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Unusual CFL failure mode

Unusual CFL failure mode

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Heres an odd one that I thought deserved an LG.net upload.

Service call today to relamp recessed cans at a bank. Upon arrival I noticed the "dead" lamps weren't actually totally out, but rather their filaments were glowing brightly like a manual-start preheat lamp. Four of these in total were doing this. So clearly this EOL is particular to this model/batch of CFL's, all of which are GE 4100K 26w (FLE26HT3/2/841), I didnt even know GE made a integrated spiral CFL in color 4100K, this is my first time seeing them. The color of the working ones were a really nice deluxe cool white color, and seemingly brighter than their common 2700K and 6500K counterparts.

Anyways, my question is what causes this failure mode? These are all instant start, which makes this EOL mode really strange. And will the filaments just continue to burn as long as the tube holds vacuum? The staff told me the four "dead" ones have been out for over a week.

ledstreetlight.jpg 20180630_171501.jpg 20180515_233244.jpg 80w.jpg

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Filename:20180515_233244.jpg
Album name:BlueHalide / New album
Keywords:Lamps
File Size:235 KB
Date added:May 17, 2018
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Date Time:2018:05:15 23:32:44
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BlueHalide
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May 17, 2018 at 09:10 PM Author: BlueHalide
BTW I brought all four of these EOL lamps home to dissect the ballast and see how long the filaments in one will actually burn for.

Anybody know when these were made? They have the 2005-ish ballast housing design

GE
"Helical 26w CGL"
120VAC 60Hz 390mA"
FLE26HT3/2/841
1700 LUMENS
"4100K"

"RH158"
"6G49"
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May 17, 2018 at 09:14 PM Author: Lumex120
1700 lumens is pretty bright for a 26w CFL. Almost as bright as a 50w mercury lamp. (1800L)

Any machine is a smoke machine if you operate it wrong enough.

BlueHalide
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May 17, 2018 at 09:26 PM Author: BlueHalide
Given how brown and brittle the plastic housings are these have seen some serious hours. One totally broke apart like an eggshell when I tried unscrewing it.
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May 17, 2018 at 11:50 PM Author: dor123
Failed starting capacitor inside the integrated ballast: https://www.lighting-gallery.net/gallery/displayimage.php?pos=-105188
In preheat, this occurs when the glow starter get stuck.

I"m don't speak English well, and rely on online translating to write in this site.
Please forgive me if my choice of my words looks like offensive, while that isn't my intention.

I only working with the European date format (dd.mm.yyyy).

I lives in Israel, which is a 230-240V, 50hz country.

streetlight98
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May 18, 2018 at 04:43 PM Author: streetlight98
I've seen a couple CFLs fail like this with the ends glowing but very rarely. What did you use for replacement lamps? Overall I've seen excellent results with the GE Helicals. Not a huge fan of CFLs in general (but a 3500K or 4100K one sounds intriguing) but if I had to pick a brand it would probably be GE.

Please check out my newly-updated website! McCann Lighting Company is where my street light collection is displayed in detail.

BlueHalide
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May 18, 2018 at 05:16 PM Author: BlueHalide
GE is also my favorite for self-ballasted CFLs, they always last their rated life at minimum and the phosphor seems to hold its color and intensity very well over life. Replacements ended up being 16w 3500K A-19 LEDs, which was the closest I had in the van in color and lumen output. I asked the bank if they wanted all 30-40 cans relamped all at once to LED to maintain lighting uniformity, but they still opted to spot relamp. I have a feeling these GE 4100K CFLs are original to the building, which cant be anymore than 15 years old, and they are just now beginning to fail. Recessed cans with E26 lampholders are also unusual for the application, back in the mid-2000's plug-in type CFL external-ballast recessed cans were all the rage in new commercial construction.
streetlight98
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May 18, 2018 at 05:21 PM Author: streetlight98
Yeah I was going to say the same thing about the medium base socket recessed cans. You hardly ever hear of those being used in commercial buildings built in the 90s and later. A lot of 90s buildings I've seen have the old school preheat plug in PL lamps and from the 2000s onward those electronic ones you speak of started popping up all over the place. I always though the chrome reflectors on those were cool.

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May 18, 2018 at 05:48 PM Author: WestinghouseCeramalux
I've had the best performance from TCP self-ballasted CFL's, and decent performance from GE, Philips and Feit. Sylvania is junk...they fail quickly and usually have a high pitched squeal while in operation.

Proudy suffering from "Westinghouse Lifeguard Disease" since 1977! LOL
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May 18, 2018 at 06:33 PM Author: streetlight98
That's interesting to hear about TCP. I've heard their CFLs are crap. All the guys at work say TCP's LEDs are awesome. They always say that when a contractor hands us a box on a house finish lol. I agree on the Sylvania CFLs, regrettably, as overall I did like Sylvania. They've gone down the tubes big time since circa-2000 though. GE has too. Granted I don't know *what* GE actually makes themselves anymore... AFAIK they never made CFLs, they just branded them as their own and sold them. I assume the same for most of their screw-in LED lamps too, at least the resi-grade ones. I find GE linear fluorescents to be pretty good but the T8s have the common issue of starting dim and their T12s seem to always struggle to start on my magnetic RS ballasts. It's like GE tubes need a higher OCV to start or something... Their MV lamps are junk and cycle like cheap Caster lamps. I was told their HPS lamps went downhill too. The electric company here switched from GE to Sylvania around 2008-2009 and at that time, the GE HPS lamps were excellent. The Sylvania lamps then weren't bad either but I'm seeing some quit after a couple months here! Brand new fixtures installed and the lamps are cycling! It's really sad. All in the name of LEDs I guess.

