. My main concern now is about the rest of the dimmable cfl’s in my ceiling fan, i think i will switch them to incadescents just to be on the safe side. Most of my other lights in the house are regular cfl’s and i have no complaints about them.

    this was a dimable cfl used with a dimmer switch not the regular style cfl and it was purchased from home Depot in January 2010. also the brand is ecosmart model 40114 (14w)

  84. Brian,

    Sorry you had such a disturbing problem with your CFLs. Seems we hear of more and more stories like yours… And won’t you be happy in a couple of years when you are unable to buy an incandescent bulb?
    I hear there are some congressmen who are trying to reverse the law that will outlaw incandescent bulbs. Just vote in the Conservatives who will repeal this and other idiotic laws.
    Thanks for your story.
    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

    to this article: Tom Heim, a commenter in the above notes experienced an EXPLODING CFL bulb.
    A New England Cable News reporter in Boston read this article, wrote to me and asked permission to contact Tom for a TV interview about his experience with CFL bulbs.
    Tom gave the interview and was told by the reporter that it will be broadcast in Boston and throughout New England on New England Cable News tonight, 11/8/10 (date Corrected by Tom Langford – Reporter), at 9:30 and in Boston. The interview is also supposed to be posted to the New England Cable News web site ( ) tonight an hour after the interview airs. Some time later, it will be re-broadcast on WLTW in Cincinnati and we will be notified.
    Maybe with some of these actions we can see the Government rescind the ridiculous and dangerous mandate for CFL Bulbs.
    Tom, if I have missed or misrepresented some details, please correct me. Thanks.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  86. Thomas E. Heim

    Hi Jack! I just checked for the cfl story at It is not up yet but it appears it will be under the heading SCH-TECH. The reporters name is Tom Landsford. I’ll check tomorrow sometime

  87. Thomas E. Heim

    Hi All! I found the before mentioned cfl story. It is similar to another report that my wife and I did an interview for the local ABC affiliate. As with that report, the New England Cable News reporter downplayed the cfl negatives. I tried to leave a “comment”, or rather a narration, and found out that the feedback portion of their site has had problems and it might not be available for several weeks. I emailed the reporter and ask if he could “sneak” some comments in for us at the end of the report, haven’t heard back yet in that one. Thanks for This Forum, Jack

  88. Tom, thanks for the note.

    I checked the NECN site this AM and the article was there with a mention of your story.. but it was considerably watered down. I could not get any video to work.

    No wonder he was non-critical of CFLs — with Liberal Ed Markey (D) the local congressman and an avid supporter of CFLs, despite the extreme problems they are proven to have.

    I tried to comment also but to no avail.. Maybe with the new Congress we can get the CFL mandate repealed and let the free market operate as it should.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  89. Tom, just noticed this:

    Nanny State Republican Upton Wants House Energy Committee Chair?

    Light bulb banning Republican [CFL sponsor] Fred Upton (R, Mich) is angling to become the new GOP chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee as the House begins to look to adjusting to reflect the Republican’s tidal wave election. Upton is a perfect example of the sort of representative that the new GOP congress needs to think about very carefully before elevating them to higher positions.

    Upton has the seniority to take the position, it is true, but his past nanny state-styled votes for banning the light bulb in favor of CFLs makes his bid troubling taking into consideration the conservative direction voters went on November 2 — and Upton didn’t just vote for the bill, he co-sponsored it with the left leaning Dem. Jane Harmon of California.

    [Hmmm, a traitor in the midst. - my comment]
    Read more:

  90. I can tell you from personnel experience that they do explode and
    with enough force to cause bodily harm.

    About 30 years ago I installed a large military (Navy) spec cast aluminum
    lamp (8 in. dia.) on my property to illuminate the pathway to the shore.
    It has operated since the late ’70 in the same position utilizing a 300
    watt incandescent bulb up until about two years ago when I replaced this
    high wattage bulb with a large CFL that provided about the same luminance
    (3900) consuming only 65 watts.

    Last night the CFL exploded tearing apart the cast fixture made of quarter
    inch cast aluminum and glass lens. If someone had been standing on the
    nearby stairs they could have been injured.

    I am fortunate because I have an available replacement lamp in storage, so
    so you can see before and after explosion.

    Will I purchase more CFLs . . . . NO! I will only consider LEDs regardless
    of the current insane expense.

