"ScrewGE" for incandescent bulbs

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by macmesser, Sep 18, 2016.

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  1. macmesser macrumors 6502a

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    Aug 13, 2012
    Location:
    Long Island, NY USA
    #1
    While changing lightbulbs in my home office I noted that some new fluorescent bulbs emit a really ugly color light and also are nowhere near their nominal brightness equivalence to incandescent bulbs. Brought to mind an inexpensive device I recall seeing in the U.S. General tool catalog some years back (I think they now are Harbor Freight Tools) which was humorously named "ScrewGE". It was a little disk with some tiny circuitry; must have been a resistor and a clamping circuit. One screwed them onto a light bulb before screwing the assembly into a socket. They were supposed to multiply bulb life many fold by protecting the filament from being worn out by the many surges constant switching on and off expose it to. One could by a pack of them for around the cost of a pack of bulbs so they were a big money and time saver. I had heard they work well but can't seem to find them anywhere now. Has anybody seen these or a similar product?
     
  2. bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

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    Location:
    Kentucky
    #2
    I can't directly answer your question, but if you're picky about color temp and a continuous spectrum screw-base tungsten halogen bulbs are readily available. The quartz halogen bulb itself is inside a glass envelope the same size and shape. They are a decent amount more efficient than conventional incandescent and also last longer. Since they ARE incandescent though, they do give a continuous color spectrum-it's just a bit whiter than conventional incandscent. You also don't want to run them on reduced voltage as it reduces efficiency and will also likely reduce the life of the bulb(if it doesn't get hot enough for the halogen cycle).

    If you must have incandescents(trust me, I get it, which is why I have a decent sized stash of them) look for "rough service" bulbs which have a heavier filament/more support at the same wattage as a "household" incandescent. In normal use, you won't notice a difference. If you use clamp lights or work lights in your garage, you might be pleasantly surprised at them not dying EVERY time you drop one. The home improvement stores often have a limited selection, but they are readily available online.
     
  3. MacNut macrumors Core

    MacNut

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    Jan 4, 2002
    Location:
    CT
    #3
    Fluorescent bulbs suck, the color temps are bad, take a while to warm up and don't last as advertised. Stay away, move on to LEDs.
     
  4. Zenithal macrumors 68040

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    Sep 10, 2009
    #4
    I bought some pricey florescents in 2008 in a warm color much like incandescent and only replaced them a few months ago with LED bulbs. These bulbs were on 4-7 hours a day for 8 years and didn't experience any noticeable dimming. By switching most lighting sans recessed to florescent, I saved roughly $600 a year in electricity bills.
     
  5. macmesser thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Aug 13, 2012
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    Long Island, NY USA
    #5
    Thanks bunnspecial. That's a good thing to know. I'll be looking online and will soon have a stash of my own.
    --- Post Merged, Sep 18, 2016 ---
    I've never used a LED in place of a traditional light bulb. Will have to try one. I had heard color was off.
    --- Post Merged, Sep 18, 2016 ---
    That's a compelling figure. High-end fluorescents are another thing I'll probably try but I'm used to incandescent and so far everything else I've seen has failed to match color quality.
     
  6. cube macrumors G5

    Joined:
    May 10, 2004
    #6
    The manufacturers' catalogs usually have variants of a product in several colour temperatures. These are usually advertised as "warm". Some may even be too warm for general use.

    I agree I don't like the standard cool stuff.
     
  7. MacNut macrumors Core

    MacNut

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    Jan 4, 2002
    Location:
    CT
    #7
    2600k to 3000k is what you are looking for color temp.
     
  8. Roller macrumors 68020

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    Jun 25, 2003
    #8
    I've been switching to LEDs over the past few years. The prices have come down, and it's not hard to find bulbs that are close to incandescents in the light that they cast. (The terminology in confusing, though. Warm light is a lower color temperature than cool, which is counter-intuitive.) I also like the promise of longevity, which means that they'll last much longer, and the decreased energy usage.
     
