From: JR Weiss on
Today I replaced an outside floodlight fixture with IR and motion sensors. I
got one that specifically said on the outside of the box that it was compatible
with CFL bulbs. In the spec sheet, however, it specifies "SBCFL" bulbs of max
30 watts each.

So, what is "SBCFL"? Do I have to look for something specific on the package?

Also, this fixture has an option of running the bulbs at "half brightness" for
specified periods. Assuming I can find dimmable CFL floods, are there any
cautions with their use?


From: Dave on

"JR Weiss" <jrweiss98155remove(a)remove.comcast.net> wrote in message
news:TuqdnXECJZf7cFfVnZ2dnUVZ_rHinZ2d(a)comcast.com...
> Today I replaced an outside floodlight fixture with IR and motion sensors.
> I got one that specifically said on the outside of the box that it was
> compatible with CFL bulbs. In the spec sheet, however, it specifies
> "SBCFL" bulbs of max 30 watts each.
>
> So, what is "SBCFL"? Do I have to look for something specific on the
> package?

Self-ballasted. Kind of redundant, as all COMPACT (the "C" in CFL)
fluorescents are self-ballasted. No, you don't need to look for anything
specific on the package. Main thing is to make sure that the actual power
draw is 30W or less (though the light output rating will probably be listed
as much higher, like 80W or something) and that the CFL has the same type of
base (the screw part) that your fixture is compatible with.

> Also, this fixture has an option of running the bulbs at "half brightness"
> for specified periods. Assuming I can find dimmable CFL floods, are there
> any cautions with their use?

OK, don't know if dimmable CFL floods exist. I'd be surprised if they do.

I'd suggest that you NOT use the half brightness feature for CFL floods.
First, you have nothing to gain by doing so. CFL floods are not as bright
as other floods to begin with. So they are about "half brightness" right
out of the box*. If a dimmable version of a CFL flood existed, I'd have to
ask WHY?!? Also, the only reason to run the flood at half brightness would
be to save energy. But you are saving better than 50% of electricity just
by using CFL floods. (assuming you are willing to put up with decreased
brightness, see below)

Also, the ballast in the self-ballast CFL flood will require full voltage to
work properly. If you reduce the input voltage to the CFL flood (by using
the "half brightness" setting), one of two things will likely happen:
1) Nothing (the bulb won't light)
2) Bulb will light, but lifetime of the CFL flood bulb will be GREATLY
reduced

* CFL bulbs (including CFL floods) are rated according to their
incandescent equivalent, but those ratings are greatly optimistic. For
example, if you get a "100W" CFL that uses 27W of power, the light output
would be roughly equivalent to a 50W or 60W incandescent bulb, but the CFL
manufacturers want you to believe that it is a good replacement for a 100W
incandescent. To truly get 100W incandescent brightness, you might need a
"150W" or more RATED CFL, which might draw 50W or more of actual power. So
in the end, you might be wondering if it's even worth it to pay extra for
the CFL? I mean, if you get equivalent brightness, you really aren't saving
all that much, in terms of electricity usage or money. I prefer CFL for
other reasons though. I've had CFLs last for several years while similar
incandescent bulbs are doing pretty good to last for several weeks. Some of
my floodlights are mounted about 20' off the ground on the side of my house
(very hard to reach, even with a ladder). Not to mention the ordinary
indoor fixture at the top of the stairwell where NO ladder can reach,
easily. In these locations, having a bulb last several years is a GOOD
thing, and the slight energy savings is just an added bonus.



From: JR Weiss on
"Dave" <noway(a)nohow.not> wrote...
>
>> So, what is "SBCFL"? Do I have to look for something specific on the
>> package?
>
> Self-ballasted. Kind of redundant, as all COMPACT (the "C" in CFL)
> fluorescents are self-ballasted. No, you don't need to look for anything
> specific on the package.

Thanks!


> OK, don't know if dimmable CFL floods exist. I'd be surprised if they do.

"Dimmable" CFLs exist, but I've only used a couple of them to avoid having to
replace dimmer switches already installed. As you noted below, they didn't last
very long, now that you mention it...


> I'd suggest that you NOT use the half brightness feature for CFL floods.
.. . .

> Also, the ballast in the self-ballast CFL flood will require full voltage to
> work properly. If you reduce the input voltage to the CFL flood (by using the
> "half brightness" setting), one of two things will likely happen:
.. . .
> 2) Bulb will light, but lifetime of the CFL flood bulb will be GREATLY
> reduced

OK. Thanks for the info.


From: Don Klipstein on
In article <TuqdnXECJZf7cFfVnZ2dnUVZ_rHinZ2d(a)comcast.com>, JR Weiss wrote:
>Today I replaced an outside floodlight fixture with IR and motion
>sensors. I got one that specifically said on the outside of the box that
>it was compatible with CFL bulbs. In the spec sheet, however, it
>specifies "SBCFL" bulbs of max 30 watts each.
>
>So, what is "SBCFL"? Do I have to look for something specific on the
>package?
>
>Also, this fixture has an option of running the bulbs at "half
>brightness" for specified periods. Assuming I can find dimmable CFL
>floods, are there any cautions with their use?