  91. Carl, thanks for telling your experience.

    Sorry your post was delayed — as my spam catcher snags any comment with more than one link.
    Your pics are very telling,… and obviously you are blessed that no one was injured.
    I pray that the recent efforts to rescind the government mandate to phase out incandescents will succeed . Our government has no business mandating removal of perfectly suitable bulbs.. That usually happens only in a dictatorship. Hmmmmm.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  92. For the record. I didn’t get to read all the other post’s as there are many. Not sure if anyone had posted this. If you would like to get full life out of CFL’s you must first leave them on for a full 72 hours to the full burn in and get the maximum life out of these bulbs. There a few things that might have contributed to the burning of the bulb. Certain wall switches can not be run on flourescent bulbs. Also if you had them on a dimmer (unless they are dimmable CFL’s) they will not work and potentially burn. And don’t blame Obama about the regulations these regulations where in the works during the bush administration. Check out your facts before you start spewing rhetoric.

  93. you are correct that this goes back further than obama, i think bill clinton and al gore. andy

  94. Tim and Andy,

    You are right.. it was not originated by Obama but his Energy Department is pushing it right along. He seems disinclined to stop it.
    And then to make matters worse, the Republicans have appointed Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.) — co-author of the original Incandescent bulb ban — to the position of Chair of House Energy Committee. The fox is guarding the henhouse.
    Republicans of all idiots in DC should know that the Market is the best regulator of efficiency. People, if left to themselves, will buy what is least expensive and efficient… without a government mandate.

  95. Tonight, I had the same issue with the Sylvania 5k53 cfl bulb burning out and burning plastic smell filling the kitchen. The others CFL bulbs from the same pack are all burning out within a few weeks of each other. I will be sending a message to Sylvania

  96. V Land,
    Thanks for relating your experience.
    As you can see, yours is not an isolated case.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  97. For the record, i.e. a class action law suit, I just had an Nvision brand model 1R2014, 14W pop and explode glass down from a 4″ recess can fixture. Fortunately I was about 4 feet away on the couch and did not get covered in the rain of glass shards. It scared me though.

  98. Matt,

    Thanks for your note — sorry you had that dangerous experience. Sure would like to see a nationwide rebellion against these things.
    I am not aware of any class-action lawsuit but am interested if you hear of one. The Federal government should be included for their encouragement of the curly bulbs.
    I am not able to instigate such a suit but would be satisfied if the Feds simply rescinds the mandate to cease manufacture of incandescent bulbs. Andy, in a note above, mentioned LED bulbs but they, like so many other innovations, need time to bring the price down to manageable. The private market can do that.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  99. While i did not read all the comments i still felt compelled to post. I had almost the exact experience as the initial post with the rancid smoke filling the room and the bulb burnt at the base, say what ya want about the old filament bulbs but i have never feared that they would burn down my house…i will never use a CFL bulb again

  100. Brian,

    As you can see, you are not alone with problem CFLs. We represent just a small sampling of problems — imagine how many go unreported!

    We must try to get our representatives in DC to rescind the mandated phasing out of Incandescent bulbs. That should be a grass-roots effort but there are so many important things in DC now that CFL will probably take a back seat.
    Thanks for your note.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  101. Even if the CFL’s were great & the best, it is NOT the government’s job to MAKE us buy them just like health insurance.

  102. Right David,

    I pray that came across as the main point of this Blog post. The free market should rule this decision (and all others, including fuel, cars, health insurance, etc). Thanks!

    In Christ, Jack

  103. Here is the latest and current report from CNS News on the dangers of CFL bulbs, dated yesterday, March 11, 2011.
    Expert Warns of Health Risks Associated With New [CFL] Light Bulbs

  104. hey jack, praying for you all, keep in mind all flouresent bulbs contain murury not just cfl’s, most all commerical buildings use 4 or 8 ft flouresect tube bulbs or some form of HID lighting so banning cfl’s will not solve a problem in schools as stated in this testimony, we are required to recover the mercury from the 4 ft bulbs and recycle, have a special machine that we use called a bulb eater, crushes the bulb, recovers the murcury and reclcles the glass, your tax dollares at work, andy

  105. Hello,
    Just did a google search on toxic CFL bulbs and your site came up.
    We live in Ontario, Canada where the “dictators” have mandated CFL bulbs. We just had a similar experience this morning and are still trying to clean the acrid smell from the air. Our bulb was a GE 28 watt bulb. We are currently stocking up on incandescent bulbs to use until something safer comes along, possibly LED bulbs.

