Fan Lights Now CF

Almost all of the light bulbs in my house have been converted over to compact fluorescent bulbs using 75% less energy, but I was never able to replace the little lights in the ceiling fan of my bedroom until today. Today at Home Depot I saw that they had compact fluorescent fan lights. cfbulb.jpg The fan has candelabra bulbs in it that burn out all the time, so it would be nice if I could find something that wouldn’t burn out and would be more energy efficient. These have a kind of chubby shape to them and you can see a skinny helix inside the bulb despite the frosted glass that covers it. They’re certainly not as attractive. But they were also only $1 each. So I bought three of them. They are made with the narrow base that my light fixture uses, but they come with adapters so they can be screwed into a regular base. One of them has some flicker to it, so I will take that one back.

They seem to take a little while to get to full brightness. It isn’t just a few seconds, but maybe 30 seconds or more. The tint of the light is decent, but they aren’t quite as bright as the old bulbs I had in there, which are labeled as 25 watt while these CF bulbs are labeled 15 watt (and actually use 3 watts). Here is a mix of the bulbs installed for comparison with the incandescent bulb on the left and the CF bulbs in the middle and on the right:


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Here is a page of Time magazine opened up underneath the fan with all three of the original bulbs lit.

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Now here is the same page with the same manual camera settings. ISO 400, F2.8, and shutter at 0.25 seconds. This is with the CF bulbs. This is definitely darker (though not green like this looks; eyes adjust better to the dimmer light than the camera). I didn’t realize I was getting so many fewer watts when I was at the store. But 45 watts total compared to 75 watts is a big difference. I would rather have brighter bulbs.

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3 thoughts on “Fan Lights Now CF

  1. These things aren’t going to work. They are just way too dim when turned on cold. It takes over a minute for them to get fully bright. What I’ve done for now is put two old bulbs in there and one CF bulb. I might change that to 1 and 2 and take back the one that flickers. I found some higher wattage bulbs on Amazon (5-watt for a 25-watt equivalent and 9-watt for a 40-watt equivalent) so I know those exist, but they were more expensive.

  2. I just got back from Home Depot. They had other bulbs with more watts, but they cost a lot more (2x5W 25-watt brightness for $11, 3x7W 40-watt brightness for $9.97). It would be worth it if they were bright right off the bat, but I wasn’t willing to risk it. For some reason they were in a different place, but most of the $1 ones were gone. I didn’t really want the 40-watt ones.

  3. This problem is solved. I started running this fan as it has gotten hotter outside and it was making a noise. I fiddled with it a little to see if I could fix it, but wound up taking it down. Then I got a Hunter fan that had been in Susan’s house and tried to put that up before running into some problems mounting it so I had bare wires hanging out of the ceiling and kept forgetting and trying to turn the light on. But after getting some missing parts from a friend at work and putting in some bracing in the attic, the fan is up and working quietly (a slight hum). It has a frosted globe that takes two regular light bulbs. I used one 100-watt equivalent compact fluorescent bulb (surprised it fits; I haven’t had much luck fitting the 100 watter in most fixtures; it uses 23 watts which is slightly less than one of the old bulbs and is brighter than all 3 of the old bulbs put together), so I’m happy.

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