Motion sensor floods are a bad application for CFLs.

Cold cathode CFLs do well there (lack of starting-related wear, even
used in marquees in Las Vegas!), unless the temperature is below 90-95 F
(32-35 C) in which case they need time to warm up from "seriously dim"
unless they are on a lot and have been for the previous several minutes.
Cold cathode CFLs also mainly come in wattages around 8-9 watts or less,
and are less efficient than the usual hot cathode ones if the wattage is
over 4 watts.
The cold cathode ones usualy have longer life expectancy of 20,000-or-so
hours.

Bottom line: For motion sensor floods, use incandescent. If they are
on so much as to deserve a more energy-efficient lamp, then ditch the
motion sensor.
Beyond that - see if you can find an LED lamp rated for dimmers and
electronic switching devices - then you can put an LED lamp in your motion
sensor floodlight. LED lamps have no need to warm up and do not
suffer wear from starting. Good luck finding one more than half as bright
as about 50 watts incandescent floodlight equivalence, regardless of what
is claimed.

Good Luck,

- Don Klipstein (don(a)misty.com)
From: Don Klipstein on
In article <gaet25$bpv$1(a)registered.motzarella.org>, Dave wrote:
>
>"JR Weiss" <jrweiss98155remove(a)remove.comcast.net> wrote in message
>news:TuqdnXECJZf7cFfVnZ2dnUVZ_rHinZ2d(a)comcast.com...
>> Today I replaced an outside floodlight fixture with IR and motion sensors.
>> I got one that specifically said on the outside of the box that it was
>> compatible with CFL bulbs. In the spec sheet, however, it specifies
>> "SBCFL" bulbs of max 30 watts each.
>>
>> So, what is "SBCFL"? Do I have to look for something specific on the
>> package?
>
>Self-ballasted. Kind of redundant, as all COMPACT (the "C" in CFL)
>fluorescents are self-ballasted.

Only true of ones with screw bases.

Most without screw bases are not self-ballasted. Major examples are:

PLC-26/F26DTT

PLC-13/F13DTT, PL-13/F13TT

PLC-9/F9DTT, PL-9/F9TT

PL-7/F7TT

PL-5/F5TT

There are a few others

Ballastless CFLs are popular in commercial installations, especially in
recessed ceiling fixtures - one advantage is that the ballast is separated
from the heat of the bulb!

There are also "dimming ballasts" for nice smooth great dimming of CFLs
- requiring ballastless compatible CFLs! (Along often-usually with their
own related special dimmer controls)

There are a few pin base SBCFLs (I have yet to see any) for use in
newer construction in California that has its own energy efficiency
mandates as well as the "known to the State of California to cause cancer"
stuff...

- Don Klipstein (don(a)misty.com)














No, you don't need to look for anything
>specific on the package. Main thing is to make sure that the actual power
>draw is 30W or less (though the light output rating will probably be listed
>as much higher, like 80W or something) and that the CFL has the same type of
>base (the screw part) that your fixture is compatible with.
>
>> Also, this fixture has an option of running the bulbs at "half brightness"
>> for specified periods. Assuming I can find dimmable CFL floods, are there
>> any cautions with their use?
>
>OK, don't know if dimmable CFL floods exist. I'd be surprised if they do.
>
>I'd suggest that you NOT use the half brightness feature for CFL floods.
>First, you have nothing to gain by doing so. CFL floods are not as bright
>as other floods to begin with. So they are about "half brightness" right
>out of the box*. If a dimmable version of a CFL flood existed, I'd have to
>ask WHY?!? Also, the only reason to run the flood at half brightness would
>be to save energy. But you are saving better than 50% of electricity just
>by using CFL floods. (assuming you are willing to put up with decreased
>brightness, see below)
>
>Also, the ballast in the self-ballast CFL flood will require full voltage to
>work properly. If you reduce the input voltage to the CFL flood (by using
>the "half brightness" setting), one of two things will likely happen:
>1) Nothing (the bulb won't light)
>2) Bulb will light, but lifetime of the CFL flood bulb will be GREATLY
>reduced
>
>* CFL bulbs (including CFL floods) are rated according to their
>incandescent equivalent, but those ratings are greatly optimistic. For
>example, if you get a "100W" CFL that uses 27W of power, the light output
>would be roughly equivalent to a 50W or 60W incandescent bulb, but the CFL
>manufacturers want you to believe that it is a good replacement for a 100W
>incandescent. To truly get 100W incandescent brightness, you might need a
>"150W" or more RATED CFL, which might draw 50W or more of actual power. So
>in the end, you might be wondering if it's even worth it to pay extra for
>the CFL? I mean, if you get equivalent brightness, you really aren't saving
>all that much, in terms of electricity usage or money. I prefer CFL for
>other reasons though. I've had CFLs last for several years while similar
>incandescent bulbs are doing pretty good to last for several weeks. Some of
>my floodlights are mounted about 20' off the ground on the side of my house
>(very hard to reach, even with a ladder). Not to mention the ordinary
>indoor fixture at the top of the stairwell where NO ladder can reach,
>easily. In these locations, having a bulb last several years is a GOOD
>thing, and the slight energy savings is just an added bonus.
>
>
>