  106. Hi D&V,

    Yours is one more of thousands who have experienced the same. We in the once-free USA are also collecting incandescents and praying our new Conservative congress will repeal the idiotic mandates for CFLs.

    Just think of how many folks have experienced the same thing but never searched or reported the problem.

    Thanks for dropping in.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  107. Dear Readers,

    I apologize if you read and clicked on the link of the post I just deleted.

    It was obviously spam or a virus — and I deleted it as soon as I saw it.
    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  108. Friends,

    Just got this bulletin about the newest and best LED light bulbs.. to replace CFL and incandescent bulbs.
    1. They are expensive as we know.
    2. They contain heavy metals dangerous to your health.

    The deadline for sales of incandescent bulbs is about 6 months away.. After that the law will require you to buy either CFL or LED bulbs. That is unless the citizens get busy and holler to Congress to stop the dastardly anti-incandescent law from being implemented.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  109. Steve Smith

    n:vision CFL Self-Ballasted spiral Spring Bulb, E149698 61Y6 SKU# 150-062 Model EDX0-18/19/20 120V 60Hz 18/19W 0.295A V#42836 0744150 Made in China. Lamp failed after approx 2yrs of operation, estimate 4000 of indoor run time. Top of ballast at junction with glass tubes is discolored, appears burnt and partially melted, indicating high heat//temps during operation or at time of failure, possible fire hazard.

    I’m all for saving energy, especially in the home. As-for the proposed Govt mandate/law specifying the use of CFL/LED lighting only; I would hope that there are competitive American or at least North American made choices on the store shelves prior to any law taking affect.

    Otherwise, there could be room for litigation using the same argument that is being used against the new mandatory health care law, in that it is unconstitutional for the Govt to force the people to engage in commerce (i.e. buy only more expensive CFL/LED lamps) especially if manufactured primarily in foreign countries.

  110. Steve,

    Thanks for telling your story. Sorry you had the problem but we who have reported it are a few among many.. We see more and more reports of the same problem.

    Your mandate/commerce comment is a new twist. Why should we not all object to our congressmen about this Obama CFL mandate the same way we object to the Obamacare mandate… Great thought.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  111. Hi Jack! I hate to sound like I’m defending President Obama, But the legislation that has effectively banned the incandesant as we know it was co authored by A Republican, Fred Upton and a Democrat, Jane Harman in 2007 and signed into law that same year by George W Bush. You can’t blame everything on President Obama. Yours Truely, Tom

  112. Thanks for dropping in Tom,

    Obama’s continuing fight against a sane energy policy has probably pushed the curly bulb idea.. which is less energy thus needing such insane ideas as government enforced curly bulbs, wind power, solar, etc, all unproven and subsidized by us the taxpayer to the hilt.

    I just got notice that this week Upton is putting together a consensus to repeal the bill to mandate CFLs — which is great!!
    Let the market determine usage.. Good, SAFE CFLs at a reasonable price are OK with me. Give me a choice. I, as well as many others, chose CFL and regretted it so I go back to incandescent.

    Yes, Obama didn’t originate the idea but no doubt he loves and pushes the thought — anything to weaken our economy.

    Good to “see” you again, Tom… drop back in again.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  113. When you have a CFL burned like that where the ballast (base) meets the glass, it usually means the CFL when it was installed was done by the glass portion of the bulb instead of the base. When you install a cfl start with the glass and when you go to seat it all the way in do that from the base & a quarter turn to tighten it in should be more then enough. That CFL got hairline cracks in it where the glass meets the ballast. The hairling cracks make the bulb not work right, which cause excess heat to the ballast (base) which caused the arcing of the bulb & the all the smoke. Power surges can also cause a CFL to react like that. TCP bulbs contain a fusesistor which is a safety mechanism. It’s a resistor that will break if there is arcing or a power surge. There is also a transformer between the tubes that will burn out in case of a power surge. This probably what caused the bad smell.

  114. TC,

    Thanks for the instructions on using the CFL bulb..

