Index Home About Blog
From: John De Armond
Newsgroups: rec.outdoors.rv-travel
Subject: BACFL
Date: Sun, 30 Apr 2006 06:20:06 -0400
Message-ID: <>

I've just put up a new page on my web site called Hints and Tricks.
This will contain products reviews, tricks and nifty techniques that I
discover or come across.  Now that I'm temporarily Gainfully
Unemployed, I'm catching up on some of my web work.

The first entry is about the deployment of a Big-Assed Compact
fluorescent Lamp (BACFL) to a floor lamp.

Those ChiComs have been busy again, this time coming up with an 85
watt CFL that is the size of a football and produces about the same
amount of light as a 300 watt light bulb.  This is a Godsend for tired
old eyes like mine.  Getting it to fit in any fixture is the trick.
Well, I came up with the trick :-)

I'll be posting a review of another unique CFL lamp as soon as I get
back to town and get some photos taken.  This is an odor-killing lamp.
The tube is coated with a titanium-based, UV-activated catalyst that
destroys odors while it produces light.

I didn't believe that it would work but for about $9, worth a try.  I
mounted it in my Sugar Glider cage

Gliders produce almost no odors.  The females, none.  The males, a
little when horny :-) It's not a bad odor, kinda fruity, but one I'd
rather not have around. They love fruit and they love it even more
after it has gotten, er, ripe.  I have their cage right next to my
recliner so I can watch 'em while relaxing.  I have super-sensitive
smeller so I frequently catch a whiff.

I put this CFL in the cage and put it on the timer that creates
artificial day and night for the critters.  They need plenty of UV so
a CFL is a perfect light.

I sat down in my chair and.... No smells.  I figured it might be the
Placebo effect until the timer turned the light off.  Within 15
minutes the familiar odors were back.  So I punch the timer button to
turn the lamp back on.  In a few minutes, no odors.  Amazing.

I ordered another one and put it out in the area with Bob's litter
box.  Bob's tolerant and I'm lazy so I usually don't change out the
box until I smell it or it overflows.  Usually when I smell it.  It
overflowed this time.  No odors at all unless I'm standing right over
the box scooping out the Bob-cicles.  Amazing.

This would be a great product for an RVer with pet(s).  It's a 120vac
unit so it'll need an inverter but the wattage is so low that even the
smallest cig lighter inverter will work.  It'll light up a whole end
of an RV, an added bonus.


From: John De Armond
Subject: Re: CF recommendations
Date: Sun, 25 Jun 2006 00:41:42 -0400
Message-ID: <>

On Sat, 24 Jun 2006 21:37:57 -0400, "Barry"
<> wrote:

>Thought this group might have some useful info.  I have replaced the 17 65w
>bulbs in our basement exercise room with Compact Flourescent.  They are the
>Indoor flood type bulbs.  I love how bright they are and use little energy.
>Unfortunately, I bought them in cheap packages of 5 from Home Depot.  The
>problem is that they take about 2 minutes to warm up and are very dim when
>first turned on.  Does anyone have any info on good quality CF indoor floods
>that turn on instantly that I could use to replace them?  I often go into
>the room for just a moment and it is frustrating how dark the room is.

Earlier in the year I did a wholesale CF replacement campaign in my
place using the cheap 8 lamp packs from Sam's Club.  Essentially the
same lamps, best I can tell.  Though dimmer than after warmup, the
initial brightness is more than enough for me.  Therefore I suspect
that a goodly part of your problem is perception and therefore there
won't be any replacement that will seem any better.

The initial dimness is pretty much the nature of the beast,
exacerbated by the mecuriphobia that is rampant today which has led
the manufacturers to absolutely minimize the amount of mercury
incorporated in each tube.  The mercury is what emits the UV that
stimulates the phosphor to make the visible light.

Two effects here.  One, the rare earth phosphors used in these lamps
become more efficient as they heat.  That is one source of the initial
dimness.  The other effect is the mercury vapor pressure in the tube.
Owing to the scarcity of mercury in the tube, at room temperature
there is little mercury vapor present.  The phosphors absorb some and
the mercury release device absorbs some more.

Upon initial ignition, only the argon (and sometimes neon, krypton and
even xenon) fill gas emits light and little of that is of the proper
wavelength to stimulate the phosphors.  Heat fairly rapidly builds in
the mercury emitters attached to the cathodes and the merc vapor
pressure builds.  At the same time, mercury absorbed by the phosphors
is released as they warm up.  The result is the initial dim emission,
rapidly followed by full output.

The CF format IS so efficient in major part because of the optimized
phosphors and the fairly high temperature (compared to regular
fluorescents) that the tube runs at.

If you really can't get use to the slight delay in full brightness
then you only have a few options:

* conventional fluorescents.  Some T9 format tubes, which are more
efficient than the older, larger ones, are available with the warm,
"incandescent" spectrum rare earth phosphors like most CFLs now use.

* toss in an incandescent lamp every so often.  That'll provide some
additional amount of light instantly.

* Look at the latest generation of CFLs, the cold cathode CFL or CCFL.
This type of lamp uses a smaller tube and an unheated electrode.  The
initial brightness is about the same but the warmup is extremely
rapid, 10-15 seconds, in that range. These are limited to low wattage
units at present.  I haven't seen this for sale at retail but they are
available from on-line sellers.

From: John De Armond
Subject: Re: CFL Repair
Date: Wed, 07 Nov 2007 12:43:20 -0500
Message-ID: <>

On Tue, 6 Nov 2007 20:48:06 -0600, "Jim" <> wrote:

>    Ok, I know a dozen people here have said how easy it is to repair these
>little buggers when they go out, so I figgered I'd ask. I have a
>Chinese-made CFL18ROHS, Great Value brand (WalMart) 75w equivalent. How does
>one go about opening it to R&R the capacitor that I hear is always the
>problem? It lasted about 10 seconds..... There is a Radio Shack nearby.

Normally it's just a matter of prying the case apart, as it usually just snaps

That sounds like a random infant mortality to me and probably not a cap failure.  The
cap(s) normally fail after some use and heat soak.  Unfortunately when the cap fails,
the raw ripple makes the control chip do funky things that usually burns out one or
both filaments.  I've not had much luck repairing the things for that reason.  The
cap is a 105 deg C rated cap that you won't get at Rat Shack.  Any lower rated cap
will quickly fail.


Index Home About Blog