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My most recent energy-saving bulbs last ...

Displaying poll results.
2 months or less
  714 votes / 5%
2-4 months
  609 votes / 4%
5-8 months
  923 votes / 6%
9-14 months
  1368 votes / 10%
15-23 months
  1018 votes / 7%
2-3 years
  1532 votes / 11%
More than 3 years
  3110 votes / 23%
Never had one fail
  4232 votes / 31%
13507 total votes.
[ Voting Booth | Other Polls | Back Home ]
  • Don't complain about lack of options. You've got to pick a few when you do multiple choice. Those are the breaks.
  • Feel free to suggest poll ideas if you're feeling creative. I'd strongly suggest reading the past polls first.
  • This whole thing is wildly inaccurate. Rounding errors, ballot stuffers, dynamic IPs, firewalls. If you're using these numbers to do anything important, you're insane.
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My most recent energy-saving bulbs last ...

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  • LEDs (Score:4, Informative)

    by nxtr (813179) on Tuesday July 08, 2014 @12:33PM (#47408025)
    I converted most of my bulbs in my house to Philips LED lamps from Home Depot. I had a few teething problems, with some of the bulbs initially. Some of their earlier floodlights were around a single bright LED, and it was annoying to have in an angled fixture. I took it back to the store, and found newer ones that were built around a multiple LEDs and had a diffuser. Some bulbs are still incandescents, mostly because I haven't been able to find a satisfactory replacement. These are small chandelier lights (that would need at least 40 watt equivalent output) and the three-way bulbs on the night stand (Cree just released them). Products are available, but both require shipping from the States. I'll wait a little longer before making the complete switch.
    • As rooftop solar gets cheaper every year, electricity won't be the biggest environmental impact of lighting.

      I already have a number of friends who's rooftop solar panels generate more electricity than they use. Once people reach that point, the biggest impact to the environment will be manufacturing --- either with poisons like mercury in CFL bulbs or with dirty semiconductor fabs and lead on circuit boards for LEDs.

      Hard to beat a plain glass globe with a metal wire for clean recyclable environmentally friendly materials.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        I agree about the mercury in CFLs but how do you think most solar cells are made? ... They are made using "dirty semiconductor fabs." So what would you rather make with the dirty semiconductor fab, a little square mm LEDs or square meters of solar cells? Also, no one uses lead anymore.

      • by jeffmeden (135043) on Wednesday July 09, 2014 @12:58PM (#47416635) Homepage Journal

        As rooftop solar gets cheaper every year, electricity won't be the biggest environmental impact of lighting.

        I already have a number of friends who's rooftop solar panels generate more electricity than they use. Once people reach that point, the biggest impact to the environment will be manufacturing --- either with poisons like mercury in CFL bulbs or with dirty semiconductor fabs and lead on circuit boards for LEDs.

        Hard to beat a plain glass globe with a metal wire for clean recyclable environmentally friendly materials.

        Don't forget that the solar panels only over-produce for the household at times when they *don't need lights*. This impacts your environmental summarization because in order to shift that electricity from solar hours (when the sun is up) to non-solar hours (when the sun is down and you need more indoor lighting) you need to use additional expensive (economic and environmental) techniques like battery storage or borrowing electricity from a nearby coal fired plant.

        • by Zumbs (1241138)
          While that is technically true, the time where solar cells produce power is the time where the general power consumption is largest: During working hours. Thus, solar power reduces the peak power output needed by power plants. As power plants based on coal, nuclear and oil must support the peak need at all times, usage of solar power to lower the peak output needed means that power plants can reduce their power production, reducing their need for fuel as well as their environmental impact. (As power plant m
          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by HornWumpus (783565)


            You have limited understanding of how electricity is generated (it's OK, so do I). Most of the first half of your post is correct. (It's the parenthesized part where you go off the rails.)

            Not all power plants are base load (the ones you describe), the daily variation is taken up by 'dispatchable power'; plants with throttles. Those vary from hydro to combustion turbines (jet engines hooked to generators). Load following can't really be seen in hourly load graphs. It's all about instantaneous control

      • But you'll need smaller solar panels because the lights use so much less energy.

        Manufacturing costs are always less than fuel costs, both in simple cost and effects. One is a fixed one time thing, the other is ongoing.
      • by AmiMoJo (196126) * <> on Wednesday July 09, 2014 @03:33PM (#47418225) Homepage

        LED bulbs sold in the EU must be lead free. The shops have to accept the dead ones back for recycling. The fact that they last a lot longer limits the environmental impact. The energy saved vs. incandescent can be used for other things that would produce a lot more pollution. The mistake of looking at technologies in isolation is a pretty common one when evaluating environmental impact.