    But the point is still… that kind of care before during and at disposal is not needed with an incandescent bulb… and the CFLs are ten times more expensive — plus the fact that use is mandated (forced) by the government. Mandating a consumer product is not good, free government.

    I just pray that Congress will wise up and pass a law to remove the mandate (or repeal the mandate) and let free enterprise and a free market determine our bulb use, There are some of us who cannot afford to put CFLs in every socket in the house. (Plus mine never lasted as long as incamdescents). If the price of CFLs will ever come down to compare with incandescent bulbs (without government subsidizing), then we will have a free choice. THAT is the American way.

    Thanks for visiting and commenting..

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  115. Wow, Jack, I am glad you are OK. Seems like alot of people are having problems with the CFL bulbs. I started using some this year in light fixtures and also in a lamp. The one in the lamp has flickered on me, and after I read your report tonight, I removed the bulb. It stayed in tact and didn’t break, but I smelled something on my hands after touching the bulb, so I washed them good with soap and water. A light bulb in another area of my home is burned out and I have considered putting a CFL in there, but won’t. I also have a halogen lamp collecting dust. I had problems with it flickering out, too. Hallogen lamps are good fly killers! The fly flies in there and the light smokes up and smells. I don’t think they sell hallogen lamps anymore because they were fire hazards. Maybe the CFLs will eventually be banned. I use flourescent bulbs in office lights, too, and after I changed a burnt out bulb last year, the bulb fell, hit the edge of a stand, and burst into a thousand tiny pieces! What a mess to clean up! I’ve also had regular light bulbs pop and burn out, so who knows which bulbs are the safest.

  116. Marcella,

    Sorry you had the CFL problem.

    I personally believe that Incandescents are the safest and most reliable.. since Edison invented the bulb over 100 years ago, and has been successful ever since without a government grant, subsidy or mandate.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  117. Tonight October 29, 2011, I had a CFL bulb burn out, and fill the apartment with a foul odor..At first we didn’t know where it was coming from, but my wife (who just happens to have a disease that has settled in her lungs) walked into our bedroom, and discovered that the smell was coming from a burned out CFL bulb..She brought it to me, and I, like a dummy, took a big whiff..We have purged the apartment of the odor, but I never want her to go through that again…I tossed all CFL bulbs.. Monday at 6:15 am, she is undergoing surgery for something unrelated to the CFL..I will be sure to tell the Surgeon about this incident, so that he can enter it into his pre-surgery report.

  118. Jonny:

    Thanks for sharing your story and warning with us. We will pray that your wife’s surgery goes well.

  119. Hi Jonny, Be sure to let us know how your wife’s surgery went today. I hope she is resting well and had a good report from the surgeon. If you have time check out the experience that my wife and I had with a cfl. You have to scroll back to May 8, 2010 to find it, with a follow-up on June 21, 2010.

  120. Does anyone know what loby group influenced the Desition to ban incandesantes?

  121. Terrible spelling on that post, I need to go to bed, very tired.
    Incandescent,decision, flunked spelling in grade school.

  122. not exactly sure but i bet you can trace it back to the build green movement and Al Gore, andy

  123. Tom,

    Andy may be right.. AlGore connected through his hysteria of Gorebal warming. Tell that to the folks up-east today.

    Just today a conservative Republican Congresswoman announced on Fox that she had pushed through a bill which delays the mandated curly bulbs for a year and she is working to repeal the law completely. Can’t think of her name. Yep, Cong. Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee.

    In Christ eternally Jack

  124. Hey bro. Jack, I heard that a deal has been struck to overturn this new rule about banning the incandescent bulbs. Hope this would be forever. That would have been a stupid idea for sure, especially since the new bulbs are so untested & have so many bugs in them. Wonder if you’ve heard anything more on this? God Bless!

  125. Hi Bro David,

    Yes I have heard that the guy (Republican I believe) who proposed the ban is now trying to repeal his law.. — and let the free market decide the future.. the best way.

    Not sure about if/when.

    Y’all have a blessed Christmas..

    I Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  126. Excellent. Finally someone doing the right thang! God Bless you and your dear wife and family in a special way this CHRISTmas.

