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In our bathroom we have a 6 light bar over the sink, it has 6 standard edison style screw in sockets in brass plated cups, and no shades, just bare bulbs. It's very similar to this light.

Not long ago we replaced the bulbs in it with globe CFL bulbs, very similar to these. Two of the six bulbs don't seem to screw in far enough to make contact with the center post because the balast part of the bulb hits the cup around the socket. The other four bulbs are able to screw in all the way, but even with the internal temperature of the house at 75 degrees, they start up VERY slowly, as if they were out side in the sub zero temps, like 10 to 20 minutes before they feel like they're at full illumination. (to be honest, my outside CFLs start up faster, even in the dead of winter.) Sometimes, I even have to tap the bulb to get it going.

So two questions:

  1. Would it be a worth while idea to try to get the sockets farther out in the cups? Based on the construction of the OTHER light bar in the house, I believe the sockets are mounted on threaded hollow rod, so I think if I pull the fixture down I can basically disassemble those cups and reassemble them with the sockets farther out. (or more likely the nut on the other side of the rod moved farther from the socket.) But there's no other light in there, and I can't really have that room out of action for long periods of time... so if there's no point trying to fix these then I'll probably want to find a new fixture, and have the paint and such ready to clean up the wall if I'm just going to need to replace the entire fixture.

  2. Is there something about these bulbs and being mounted with the threads to the side? There's nothing on the box talking about what orientation the bulbs should be mounted in. I have seen other CFLs with a disclaimer that they need to be mounted with the balast at the bottom, but that seemed to be an exception on the really big ones (>200w).

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

Well Cabbey, you are not alone. I have run into the same problem with several fixtures designed to accept standard G25 type bulbs when trying to use CFL's. There is an obvious difference in the neck shape and dimensions. As far as the fixture is concerned, maybe you could go to Home Depot and take a look at the fixture you have at home and see if a simple modification is possible before you take yours down. I have also found a big difference in the performance of different brands of CFL's. I have purchased many "Light Effects" at Lowes with mixed satisfaction. Some work great, light fast etc, and some were very lazy. They have always taken back ones I was not happy with. I have had better results with Sylvania and GE brand CFL's, even using them outdoors in Maine.

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Ironically, these are actually Sylvania bulbs from a local hardware store without a web site. :( The light effects was just the closest one I could find on the net to link to. Good idea to poke around at the one at the store... but I worry that a modern one wont be the same as the 15 year old one in the house. I did realize I can just bring in a stand lamp from the next door room for a while while if I need to work on it, so I think I'm going to break it open and see what I can see. :) –  cabbey Feb 13 '11 at 1:30
    
good move...good luck –  shirlock homes Feb 14 '11 at 11:27
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