Paul
Paul
  • Hometalker
  • Tucker, GA
Asked on Dec 31, 2011

CFL bulbs

KMS WoodworksWoodbridge Environmental Tiptophouse.comPaul
+7

Answered

Anyone having trouble with CFL bulbs destroying their lampshades? Seems CFL bulbs put out a lot of UV light that breaks down the fabric of the lampshades. I have lost hundreds of dollars worth of lampshades.
10 answers
  • Hmmm, Paul, we use these ourself and have not really had any problems. Then again, we only leave the lights on for short periods of time while we do whatever it is we went in the room to do. Then again, no that I think about it, most of our main lighting is from ceiling fan light fixtures. How long do you have the lights on for?

  • Paul
    on Dec 31, 2011

    Actually, we do leave them on until bed time in the evenings. I mentioned the problem to my family and they all found the same symptoms (lampshades disintegrating). Of course they had left those lights on also.

  • According to research the UV given off a CFL fixture is less then that given off by natural daylight. All lights give off UV. This is the first I ever heard about these bulbs doing damage to fabric. Some research suggests that the UV given off is worse the closer you get to the bulb itself, But distances over six inches away the value given off is much less then the sun in natural daylight conditions. If they did give off a lot of UV people would be flocking to work just to get a sun tan from the lights in the ceiling above. Perhaps your shades are really to close to the fixture? I that was the case, would not the heat from a standard bulb then become an issue? This is the very first time I ever heard of this occurring. I would be interesting to know more about this.

  • Paul
    on Dec 31, 2011

    Bulbs are less than 8 to 10 inches from the shade. Attached are some photos.

    cfl bulbs, electrical, home maintenance repairs, lightingcfl bulbs, electrical, home maintenance repairs, lighting
  • Paul
    on Dec 31, 2011

    I failed to mention, my lampshades had been around for 15+ years wtih no problems with the incandescent bulbs. Just a couple years after the CFLs were installed I began to notice the odd splotches of light through the shades.

    cfl bulbs, electrical, home maintenance repairs, lightingcfl bulbs, electrical, home maintenance repairs, lighting
  • 3po3
    on Dec 31, 2011

    I have never heard of this either. I have heard, however, that newer CFLs have shielding that blocks most of the UV lights. The main danger from UV should be to plastics rather than fabrics. There are some great LED lights out there that beat the pants off CFLs on nearly every measure, but they are still relatively expensive.

  • What is the wattage and manufacture of the bulbs that you have installed? Wondering if the bulbs are UL rated properly as there are off shoots of these bulbs made to sub-standard levels that may be defective causing higher then normal outputs of UV rays. I am going to ask a few folks I have contact with in this industry to see if there is something going on that the companies are not telling us plane folks.

  • Paul
    on Dec 31, 2011

    Bulbs I have were purchased through Costco - Feit Electric Conserv-Energy. 13 Watts (10 bulb pack) CE13T/10

  • According to the manufacture of these lights they are NOT UL approved. Meaning that they have not been tested and can be considered hazardous if used. This is why they are so inexpensive as compared to those sold elsewhere under name brands. The manufacturing of these fixtures may or may not be using materials that either block the UV or perhaps even amplify UV rays when operated. I would myself ever use any electrical product that does not have this UL rating. You have no idea on how safe the product is as a result. I am still waiting on answers however from my contacts. Keep an eye out for their answer to this question.

  • KMS Woodworks
    on Jan 1, 2012

    My lamp shades all have a fabric single layer....it seems that yours have a plastic liner of some type. We have been using GE and Sylvania brand CFL for years and years with out any trouble....it would appear a combo of cheap bulbs and "lined" shades.

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