Fluorescent cans?

candfJune 4, 2011

If I replace the old fluorescent light in my kitchen with a ceiling fan (I want to put a couple mini pendants above the peninsula where the ceiling fan is near now - husband insists on a fan) would it be my best option to use some fluorescent cans around where the new fan would be to give sufficient light? How many and where should they be placed? New to all this.

Here is a link that might be useful:

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Cans remain one of the worst solutions for general lighting around.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2011 at 10:38AM
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I agree with buckeyee, those fluorescent cans are some of the worst lighting ever. If you live in an area that requires high efficient lighting, than go get some cree cr-6 lights from home depot and use those instead. Very nice light, warm 2700k color and dimmable with the correct dimmer and you have a winner in your kitchen. The beam spread is great so you won't have a bad shadow effect.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2011 at 12:36AM
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At some point in the distant future CREE lights may make financial sense. Today at a price of $50.00 per light the homeowner is financially better off using CFL's. Even standard incandescant bulbs would be a better deal.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2011 at 10:02AM
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That point is now. CFL's are a terrible light in any way you look at it, and no one wants to look at a cfl. Incandescent light, while being a nice color and dimmable, create heat and their beam spread is not as good as a Cree CR-6 or a Bruck can. They have gone down in price, and at $50 per light, is not that bad, plus the benefits far outweigh any possible downside.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2011 at 11:58AM
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"No one want's to look at a CFL" That's a breathtakingly broad statement. Given the ongoing popularity of CFL bulbs I would like to know just how you concluded that no one wants to look at CFL (and presumably other FL's). If that were the case then I would think there must be stacks of new-in-the-box CFL bulbs in millions of households.

CREE bulbs are way way too expensive to be an economically viable alternative to CFL bulbs at the stores I shop at. Maybe you have an alternative source. Have you found them for say $12.00 or even $15.00?

    Bookmark   June 5, 2011 at 12:47PM
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CFL's in general area very pungent light source. A lot of older people have lots of issues with these lights due to the fact that they are hurtful to the eye. Now you're not really always going to be looking straight into a light source, but these are terrible in any form. CFL's in 5 to 10 years will start to be outlawed, and within 15 years you will not be able to purchase one. They are bad for the environment. LED bulbs are an investment, yes they start out pricy as each new technological advancement does, but it is an investment, and the better led's outperform the CFL's 5 to 1. LED's will come down in price, but right now they are a little on the high side, but they are not "way to expensive", now that is a broad statement. In China, mercury poisoning is common in workers that build these lights. These lights are very bad for the eco system, and most people just throw them away. They take some time to warm up to temperature, and don't typically last as long as they claim they do. CFL's are just bad lights, period!


    Bookmark   June 5, 2011 at 1:18PM
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"Given the ongoing popularity of CFL bulbs "

Most of that is because they are being rammed down everyone's throat.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2011 at 3:49PM
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    Bookmark   June 5, 2011 at 5:18PM
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A "Pungent" light source??? Only if you short circuit the bulb and fry the electronics!! LOL!!

It would appear that some of us are attempting to ram certain LED lights that are 5 times as expensive down the collective throat of consumers. Could that be because they offer a fatter margin of profit?

    Bookmark   June 6, 2011 at 10:22AM
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Not for me at all roadbike. I don't sell them. I install them. So it doesn't technically matter what lights and cans I install. People don't like florescent lighting. It's a fact, not a theory. florescent light IS pungent, it is mercury filled, it doesn't last as long as claimed, it takes time to warm up, it's bad for our landfills, when on a dimmer, the ballasts still holds all the wattage, it doesn't save when dimmed. it's a terrible light. What part of LED is not 100 percent better than florescent? Brickeyee is 100 percent correct when he says fluorescents are being shoved down our throats. Yahoo did an article yesterday saying how LED is the future and that Florescent is just a stop gap in-between incandescent and LED.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2011 at 11:07AM
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Pungent: Adjective describing an acrid odor or bitter taste.

I couldn't tell you if they were pungently flavored or aromatic or not. I can tell you that at a price of 5x that of a CFL that they are way over priced.

And yes CFL's as a group last for years. We will find that the electronics will kill LED lights before the LED fails just as they periodically do with CFL's.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2011 at 2:24PM
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For a A-lamp bulb to bulb comparison, yes, LED bulbs cost more than the CFL counterparts.

However, for recessed lighting, that may not be the case.

Total cost for recessed CFL
Can ~ $40 - $45 (with integrated ballast)
Trim ~ $10 - $15
Bulb ~ $10

Cost for CR6
Can ~ $10 - $15
Lamp ~ $50 - $52.5 (GU24)

    Bookmark   June 6, 2011 at 4:03PM
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Pungent: as per the Webster dictionary. It's first explanation. 1. Sharply painful. http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pungent
Please don't correct me again.
Yes CFL's are Pungent. Many people with sensitive eyes have a lot of trouble with Florescent lighting. That said, the electronics in LED's may or may not outlast the Light Emitting Diodes, but typically they should outlast them.
The CR-6 and LED lighting in general is by far a much better light any way you look at it.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2011 at 10:34PM
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Many people with sensitive eyes have a lot of trouble with Florescent lighting.

