so, our home brand new came with CFLs pretty much everywhere (thanks, california). as they started failing, i've been trying to replace with LED bulbs where possible...and on the front porch, i tried to replace a burned out CFL with this LED:


the other day, my wife came in from halloween decorating to let me know that one of the new bulbs i just replaced had burned out (less than 2 weeks after install). i went out, turned the switch on, and everything worked fine...much to her amazement/chagrin.

tonight when we came home (after leaving the lights on while gone), the same light was out, again. i came in the house, and turned off the switch while watching outside...a few seconds after turning off the switch, the bulb flashed once (quickly on then off). i immediately turned the switch back on, and now the light works again.

any ideas? what the heck is going on here? i specifically bought bulbs that are supposed to be ballast compatible, and one of them works fine but one of them seems to be giving us fits...

also, for reference, there are two bulbs on the porch, i replaced both at the same time even though only one had burned out. the one that burned out is the one that's giving us issues now...the one that was still fine (but i replaced anyway) is the one that has been fine the whole time...

  • 1
    It sounds like that lamp is defective, try swapping the 2 . If the problem goes to the other side there is a lamp problem. If the problem stays on that side there is a wiring or fixture problem.
    – Ed Beal
    Commented Oct 19, 2016 at 13:12
  • i'll give that a shot (swapping the lamps), but the fact that it's the same light that had burned out already (which is why i was replacing them to begin with) leads me to believe it's probably the fixture.
    – Matt Greco
    Commented Oct 19, 2016 at 17:06
  • just did the bulb swap and left the switch turned on (even during the day it should go off within about 15-30 minutes if history is any indication). we shall see. one thing i did notice when swapping the bulbs is that the one we're having issues with did a quick flash when i was putting it into the fixture, similar to what it does when i turn the switch off...
    – Matt Greco
    Commented Oct 19, 2016 at 17:39

1 Answer 1


This is G24Q, a dedicated FL mount. It means it's wired to a FL ballast and starter, has a reflector to catch omnidirectional emission pattern of a FL - basically all the infrastructure to run a FL. While it is technically possible to build a LED that can work simulating a FL, it's counter-productive.

If you want to have a LED light, then do it right all the way: remove old FL fixture and install a LED fixture. Incandescent, fluorescent and LED are very different in their principles of operation and every time when you see one tech trying to disguise as another it's a shitty, ad-hoc solution that made compromises to squeeze into wrong niche. Even light emission patterns are vastly different, so the light source not only has to be powered by proper electronics but also positioned right.

BTW, there is very little point of replacing FLs with LEDs. Power efficiency is so similar that costs of the switch are hardly recoverable. LEDs have faster start-up time, so it makes sense to replace ones that are often flicked on and off, but for lights that stay on for long periods, I'd keep FLs. If issue is with light color quality, then look for a better FL. Worst LEDs are much worse than worst FLs here, while best FLs still have an edge over best LEDs. None can come close to an incandescent light, though.

  • this is why i bought the LED bulbs that were specifically marketed / (developed?) as ballast compatible. i was hoping to avoid having to bypass the ballast, seeing as how i'm not exactly sure how or where it even is. it's a front porch light that i don't really have access to above the fixture...
    – Matt Greco
    Commented Oct 19, 2016 at 17:08
  • @MattGreco Ballast is usually inside the fixture. There should be only 2 wires (sometimes ground is 3rd) coming into the fixture. Don't hack to bypass the ballast, just get a new fixture.
    – Agent_L
    Commented Oct 20, 2016 at 8:16

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.