Please check out my newly-updated website! McCann Lighting Company is where my street light collection is displayed in detail.

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May 18, 2018 at 06:35 PM Author: F96T12 DD VHO

I've had the best performance from TCP self-ballasted CFL's, and decent performance from GE, Philips and Feit. Sylvania is junk...they fail quickly and usually have a high pitched squeal while in operation.

What about Halco or Satco
Thats what we use and they last forever

Music Producer/Light Enthusiast

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May 18, 2018 at 06:45 PM Author: d3anio97
I'd assume these lamps have survived long enough that the emissive coating on the electrodes somehow actually managed to deplete like it should after long hours in operation. CFLs are rapid start, but they also have a very short preheat during switch on, so if the lamp doesn't achieve full thermionic breakdown during startup, it causes them to sit there glowing just like a RS F40T12 when it's worn down so far it's incapable of even flickering or exhibiting a rectifier effect.

What if I told you you could save 100% of your street lighting budget? Don't believe me? Buy an LED street light and run it for a week. the results will leave you in awe. (Aaaaaaand maybe wondering why you swapped that 70w SON)

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May 18, 2018 at 06:49 PM Author: d3anio97

Given how brown and brittle the plastic housings are these have seen some serious hours. One totally broke apart like an eggshell when I tried unscrewing it.

Either they've seen some serious hours or they've been glowing like that for a while... I doubt the latter though because CFL ballasts don't take that kind of stress too long as I learned sticking a starter across a CFL with the starting cap disconnected. that one went with a fair bang!!

Then there was the time I took a failed F58T8 and put that on a 20w CFL ballast for laughs... it glowed for about a minute then the ballast nuked itself!

What if I told you you could save 100% of your street lighting budget? Don't believe me? Buy an LED street light and run it for a week. the results will leave you in awe. (Aaaaaaand maybe wondering why you swapped that 70w SON)

dor123
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May 18, 2018 at 11:26 PM Author: dor123

I'd assume these lamps have survived long enough that the emissive coating on the electrodes somehow actually managed to deplete like it should after long hours in operation. CFLs are rapid start, but they also have a very short preheat during switch on, so if the lamp doesn't achieve full thermionic breakdown during startup, it causes them to sit there glowing just like a RS F40T12 when it's worn down so far it's incapable of even flickering or exhibiting a rectifier effect.

CFL ballasts aren't rapid-start but resonance start. Rapid start is a type of magnetic ballast in which a transformer in the ballast, provides constant heating current for the cathodes, before, during and after the ignition, and the ballast uses very low OCV to start the lamp, low enough that the lamp won't start without a ground. CFL ballasts are significantly different than this.

I"m don't speak English well, and rely on online translating to write in this site.
Please forgive me if my choice of my words looks like offensive, while that isn't my intention.

I only working with the European date format (dd.mm.yyyy).

I lives in Israel, which is a 230-240V, 50hz country.

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Jul 21, 2018 at 10:43 PM Author: musictomyeyes
I believe dor123 is correct, this failure mode could be result of failed capacitor. (Between filaments is a capacitor, often rated 630V. When this (resonant/starting capacitor) fails as short circuit, then filaments will glow/incandesce like this, as long as they last until they "burn out" (open circuit, like a light bulb).

This failure mode also results from a bad lamp (tube). I observed this in a cheapo brand CFL, at brand-new first use, its filaments glowed and arc did not ignite. I allowed it several minutes to operate in this state, twin incandescing filaments. Later, I disassembled it, connected lamp to a Fulham WorkHorse (instant start e-ballast, order of 600 OCV), and still it would not ignite.
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Jul 22, 2018 at 03:09 AM Author: dor123
The only tube failure that can cause end glowing, is that there is air inside the tube, which can't gets ionized, since it is a bad conductor, so the filaments would glow for several seconds before burning out. This was happened to me with several CFLs that fell to the floor when operating and become broken, so the filaments glowed for several seconds and than burned out. but I think this isn't the case in the picture here.

I"m don't speak English well, and rely on online translating to write in this site.
Please forgive me if my choice of my words looks like offensive, while that isn't my intention.

I only working with the European date format (dd.mm.yyyy).

I lives in Israel, which is a 230-240V, 50hz country.

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Jul 22, 2018 at 05:47 AM Author: Flurofan96
Bluehalide: I love GE CFLS (E27/B22) ones because they never have let me down at all, IMO one of the best made electronically ballasted CFLS. 4000/4100K and CDL CFLS are really so darn good when it comes to the clarity and the cleanliness that to the point if on a cloudy day my parents need a light on I would let them turn on a 4000K or CDL CFL but NOT incandescent or 2700K CFLS I find it sickening and it reminds me of winter during the summer!

One exception is that I do not like CDL being used in a overly white d├ęcor room. My bedroom is painted greenish yellowish with a fluorescent feel to it! With the CDL CFL on it looks so freshly fluorescent green but in 2700K it looks good but in summer I find it sickening sorry but overuse of 2700K is sickening

I will give LEDisease a taste of my shoe

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