  127. jonny crytzer

    @Tom Heim and Califgracer: Thank you for your concern about my wife’s surgery..Everything went well.. She had part of one lung removed several years ago, and has experienced pain in the general area of that lung recently..It turned out to be a bad gallbladder…She had an instant adverse reaction from the odor emitted from the Blown CFL bulb…Her lungs are filled with granulomas, caused by a desease called Sarcoidosis….Once the lungs are invaded by an unpleasant/hazordous odor, you stand a chance of suffering serious complications because of this desease…The comedian Bernie Mac, had this desease, and died from complications associated with pneumonia, made more severe, because of Sarcoidosis…I would tell anyone who has pulmonary problems, not to use these bulbs until they eliminate this problem.

  128. Jonny:

    Thanks for the good report on your wife and thanks, too, for the warning about CFL bulbs.

    Blessings on your family.

  129. jonny crytzer

    @Tom, I’ve read all of your comments, and am sincerely glad that neither you nor your wife was injured…This subject should be an informative discussion, so people know that bad things can happen when using CFL bulbs…I don’t care why they were made, I don’t care how they were made, I don’t care about the intricate internal wiring of these bulbs…I care that we are relating the problems that we’ve had, so other people can be aware of those problems..Some of these people can defend their usage until the cows come home, it will not take away the dangers associated with them…..Maybe, after seeing our comments, some people might still use them, but away from where they are sitting…People with lung problems, like my wife’s, might decide, as we did, and not use them…Being informed can save lives…Reading some of the stories on this blog proves it….

  130. I was just checking for info after the same thing happened to us last night. The bulb above our dining room table started smoking, it actually had flames shooting out of a hole in the side of the base. I have these throughout my house inside and out. Some of these lights burn when we are not home. I’m removing them ALL today.

  131. Valerie May, I’ve heard a lot horror stories and that’s about as bad as any of them. I hope that you weren’t injured in any way and that you were very careful cleaning up. If you still have the bulb could you take a picture of it and post it to this site? I’d really like to see it. Thanks.

  132. This is a photo of one that went on fire in my house

  133. Hi – You stated: “the US Government mandated their (CFL bulbs) future use.” It is a lie that the government mandates the use of CFL bulbs. The law does not mandate any bulb technology, it only mandates bulb efficiency, starting with standard old technology 100 watt incandescent bulbs. Incandescent halogen bulbs fit within the bulb efficiency mandate.

  134. Hi Jim,

    Thanks for stopping by.

    You state “The law does not mandate any bulb technology, it only mandates bulb efficiency,”

    A government mandate on “efficiency” is an intrusive mandate nonetheless — Government must stay out of the way of private markets — Let us rid our government of mandates in free enterprise.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  135. Hi Jim. We try to refrain from calling each other names on this site. (as in Liar) If you had taken the time to read a good portion or the comments here, you would have know that there is a very good exchange of information by well informed people who don’t like being told by politicians what we can and can not buy. Most of us understand that the laws made in Washington D C are rarely for the stated reasons. Its known as Washington Lobbyists. Did you know there are more lobbyists in D C than there are Politicians? Anyway, I hope you have a good week, and “thanks for stopping by.”
    Sincerely, Tom Heim aka, incandescent man

  136. would like to point out that halogen bulbs are basically a incandescent bulb with some difference in design and operation, they are not energy efficient, the advantage to using them is that they do last much longer than regular incandescent, have not done any research but would be surprised if they comply with any of the USGBC or LEEDS , the big movement now is in the direction of LED’s and as soon as they produce 120 lumen s per watt i will be giving up on the CFL’s and all florescent for that matter, personally have not had ant problem with CFL’s but i definitely support this sites stance on the free market concept. andy

  137. We once had a problem with a n vision bulb from Home Depot. I wrote to a safety commission describing the smell and burned lamp and never got a response. We’ve still used cfl’s over the years (no problem) but when we go away we leave on a low watt incandescent – just in case.
    I don’t consider this a political issue – just a mechanical one. Time marches on and technology changes. Maybe LED’s will be even better.

  138. I turned on the lights over my bathroom sink yesterday, and watched with horor as one the CF13EL/Minispiral’s I had began to hiss, smoke and sizzle. The fumes were horrible smelling, and I believe if I hadn’t been there watching it, a fire would have started. I have now removed all of these from my house. It’s not worth the risk. I worry about what I inhaled.

  139. I had one make crakle-y noises and flickered when I flipped the light switch on. I shut it off and moved it to another base and it works fine. Put it back and it does it again.

