Author Topic: Can I use CFL's in my Garage Door Openers  (Read 4972 times)
lightman64
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Can I use CFL's in my Garage Door Openers « on: July 11, 2009, 07:20:20 AM » Author: lightman64
I have two Chamberlain Liftmaster openers for my two garage doors. They take two light bulbs a piece. I was wondering if I can use CFL's in these because they burn out a lot and are on very frequently. BTW, I don't use Incandescents anymore unless I have to.
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Aaron Walker
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Re: Can I use CFL's in my Garage Door Openers « Reply #1 on: July 11, 2009, 01:45:37 PM » Author: Aaron Walker
yes, no doubt about it. I have been using a ge 26W cfl and a Feit electric cfl in my Genie garage door opener for over 2 years, dispite getting started at least 12 times per day, another thing is cfls(fluorescents in general) have thick cathodes (unlike incandescent )
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lightman64
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Re: Can I use CFL's in my Garage Door Openers « Reply #2 on: July 11, 2009, 02:08:06 PM » Author: lightman64
Uh oh. I just tried a Commercial Electric CFL and the opener would not open with the remote thingy in the car, only the switch in the house. Better stick with Regular bulbs for now!

Maybe yours is different, my openers are Brand New. How old is yours?
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Re: Can I use CFL's in my Garage Door Openers « Reply #3 on: July 12, 2009, 10:18:59 AM » Author: Medved
There might be a safety feature sensing lamp filament, disabling remote, when the warning lamp does not work. You might have to trick this feature by connecting a dummy load (4*2k2/10W resistors in parallel to mimic a 25W lamp)
And generally for such application i would use CCFL lamp - this is insensitive to frequent switching, or convert the light to LED's.
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SeanB~1
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Re: Can I use CFL's in my Garage Door Openers « Reply #4 on: July 12, 2009, 11:46:39 AM » Author: SeanB~1
It is not the frequent switching that is a worry, but the vibration of the lasmps by the door motor. Best would be to buy some rough service lamps, or traffic signal lamps, as they are designed with more supports and a thicker filament to survive vibration. The alternative is a LED lamp, but this would be not too bright.
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Medved
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Re: Can I use CFL's in my Garage Door Openers « Reply #5 on: July 12, 2009, 12:08:32 PM » Author: Medved
It is not the frequent switching that is a worry, but the vibration of the lasmps by the door motor. Best would be to buy some rough service lamps, or traffic signal lamps, as they are designed with more supports and a thicker filament to survive vibration. The alternative is a LED lamp, but this would be not too bright.

LED: I didn't meant to use those LED lamps with incandescent socket, but rebuild the fixture for LED source - with adequate heatsinking,...

Frequent switching: I expected these lamps are flashing during door movement...

But anyway, using incandescent is the best option, if the fixture is so designed.
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Re: Can I use CFL's in my Garage Door Openers « Reply #6 on: July 13, 2009, 04:25:31 AM » Author: TudorWhiz
I use heavy duty rough service lamps....in my old house we used Philips rough service A-21 sized frosted lamps from 1998 and they worked till one blew out in 2006..that's a good life!

Find lamps with a lot of filament supports (like 6 of em)
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arcblue
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Re: Can I use CFL's in my Garage Door Openers « Reply #7 on: July 13, 2009, 01:41:15 PM » Author: arcblue
There are special "garage door opener" lamps that should be available in any hardware store - they are typically Rough-Service, frosted lamps and are usually better built and nicer to use in almost any application than an average "Soft White" incandescent. I used to use these for years at my parents' house with good results.

You won't generally find CCFL's or screw-in LED lamps bright enough. CFL's will work; I tried one that was not amalgam-based and was program-start to help with cold temperatures & wear on the electrodes, but found it still took too long to warm up - garage door lights aren't generally on long enough to warrant a CFL. The other problem is if something blocks the door, or when programming the keypad (if yours has one), the opener lights will blink rapidly - not good for CFL's and it looks very strange if it's a programmed-start type.

I have been using halogens - Philips Halogena on one side is still going strong after about 5 years now, though the filament is slightly malformed. I had GE Halogens in the other - they did not hold up and blackened severely. The new GE Halogen has the pinch support like the Halogena and is doing fine. I love the way those lamps look - like mini BT-shaped mercury lamps.

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Re: Can I use CFL's in my Garage Door Openers « Reply #8 on: July 13, 2009, 02:01:34 PM » Author: Medved
I use heavy duty rough service lamps....in my old house we used Philips rough service A-21 sized frosted lamps from 1998 and they worked till one blew out in 2006..that's a good life!

Find lamps with a lot of filament supports (like 6 of em)

Using "rough service" or "long life" incandescent for standard lighting application is wasting money: These have generally lower efficacy and the extra energy cost (compare to lower wattage standard grade bulb) is much higher then the cost of fer lamps for replacement.

But such door opener is other story - there the lamp is for signaling and it light only for short time, so lower efficacy of longer lasing and/or more robust lamp does not cause any extra operating cost.
If the refractor is red and/or yellow (so no need for blue part of the spectrum), you might even use (underdriven) "240V" bulb of the twice nominal wattage - it will last there virtually forever (Ideal quality, so it might fail solely due to filament evaporation, bulb designed for 240V supply and 750hour life will last about 100years of continuous operation at 120V supply)...
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Mr. Big
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Re: Can I use CFL's in my Garage Door Openers « Reply #9 on: July 21, 2009, 12:03:45 AM » Author: Mr. Big
Could also be the ballast interfering with it.
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icefoglights
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Re: Can I use CFL's in my Garage Door Openers « Reply #10 on: July 21, 2009, 10:53:20 PM » Author: icefoglights
I suspect it's the ballast interfering with the remote signal when the light is on.  If you read the back of the packaging there is a little disclaimer about possible RF/IR interference that can be caused by these lights.
Several years ago I had some large 15 watt LOA spiral CFLs (they may have been the first generation of spirals) in my bedroom light.  I also had a Dish Network satellite box in there.  I had a hard time changing channels or controlling the box unless the remote had absolutely new batteries in it.  I discovered that the problem went away when the light was turned off.  I replaced the CFLs with some GE long life white incandescent bulbs and no more remote problems.
You might try a different brand of CFL, like GE/Sylvania/Feit.
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Mr. Big
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Re: Can I use CFL's in my Garage Door Openers « Reply #11 on: July 25, 2009, 05:24:00 PM » Author: Mr. Big
I think the interference is put out by all of them, but i don't have a garage door opener to test any of them either.
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Aaron Walker
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Re: Can I use CFL's in my Garage Door Openers « Reply #12 on: September 07, 2009, 11:07:16 PM » Author: Aaron Walker
i have a genie door opener that does not blink when an objct is in the way. it takes 2 bulbs and a week ago a 23w fiet electric bulb failed. it lasted 2 years . the ge on the other side should last another 2 years . the lights get turned on at least ten times per day in weather as cold as 10F.
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Re: Can I use CFL's in my Garage Door Openers « Reply #13 on: February 08, 2010, 05:46:07 PM » Author: jason_m
This question is asked faily often by inexperienced home owners on other forums as well.  I'm suprised to see it here as people here should be in the know.  Anyhow, vibration service, or rough service lamps should be installed.  As noted, even one of those 10,000+ hour long life lamps wil often do due to them having lots of filament supports, and cooler filament temperature.  A CFL is is a waste because of frequent switching and the fact it's only on a few minutes at a time.
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