Leaving fluorescent lights switched on at home…

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  • Yep, when I built my new extensions 4 years ago I put in small halogen fixtures that take GU/GZ10 bulbs and lifespan has been very poor. Cheapest place for bulbs at present is Wickes @ about £2 each but I'm going to take the fittings out and swap them for the SES reflector bulb fittings that might cost a little more initially but the bulbs are about 40p each.

    Ron
  • Halogen lights need a decent air flow/space around them, if they don't have the space to 'breath' they will blow regularly. I have also found that screwfix are the cheapest. They are also very cheap fo the watch/organiser type batteries i.e. £095 each as apposed to Boots @£3 +. If you haven't used screwfix find someone who has and if they recomend you they get a £10 voucher to spend....you could split it !!!! ::)
  • Anyone had a problem with these (halogen) lights that they intermittently turn themselves off, only to turn themselves on again seconds / minutes later? We have a circuit with 3 lights on, and one spends about half the time off, one about 10% off and one is mostly on. Not sure whether to look at the circuits or the bulbs?
  • Cullumpster
    Cullumpster Posts: 1,481 Forumite
    If i'm thinking of the correct bulbs (probably not knowing me !) i've got halogen bulbs in my kitchen.
    Get yourself off to the pound shop, got 2 packets of 2 about 2 months ago and they're still going strong !

    :D
  • This is my first time so here goes.
    Re. the halogen lights, I suffered several blown bulbs until I was told not to touch them with bare hands (especially if they are hot.....) I now fit them whilst wearing a cotton glove and as if by magic none have blown since. Not sure what the sience is behind this but it appears to work.
    Now, back to mrcow....? ???
  • fishter
    fishter Posts: 17 Forumite
    When you handle the lamp with your bare hands you leave oily deposits on the surface of the bulb. When you switch the bulb on, these oily spots get really hot and this causes the lamp to fail prematurely.

    Cotton gloves, or a couple of tissues, will stop this happening.
  • Good advice...........

    Leaving your fluorescent lights on wastes money. If you're not in the room, turn them off. Starting the lamp does damage the cathode slightly so frequent switching will affect lamp life, but this is only true of a switch start (the ones with a starter switch) or a 'cold start' HF ballast.

    If you have a starter switch in your fluorescent light, replace it for an electronic version, (such as EFS600 or LEL UM2) which is best bought from an electrical wholesaler, should cost about a quid. DIY warehouses charge the earth! This will prevent damage to the lamp when switching.

    When you buy a fluorescent light, you have a number of options.

    You may be offered :-

    1) standard switch start - cheap and best avoided.
    2) High Frequency (warm start) - lower running costs, increased lamp life but only last 50,000 hours before they need replacing.
    3) High Frequency (cold start) - lower running costs, but lamp life same as switch start, and a 50,000 hour luminaire life.
    4) Low loss ballast - Lower running costs, long life. Use in conjunction with an electronic starter for long lamp life. Ask for a B1 or B2 rated unit.

    Never operate a fluorescent fixture with a lamp that just glows at the ends, unless you have a good relationship with your local fire brigade!

    Halogen lamps?

    ok, firstly these get very hot. Its important to match the correct lamp for the fixture. Never adapt a fixture to fit a lamp.

    Secondly, always buy a branded lamp (Phillips, Osram, Sylvania, GE). The halogen lamps available cheaply come from the far east. They mostly do not have the safety aspects of the EU lamps. e.g. in-line fuses, low pressure designs so they dont explode in your face. They also have lower light outputs.

    Honestly, if you are reading this because you wish to save money, what are you doing buying a halogen light anyway? They are notoriously expensive to run and maintain, lamp life is very poor and lamps are expensive.

    In answer to the question regarding lamps going off and coming back on again, most cheap halogen lamps will be run from a cheap 'far east' switch mode power supply. Typically these could flash - a mismatch in the transistor output, or cycle - go on and off as the transformer overheats and cools.