    Ours in an old house and I have had to fix other fixtures that flickered on incandescents and caused the solder to melt on the tips.

    If you notice one of these acting up, check out the base. It is possible that the part that touches the bulb at the bottom may be flattened down and need bent back up or the fixture may need replaced.

  140. We don’t use ANY fluorescent bulbs, due to the health effects created by their ‘dirty energy’ (search in any web browser). We do think we will eventually go to LED’s as they improve over time. I think it’s the EPA that has a very detailed procedure on how to deal with a broken CFL due to the mercury. I came across your site while searching for something else, but appreciate you article. Thank you.

  141. Just had a bulb smoke and arc as the orginal person (lady reported), bulb was purchased last week new Made in China, Sylvania 23W 120v,60Hz 380mA CF23EL/MICRO 6500K 1445 lumens, it smoked and arced as mentioned, just happed to be in the room! Had a rell acidity smell and smoke— did the mercury come out and we breathe before we took out at once? still room has a lingering smell-we just built a new house and has NO old wiring!

  142. Charlene,

    Sorry to hear of your problem.

    I cannot offer you advice about whether Mercury has escaped or not. Most reports say that unless the curly glass is broken,the mercury is intact — and you are probably smelling the plastic sealer around the glass base. Please call Sylvania — they may have a hot-line, and get their opinion.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  143. Karen Brantley

    I had a bulb in a ceiling fan do this exact thing. I did not notice it however. I thought I had turned light out. I woke up in the middle of the night with an extreme headache and nausea. I has to go to doctor the next morning to get a Demerol and phenegran shot. I still didn’t know bulb was slowly burning. My husband came home from deer camp and found bulb. It was slightly blue on the tip and burning from base. I am sure this is what made me sick. After he aired out the room and house I immediately started to feel better. I am going to call my doctor back on Monday morning and inquire. Burning of any kind also emits carbon monoxide as well. Scary stuff!

  144. Karen,

    Thanks for your visit and your information. We pray there will not be any deleterious aftereffects from the burning bulb. We will appreciate it if you keep us posted on the Doc’s ideas and your health in the future.

    Meanwhile, we also invite you to visit our other pages here, especially one that may encourage you. Biblical Hope:

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  145. We just had a CFL bulb in a ceiling fan burn out and it has a small crack about 1/8 inch below the base. It is burnt at the crack and at the base. We thought the smell was an electrical fire. (Embarrassed because I made our local fire department come out, but they did not even notice that it was the bulb.) It was after their visit that our neighbor mentioned these bulbs and I just found this post. Thank you!!! We immediately checked the lights and found the damaged bulb. I guess even fire fighters are not always aware of this. I can sleep now that I know the culprit.

    P.S. After the fire department left, my 12 year old prayed for comfort so she could sleep tonight …. and then I found your post!! Matthew 5: 14-16!!!!!!

  146. Expected Imminently

    Dear Jack
    Me too! We have no choice any more thanks to the EU. People bought up as many of the ‘proper’ bulbs as was possible. I managed to get about a dozen for my 90 year old Mum, but no more. I’m sure the CFL light is bad for the eyes. EVERYBODY moans about them, stupid things.

    Two of our candle type CFL’s, (pointed at the end to look a bit like a flame) literally, without any exaggeration, honestly and truthfully, shot out of the socket, with a bang like a rocket being launched and made re-entry onto our sofa.

    I was first, I told my husband what it was like, tried to show him the mark on the ceiling but he just rolled his eyes and twitched – he didn’t believe me!!! No smell for proof ya see.

    Ah, but two days later the second took off with him sitting under it, it just missed his baldy bonce and gave him such a fright, he was positively breathless – aha! Vengeance is mine saith The Lord! :D


  147. Sue,

    Funny but indeed sad about yours.. Never heard of the bulbs shooting out like that.. but we have lots of different problems displayed here.

    Alas, Government won’t let things be .. they must take charge. Edison had it right!!

    In Christ, Jack

  148. Jack,

    I think you meant 20 WATT CFL, not 20 AMP. A single 20 amp cfl would trip most breakers and draw more power than 24 incandescent bulbs at 100 watts each.

  149. Josh,

    Thanks — you are right (20 watt) — my error.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

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