I would like to see research demonstrating this in a true double-blind (no pun intended) study.

I have heard of such people, but have never met one.

I have met a few people who claim they don't care for the quality or color of the light from CFs, but it's funny - when I had a mixture of incandescent and CF lights in my living room and they were guests in my house, NONE of them could ever correctly identify which lights were CF and which were incandescent.

I suspect that the highly vocal and emotional opposition to CF lighting mainly comes from people who have learned to dislike old-fashioned dreary low-CRI, flickery, mag ballast fluorescents. They're reacting to the name "fluorescent" rather than to the actual light the lights produce.

Another factor may be (as brick implies) the perception that they are being "forced" to use CFs.

I know someone who actually stopped wearing her seatbelt when the state passed a law requiring them, just because she resented the intrusion. I didn't say anything, but to this day I consider her behavior childish.

Don't misunderstand me, I agree that the seatbelt law is an intrusion. I'm not so sure about the lighting law, since in the long run the amount of energy you use affects what mine costs.

But whether it is intrusive or not, you should make your decisions based on rational evaluation of the situation, not let yourself be guided by your emotional response. You wear a seatbelt because you want to avoid or minimize injury in an auto accident, not because it's the law. You use high-efficacy lights because you want to save energy and/or money, not because it's the law. That's just rational behavior.

That said, if you've decided that you hate fluorescent lights regardless of how much they've been improved (and that's a lot), and you think LEDs look and work better, then by all means buy some LEDs.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2011 at 7:50PM
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I total agree with your statement David. But there are a lot of studies done on florescent lighting, you can Google loads of them. Here is the thing. CLS in general are stop gap lights, they don't last as long, they are harsh even in 3000k temperatures, and they contain mercury.
LED's are just flat out better, last longer, less wattage and have a much greater potential for improvement. Fluorescent lighting has been around for over 50 years and it's not going to get any better than it is today. The R&D is not in the CFL's or incandescents, it's in LED's, and LED's are making huge progress fast. There is a perception that we are being bombarded in having to use CFL's, it's everywhere. He's right, we are being told that CFL's are this and that and we have to use these, but they don't say that they will be outlawed in 10-15 years. It will, believe me. As far as light quality goes, LED's are simply better.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2011 at 9:39PM
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Even if your definition was the commonly used one I have yet to come across one let alone many people who have a painful reaction to those type of lights. Painful...c'mon.

Maybe your were looking for the word repugnant???

    Bookmark   June 8, 2011 at 9:21AM
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Every other dictionary defines 'pungent' as relating to smell or taste.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2011 at 10:00AM
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I did give a link to how the word "pungent" is used. It's in the fricken dictionary. It can be used in this term. Is this really the argument though?
If you can tell me that some people don't have eye pain due to fluorescents? Really? You know what people feel and or think? That's just flat out stupid. I have had Lasik surgery and my eyes are much more sensitive to light and glare and I can tell you that since this surgery my eyes are much more susceptible to light temperatures and uncomfortable glaring light that comes out of a fluorescent bulb. Not only that, but some people can have adverse reactions with flouorescents. Here are some legitimate links about the issues with fluorescent lighting. This stuff is published, your theories are not.




I think this should put an end to the "I don't know anyone who has issues with CFL's. I can also provide about 45-50 more links on the studies of this. Would you like to see them? This should end this debate pretty quickly.


    Bookmark   June 8, 2011 at 6:33PM
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A few more in case you need them.
This first one also has other links on its source.


A forum link with tons of sources and general information on it.

This is the big problem with disinformation on the internet, you get some people who don't have a clue what they are talking about, spewing out terrible advice to people who are generally asking for advice on things. It's a shame when research is done, that it is either ignored or misrepresented or flat out lied about. This is why the internet can be a big source of bad information. Like this thread. I want to apologize to the original poster who didn't see this as a question, nor saw this coming. If you can afford the better Cree LED cans as a light source in your kitchen, that is the better way to go if it's within your budget.


    Bookmark   June 8, 2011 at 6:45PM
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You can show that anything causes cancer, or headaches, or whatever. Just use massive doses and keep trying lab animals or test subjects until you find the answer you're looking for. I'm not saying all these reports are so biased, but popular media are not the places to look for scientifically rigorous evaluations.

Every product we use has potential health impacts. Whatever product it is, you can find some source that will indict it for some kind of alleged hazard.

Fluorescents? Be afraid! The flicker can cause headaches. They produce ultraviolet light. (So does the sun.) They have mercury in them. (See below.)

Incandescents? Be afraid! They have lead in them. The extra electricity they use causes MORE mercury to be released from powerplants than is released when if you (improperly) landfill high-mercury fluorescents.

LEDs? In another couple of years, as the naysayers amass their arguments, you should be able to find plenty of reasons to be afraid there, too. For example, some sources are already warning that LEDs are manufactured with arsenic.

EVERYTHING you use has some effect on the environment and your health. You look at the evidence and you decide what you're OK with. But please, try to avoid getting your evidence from biased sources.