    Hope this has helped.
  • System
    System Posts: 178,093 Community Admin
    Photogenic Name Dropper First Post
    Thanks Vicky, i for one found your post useful.
  • Sybarite
    Sybarite Posts: 401 Forumite
    My entire flat has GU10 Halogen bulbs, about 36 in total, and I would never recommend them. They seem to be being fitted in every new build at the moment and my speculation is that they'll all be being removed in a few years time after everyone is thoroughly sick of them. At 50w each and 4-6 bulbs in a room they are phenomenally expensive after a few hours of use.

    As mentioned earlier in this thread - although I'm not sure about the green propaganda comment - the heat given off is a real problem, it may be beneficial in winter if you happen to like heating your ceiling, but it isn't really very useful during the height of summer. The shadowing, expense of buying and running them together with the heat, does make me wonder who exactly thought this was a good idea in the first place.

    I've started replacing the halogens with the energy efficient flourescent and LED varieties, which initially is very expensive thing to do but they are rated at 50 000 - 70 000 hours it should just about be cheaper in the end. The cost is shocking though, the ones I use are £8-10 each, the cheapest I've found, so £288 - £360 if I want to fit the whole flat, eek.

    On a more general point, and forgive me if it alteady exists and i'm not aware of it, it would be nice to see a dedicated 'green money saving board' as comsuming less and the moneysaving ethos seem to me to naturally coincide.

    I've used the board quite a bit and have benefited from the posts on discounted consumer durables, 0% credit cards and energy supply costs, all of which have resulted in a healthier bank balance and for which I'm extremely grateful to the members who post notices and the existence of the site. However by far and away my largest household bill after tax is electricity, which I regularly check using Uswitch etc. What I'd really like to do and what I'm wondering if anyone can offer advise on, is install home micro-electricity generators running from solar and wind. At present as I don't own my own flat I'm not able to do this, but I'm planning to buy later in the year and would like as near to a £0 energy bill as I'm able to have, with the possibility of feeding back into the grid during the night time.

    I'm actually quite shocked at how bad in terms of energy efficicent newly built houses are. My current accommodation is about 3 years old, everything is electric - don't get me started on the underfloor ceiling and floor heating - and the energy bill is enormous, the first year just under 1K. It's gone down since I became more aware of the cost, but is still more than seems reasonable. Yet the building has a large roof area and lots of scope for green generation or improvements -it's simply that as the whole block was built to let, so it's a 'machine for making the land pay' and consequently there's no interest or incentive to install anything of this nature.

    While I wouldn't consider myself a green fundamentalist, it seems irrational not to build dwellings that use as little energy as possible if technology enables you to do so. I recognise installing a turbine of solar panels will cost me a few thousand, but if they add to the property value, decrease my energy bills and have a reasonable longevity (irrespective of the environmental benefits) surely this is the logical long term choice, rather than being at the whim of energy generators' tarrifs or shelling out my part of the several billion £ in taxation that will otherwise be spent on new power stations?

    I'd love to know if anyone has ventured down this path and tried to make their home as zero emission friendly as possible? Oh and in the meantime a cheap reliable supplier of Energy efficient GU10 bulbs would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks
    I do hope you're telling the truth?
  • Cardew
    Cardew Posts: 29,036 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Anniversary First Post Rampant Recycler
    Sybarite wrote:
    While I wouldn't consider myself a green fundamentalist, it seems irrational not to build dwellings that use as little energy as possible if technology enables you to do so. I recognise installing a turbine of solar panels will cost me a few thousand, but if they add to the property value, decrease my energy bills and have a reasonable longevity (irrespective of the environmental benefits) surely this is the logical long term choice, rather than being at the whim of energy generators' tarrifs or shelling out my part of the several billion £ in taxation that will otherwise be spent on new power stations?

    I'd love to know if anyone has ventured down this path and tried to make their home as zero emission friendly as possible? Oh and in the meantime a cheap reliable supplier of Energy efficient GU10 bulbs would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks

    There are a couple of threads about the economics of alternative energy sources.

    http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.html?t=30987

    http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.html?t=117656

    IMO there is absolutely no way solar or wind energy makes economic sense for a home owner.
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