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What Danger, If Any, Does a Failing Compact Fluorescent Light Bulb Pose? September 22, 2010

Posted by bowmanlamps in compact fluorescent light bulbs, lumen output number, energy savings.
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Most Compact Fluorescent Light bulbs (CFL) are not drama queens. They end their very useful lives and quietly fail.

There are a few, however, that just can’t let go without a fuss.  Electronics in the ballasts may give off a little smoke, a little odor – even some discoloration of the plastic base.  But that should not draw much concern.

Energy Star and UL listed Compact Fluorescents have built-in “end -of-life” protection, requiring circuitry in the ballast to stop the flow of electricity when a CFL fails, abolishing any risk. So if you smell a little smoke, see a brown spot on a failed bulb, or maybe hear a little pop or sizzle, don’t be alarmed.  It just means the safety features in the bulb are doing their job.

UL guidelines require materials in compact fluorescent light bulbs to be self-extinguishing.  It’s not uncommon for these materials to show some damage when they are activated. If you do see or smell some smoke, or see discoloration, simply shut off the electricity, allow the bulb to cool, remove it and dispose  of it or recycle it properly.

See what Energy Star has to say about CFL end-of-life protection.

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