      • You forget to account for the energy storage, as you won't be using much lighting while the sun shines. And the extra air con load, depending on your local climate.

      • by geekoid (135745)

        The fact you use needless alarm words means I can't take anything in your post seriously.

        "Poison", "Dirty"

    • I started converting my bulbs to LEDs back in 2008, so my oldest bulbs are six years old, and still running.
      However, the question was about my most RECENT bulbs. I got two last month. Neither one has failed in the three weeks I've had them, so I have to vote "Never had one fail."

      • I guess I'm not the only one who was a bit confused about that.

        I just recently had one of my first LED bulbs fail (the most expensive one at that). It was an 8W dimmable bulb and it still flickers so I suspect the controller is broken and not the LED itself.

        Got 2 new 12W bulbs this week for only €10 a pop, sent from China. And I love them. Just need to wait and see now how long they'll last.

    • Duh, that should be obvious. The only reason they would have failed is if they were DOA or smoked when I plugged them in or something else was defective or the lamp fell over; bulbs that are supposed to last tens or hundreds of thousands of hours that I put in this year haven't had time to fail.

      CFLs are different - they've been out a few years now, and I've had plenty of them fail, and worried about whether dead ones break before I get them out of the house and over to the recyclers.

      My most recent not-real

    • by AaronW (33736)

      I picked up some 3-packs of 40 watt equivalent chandelier bulbs at Costco that work quite well. They seem brighter than the original incandescents though I did have one fail within a day which Costco let me exchange without question. They also dim just like the bulbs they replaced. They're only 4.8 watts instead of 40 watts. I put in 2 months or less even though other than the single failure I have not had any other LED bulb fail on me and I'm up to around 20 bulbs so far. I don't think I'll buy another inc

  • The most recently replaced ones are the ones that the kids can reach and like to turn off and on a bunch (kitchen, dining room, and bathroom) so they only last a little more than 2 years but others in the house are getting close to 7 years old.
  • I installed my first CFLs in 2011. They're still going strong.

    The choice I made at the time was between startup behaviour and colour temperature. They either come on immediately but have a blue cast, or take a minute to warm up but have a warmer colour. I have the former in my kitchen, the latter in my living room and bedroom.

    LEDs are interesting but their "white" is such a weird colour I'll pass on them for now.


    • Make sure you're not confusing the "white" you see with, for example, LED flashlights, with the "white" that you would get if you bought good LED lightbulbs. The Philips ones are especially good, in my experience. You can get them in usually at least 3 different colors; warm white, cool white, and daylight. Warm white, usually around 2700K-3300K color temperature, is what most people have in their homes; it's the same as tungsten, and is considered "relaxing". Cool white is more bluish; something like 5000K

  • So far none of the Energy Efficient ones have failed. I have a mixture of incandescent and CFLs and am just starting to replace with LEDs for some places in the house.

    Kitchen - LED spots in the ceiling. Master Bedroom sconces most recently and ceiling fixtures.
    Rooms - CFL for floor lamps that stay on for hours.
    Garage, bathroom, outside lights - Incandescent for places that are turned on and off due to quick visits.

    Any place where lights are just turned on and off briefly get incandescent bulbs. At least for

  • ...until it gave up all its smoke. Good thing I was home before it burned the house down.

    I won't run any more CFLs. LED or incandescent only for me, thanks.

  • What a confusing question... I have a CFL bulb that's been in use since early 2000's, but it's not my most recent. The most recent would be LED bulbs which definitely haven't failed yet.

    I'm sure there's been a few cheapo CFLs over the years that have died, but they're not most recent either and I have no idea how long they lasted.

    Given that is asks for my most recent, I'd have to say it's never failed, but the option "Never had one fail" refers to any bulb. Guess 3+ it is
  • I plainly don't know the answer to it yet.

  • My parents bought some of the very first CFL lamps, and they are still being used every day. So, it truely is possible to produce lamps with an incredible life-time, but I guess it is not a very good business model. Beter make lamps that break down, so people have to buy new ones every so many years.
  • I have a mix of CFL, halogen, and old-fashioned filament bulbs. The halogen is the shortest-lived, by far. The CFL has been doing fine for years. Interestingly, the filaments bulbs, by and large, are also doing fine after many years. The average age is well over 3 years (the longest interval in the poll) even for bulbs that get used every day.