  9. cube macrumors G5

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    May 10, 2004
    #9
    3000K is too cool, the alternative I find for tubes is 2700K.
     
  10. Plutonius macrumors 603

    Plutonius

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    Location:
    New Hampshire
    #10
    Once I started using LED bulbs, I haven't considered using anything else.
     
  11. Zenithal macrumors 68040

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    Sep 10, 2009
    #11
    Lighting quality is directly to how much you pay. I used to keep exotic fish and that argument is quite true. Switching to LED was strange for the first month. It was much brighter than any florescent I had ever used. Metal halide is incredibly bright and often used on aquariums that contain sea anemones which need that incredible amount of light to live.
     
  12. shinji macrumors 65816

    shinji

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2007
    #12
    I'm using Philips LED bulbs and GE candelabra-sized LED bulbs. I wouldn't say the color quality or temperature is different when you match them to what you had in incandescent, but the GE's wattage equivalents aren't exact.

    It's definitely worth trying for the long life and energy savings.
     
  13. Zenithal, Sep 19, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2016

    Zenithal macrumors 68040

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    #13
    I'm using Philips brand, too. The lad at the hardware store said they sell well and that customers had issues with GE's offerings and then pointed toward a shelf of open boxed GE bulbs. For a true LED experience at big box stores, I've found Lowes to provide far more products and of higher quality and brand choice than Orange Box.
     
  14. Roller macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2003
    #14
    There are more choices of LED bulbs today than just a year or two ago. There's also a lot more variation in quality than there was for incandescents, likely because LEDs are more complex and newer. I've been willing to spend more for bulbs that go in hard-to-reach places, like the fixture in our foyer and outside floodlights, both of which require a long ladder to install.
     
  15. ActionableMango, Sep 19, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2016

    ActionableMango macrumors 604

    ActionableMango

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2010
    #15
    I've found the best selection of LED bulbs is to go on Amazon, where you can pick the exact color temperature you prefer.

    Like everyone else so far on this thread, I prefer warm color bulbs for home. I think most people buy cool bulbs because they are marketed as "daylight" bulbs. But the light is really harsh and also makes skin tone look worse.

    What's amazing to me are the newer "filament" style LEDs, which resemble clear incandescent bulbs with heated wire elements. I have a bunch of these in globe shape for my bathroom vanity mirrors.

    [​IMG]

    Yes, that's an LED.
     
  16. cube macrumors G5

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    May 10, 2004
    #16
    They are starting to make some LED tubes too.
     
  17. A.Goldberg macrumors 68000

    A.Goldberg

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2015
    Location:
    Boston
    #17
    I hate fluorescent bulbs. HATE. And cheap CFLs are awful. When my company aquired a building, the overhead dome fixtures in the hallways had these garbage CFL's that barely produced any light and the light it did produced was yellow-orange.

    My apartment has a ton recessed lighting and the landlords cheap CFL bulbs blew much faster than the incandescent I replaced them with. (Yes, they were said to have a ballast to work on standard incandescent dimmers) It was literally felt like a weekly game of replacing bulbs. So I switched back to incandescent, the place is much brighter. When I moved in 2 years ago the LED bulbs + dimmer units were still fairly expensive, especially in local city hardware store :rolleyes:

    Those candle style 40w (?) wall sconce bulbs that blow out ever 2 weeks have been replaced with LED's. I've had the same bulbs for probablty 6 months in there.

    Now only if they had asthetically acceptable for those awful 40w globe bulbs in my bathroom. Those don't live too long. Not long ago one blew at 2:00am upon switching on the switch and nearly took my eye out with a shard of glass. The globe portion broke open sending a some bits of glass flying. Good thing I had put my glasses on- and that I don't have a heart condition. That "pop" scared the crap out of me.