And for goodness sake, don't obsess over this. Especially not with fluorescents. GE put the first one on the market almost 75 years ago (1938). This makes them a well proven, mature technology. We've had many years to assess their real hazards (such as they are) and, for the few who might be adversely affected, eliminate or ameliorate them.

If flicker bothers you, use modern electronic ballasts.

If you're afraid of UV from fluorescents, add a filter to remove it.

If you worry about mercury, get low-mercury lamps. There are lamps with such drastically reduced amounts (such as the Philips ALTO range) that the EPA has approved of their disposal in landfills.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2011 at 2:11AM
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"But please, try to avoid getting your evidence from biased sources"

You're kidding me right??
The rest of your argument doesn't hold much water to what not only I said but what actually studies are showing. I think I will trust a real study, and not your "when I had a mixture of incandescent and CF lights in my living room and they were guests in my house, NONE of them could ever correctly identify which lights were CF and which were incandescent". Total garbage. If you don't want to read it or do your due diligence in research, then don't. Yes a lot of things may and do cause cancer, but this is preventable as is looking or dealing with this type of light source that can irritate your eyes. It's out there for you to see, it's not my fault if you don't believe it. I really don't care to keep this argument going with you because it seems no matter the proof, the studies and everything said to you here, you're not going to believe it, so I might as well stop wasting my time.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2011 at 2:44AM
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The first two citations above are from popular media. Between such media's objectives of promoting their audience numbers and the appalling lack of science education among today's "journalists," I'm inclined to move along to the next citations.

The "dirty electricity" claims are potentially interesting, but as far as I can tell, they're not based on any double blind studies.

I also confess to some real skepticism over these, largely inspired by the language in them. They just don't read like well disciplined explorations. They remind me of the lab reports I used to write in Physics when the experiments didn't quite come out the way they were supposed to. :)

But I'll admit, my suspicions probably aren't any more supportable than these results. So let's suppose that "dirty electricity" does turn out to be an issue with CFs. Then we fix it! All it will take is a redesign of the ballasts in the lamps to add appropriate filtering.

In fairness I should point out that this is likely to increase the costs of the lamps, but they're so cheap now in terms of lifetime operating cost that there's plenty of room for such an increase. I would support legislation to require this, IF it's proven to be an issue of significance.

Of course, if it is, quite a few other consumer products are going to have to be modified, too. Let's see whether anyone bothers to mention those.

UV radiation from fluorescent lights sounds scary, too. Want to know how bad it is? Sitting under the fluorescent lights in an office for 8 hours exposes you to about as much UV as one minute of sunlight. Still scared?

I know, some people have to avoid *all* UV exposure for health reasons. The very report cited states that the UV from CFs is unlikely to affect more than a handful of individuals. The WORST CASE cited is 0.05% of the population.

For those people, again, there's a quick, easy, cheap answer: add a UV filter to the lamp. The cost for this is, again, minimal. Go ahead, pass a law requiring it for the sake of that 0.05%. I'm OK with that here, too.

To put it bluntly, there's an awful lot of FUD flying around fluorescent lamps. And folks with an agenda - often a financial or political one - are always good at catching great big gobs of greasy grimy gopher FUD. It's marvelous stuff for feeding to a small handful of poorly educated people, those who glower and nod tightly when their dark suspicions about government conspiracies are reinforced.

I think it's also interesting that many of the political fearmongers citing these very preliminary studies, at least here in the States, are the same ones who dismiss the well established science behind climate change.

They warn about vague, poorly documented environmental and health hazards from CFs, at the same time they're advocating rescinding environmental legislation and defunding the EPA.

Not all of them are like that, I'll grant you, and I trust not anyone here. But those are the ones by and large making the loudest noises.

There's nothing wrong with not liking compact fluorescents. We're rational people here. We don't need to embrace questionable allegations of safety concerns to justify our preferences. If you don't like CFs, just don't use them! If you actually buy into the FUD, just don't use them! You have other options, and thank goodness for that.

And now I'm done.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2011 at 3:52AM
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I liked how you worded that David. You were polite and I think you for that. Sometimes I don't act that way but you did, and for that I thank you. The percentage of what bothers people in the studies you stated is wrong, and the percent of people who have eye sight issues with CFL's are much higher than 0.05 percent. The reason why I like LED's so much is because of how long they last, how efficient they are, and how much better they will get. The CFL's are at their bitter end. All of the lighting companies are spending millions more into LED's than CFL's. LED's are so much more customizable and have such a better and brighter future. That future has already begun. It is better light, it does last longer, (much longer) has better color, much more efficient, and that will be even better, and is much better for the environment. You can make LED's do things no other light source can do. It's just better and it's getting a lot better faster. As for the record, I don't profit at all from FUD or the selling of LED lights as I am not a store. I am a designer and installer, and I can install any light source. I choose the LED's because they are better for my clients. My clients are also very happy about the lighting I install. Everytime I would install a CLF style can light, they were never happy with the outcome. The LED's give off more light, bigger floods, better colors and my clients like that.


    Bookmark   June 10, 2011 at 4:20PM
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