  • by mianne (965568) on Tuesday July 08, 2014 @08:41PM (#47411705)
    My most recent ones are the CFLs currently illuminating our apartment. They were all purchased in October, so. . . 9 months and counting... Shall I get back to you in the coming days, weeks, months, or years, when one (or all) finally do fail? Of course, when that does happen, I'll have already bought replacements, so my most recent energy bulbs will have lasted about a day at that point.
  • Once high-intensity blueish bulb out of probably 4 dozen bought (including LEDs). I still have a slow-start CFL from Ikea that I bought in 2005 that's still running and hasn't been broken.

    More concerning is the CFL that was broken - no more stand-lamps with kids now, but that was not fun - essentially had to completely and thoroughly clean the room.

  • I've never had a CFL fail. I've been replacing incandescents with CFLs whenever a bulb burns out. My oldest CFL is 7 years old and my newest is a little under 1 year old.

  • I bought about ten CFLs in 2007, two of them failed.

    Two years ago I started buying LEDs. I have half a dozen of these, none of which have failed.

  • I started with CFLs at least 15 years ago, possibly longer. I didn't mind the energy savings. What I did object to was my incandescents, which had made an annoying habit of going "pop!" and leaving me in the dark.

    The old CFLs took a few seconds to start up, which baffled some of my friends. The modern CFLs are generally instant-on, although they'll get a bit brighter as they warm up.

    I hardly ever lose a bulb any more. One of them failed last year, which was memorable, because it just doesn't happen. I
  • I've had a few of my older CFLs fail though but generally only after quite a few years. Duty cycle makes a huge difference. I just replaced two incandescent bulbs that were supplied by our builder almost twenty years ago. We just don't use those particular lights very often. I only wish I'd bought more cheap, incandescent bulbs before they were outlawed since they are fine for lights that are rarely used.


  • The last energy-saving light bulb that I've bought turned 1 year on July 1. It's a Philips 1055 lumens/13 watt LED that's roughly equivalent to a 75 watt incandescent. I had prevously been using a 800 lumens/15 watt CFL, but I thought it was too dim, and swapped it to our hallway. We have had mixed experiences with CFLs in our house. We found that in our dining room they would only last a few months, I think that they didn't like being turned on and off all the time and they were right in front of a hot fir

  • bad power grid and the electronic CFL are a bad mix.

  • Honestly, I've only ever had one and that was a freebie. That was 5 years ago and it works. I haven't bought any up until now simply because I already had a stack of the old fashioned filament bulbs to use up first and even then, they've been lasting 2-3 years before popping. At current usage rates, I won't have to buy any household bulbs for another decade or so, assuming there is no disaster that destroys the bulbs.
  • The bulb in my front porch - a Philips SL18 - dates from 1986. It's a little slow to start now, but it still works fine.

  • The dynamic range for the options in the poll could be better. A high-quality CFL can keep trucking for 20 years, with LEDs probably clocking in even longer lifespans. Actually every proper CFL should be able to reach that 3 years.
  • Since I have a backlog of older bulbs, I haven't had the need to pull out an energy saving one. Thus I selected the only option that made sense, Never had One.

  • but I only installed it less than two months ago, so not a particularly insightful answer.

    It's our first LED bulb, so I'm hopeful it'll fare better than some of the CFLs I've used.

  • I have 4 Ikea CFL's from 2006 still going strong (out of a 6 pack, the other two went outside on the front and back door and died a horrible immediate death in a motion light). I also have a LED bulb from 2010 in constant use working well. I have a handful more sitting in a package that I can't use because the ceiling fan is on a dimmer. I don't know if I'll ever get to them.

  • by droopus (33472) *

    I bought two cases of LEDs for $2.99 each at Costco (one 60W equiv, one 75W) . Yep, $2.99. I replaced every bulb, inside and outside my house and it's really nice. The color is the same all over the house, and knowing I won't have to change one till I'm well past 60 is VERY Cool.

  • My most recent have been the new low-cost LEDs. I only bought my first batch about six months ago. I have been replacing CFLs as they fail, so only have four LED bulbs in service at the moment - ranging from about a week to 6 months in service.

    The oldest in-service has been on continuously for the full 6 months. (It's the "basement night-light" on a ceiling mount that doesn't have an off switch. It's a 6-watt LED / "40 Watt equivalent".)

    My earliest batches of compact fluorescent bulbs were terrible. Th

Some of my readers ask me what a "Serial Port" is. The answer is: I don't know. Is it some kind of wine you have with breakfast?


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