    I have LED bulbs in some of my standard 60-75w bulb locations. They seem to be fine. I think as long as you get a decent brand and pay attention to the color output, you shouldn't have a problem. You'll notice most brands have at least an couple variations from warm (more natural and homey) to cool (white/blueish and more industrial feeling).

    Btw, Obvious but make sure if you have dimmable switches you have the appropriate light switches in place.
     
  18. Zenithal, Sep 19, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2016

    Zenithal macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2009
    #18
    To add to your post, I found cheap florescents to have very thin glass in their tubes. It's thicker in better bulbs. On the other hand, Orange Box used to carry their own line of florescents when they first hit the market. They were eco friendly bulbs and very cheap. About $5-6 per bulb. Those last a long time and they stopped carrying them a few years later. I bought maybe 20 of them and only had 3 burn out within 2 years of use. I still have them and they're put away now. I used them mainly in less used areas, like the workbench in my garage, the butler's pantry, laundry room, etc.

    Apart from Gold's case, bulbs aren't that dangerous. I'd say halogen floor lamps were the most dangerous of lamps back when they were popular. You had to be very careful cleaning (dusting) or replacing the bulb, the smallest amount of oil from your fingers or a scratch from a brush would start an unknown countdown to when the bulb will fail and explode. Perhaps you should line your walls with potatoes to catch any glass shards next time.

    I've cracked and or broken my fair share of florescent tube bulbs though. Really good bulbs cost money, but are also immune to the issues that plague cheaper offerings, like cold weather performance.
     
  19. cube macrumors G5

    Joined:
    May 10, 2004
    #19
    I have always got nice warm 2700K fluorescent bulbs since a pretty long time. But I find they don't last as many years as they are supposed to for the price.

    Coincidentally, one just blew out and I replaced it with a standard fluorescent one I cannot stand, so I will check out the LEDs. I don't think they were selling them the last time I replaced one.

    It's very poor form when building management does not pay attention to color temperature.
     
  20. cube macrumors G5

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    May 10, 2004
    #20
    Well, I have been interested in the Philips color system and was waiting for a better price and a need for a replacement, and both happened.
     
  21. WarHeadz macrumors 6502a

    WarHeadz

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2015
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #21
    Another vote for LED. They now come in all shapes and sizes and to me the color is identical to old fashioned bulbs. I've been switching every bulb in my house to LED's over the past year as the old bulbs were dying out, the long life of LED bulbs is great for the outdoor lights and the ones in the rooms with high ceilings because they were always the most annoying to replace. I felt like I was constantly keeping up with light bulbs going out. No more of that with LED's. And they don't heat up like the incandescent and fluorescents did. Oh, and they're dimmable.
     
  22. ActionableMango macrumors 604

    ActionableMango

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    Sep 21, 2010
    #22
    Did you see the picture of the LED globe bulb in my post #15? Is that not aesthetically acceptable? It looks fantastic to me.
     
  23. cube macrumors G5

    Joined:
    May 10, 2004
    #23
    I noticed the new Philips SceneSwitch yesterday. This is an interesting smart, simple low cost solution, although I am doubtful about the intensity at the warmer settings.

    But hey, I really wanted to try color ambiences, and disco and Ambilight modes, so I had to splurge.
     
  24. A.Goldberg macrumors 68000

    A.Goldberg

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2015
    Location:
    Boston
    #24
    Ohh I assumed that was Edison bulb. I've actually been wanting to make a light fixture using Edison bulbs but that's another story. As long as it produces quality light for a bathroom and not that red-orange tinge Edison bulbs have, as well as a decent spread, I very well might be interested. All the clear globe bulbs I have see thus far have a chunky base on them. I might have to take a trip to the hardware store.

    My bathroom has little natural light, considering it's window is on the side of the building facing someone's living room in neighboring building. A different shade or fronsting the bottom half of the window might be helpful.
     
  25. cube macrumors G5

    Joined:
    May 10, 2004
    #25
    OSRAM does not seem to have filament-style mini-candle LED lamps yet.

    Or LED U-tubes.
     

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