The Best Compact Light Bulb at the Best Price

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Review by FJPetruso posted 12-16-2008 05:26 AM 6468 views 2 times favorited 21 comments Add to Favorites Watch
The Best Compact Light Bulb at the Best Price No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

Several months ago i needed to replace some incandescent light bulbs that were burned out. So while waiting for a prescription at the local drug store I was checking out the houseware departent & bumped into the new Compact Florescent Light Bulbs. The price wasn’t too bad so I decided to try a box of the 100 watt equivalent. I found that they were very bright, didn’t get as hot as regular light bulbs & best of all used only 23 Watts of energy. I also found that even though they take some time to warm up to their operating temperature, it was’t very long at all & didn’t bother me at all.

What led me to this review is this… When I was planning for the lighting in my new shop, I was going to make a decision on wether to use the old style 48” florescent “Shop Lights” or the new compact light bulbs. With the great results that I had with the 100 watt light bulbs from the drug store, I’d use the new style bulbs. So I went to Home Depot & purchased a couple of “bright white” 150 watt equivelent compact light bulbs. (See the photo that shows the difference in the physical size of the 100 watt & 150 watt sizes.) When I got home & installed them was I disappointed! I went & retrieved the 100 watt equivalent drug store bulb & found that it was brighter than the 150 watt equivelent bulb. The Home Depot light I chose was $10 per bulb. The Drug Store light was $9 for FOUR light bulbs! I went back to the drug store & purchased two more boxes of these bulbs.

What drug store? You ask? ..... It’s the one on EVERY corner in the U.S. ... Walgreen’s

What Brand? ... Fiet Electric’s ”Daylight 100” 100 Watt Replacement

It’s a great product at a great price. And I now have ten of these in the ceiling of my 500 square foot shop & it’s a real bright “daylight” color of light.

They work good in clamp-on & magnetic base lights too.

-- Frank, Florissant, Missouri "The New Show-Me Woodshop"

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331 posts in 4564 days

21 comments so far

View jim1953's profile


2740 posts in 4696 days

#1 posted 12-16-2008 05:40 AM

Good to save electric what did you used for base on ceiling for the bulbs how did you space them

-- Jim, Kentucky

View FJPetruso's profile


331 posts in 4564 days

#2 posted 12-16-2008 05:50 AM

My shop is 16 feet by 32 feet. I placed eight of the bulbs in two evenly spaced rows lengthwise. With the rows being about 8 feet apart. I also used a pair of these lights at one end of my shop where my workbench will be in front of the south-facing window. (Actually I have one more of these light bulbs in my ceiling fan in the center of my shop too.) For a fixture I used a standard ceiling fixture like you would have in most basements & a slick 12 inch diameter reflector that screws right into the light socket & the bulb screws right into the reflector. Installs in seconds. With semi-gloss white walls & ceiling, it’s nice & bright in the shop.

-- Frank, Florissant, Missouri "The New Show-Me Woodshop"

View HokieMojo's profile


2104 posts in 4582 days

#3 posted 12-16-2008 08:29 AM

I REALLY like compact florescents throughout the entire house, so they are definitely in use in the garage as well. One note about the low cost bulbs. I’ve found that they tent to burn out in an unsafe manner. In other words, I’ve had 2 occasions when I literally had flames and smoke or a small explosion followed by smoke. Both times the bulbs were from lights of America? I took the rest out after the second incident and have replaced them with GE’s. I’ve had no issues with the GE’s. While I’ll agree that the cheap ones may be brighter, I think the cost savings come from cheaper ballasts(?). Just be careful with the cheapies. The stuff inside these bulbs isn’t great for your health and the fire hazard seems real to me. Make sure to turn the lights out when you leave and I recommend a reliable brand name. Thanks for the review. IF you remember, post back after a few thousand hrs of use.

View brianinpa's profile


1812 posts in 4577 days

#4 posted 12-17-2008 01:35 PM

A really good review, and on a “tool” that isn’t too often considered until you can’t see what you are doing. You get what you pay for. I too once bought the cheapie’s but have since changed my thinking. I really like the compact fluorescents because of the savings they provide, but I I no longer buy the inexpensive one. Spend the extra $ for the more expensive brand and you will really save money by buying half as many bulbs.

-- Brian, Lebanon PA, If you aren’t having fun doing it, find something else to do.

View jockmike2's profile


10635 posts in 5100 days

#5 posted 12-17-2008 02:24 PM

I too use the GE 150 watt bulbs, one thing I have learned is that you have to wait about ten minutes for them to become brite. I mean when you first turn them on they are kind of dull and after a few minutes they become very bright. It is noticably different and brighter. Just my observation.

-- (You just have to please the man in the Mirror) Mike from Michigan -

View Bob42's profile


457 posts in 4644 days

#6 posted 12-19-2008 04:01 PM

I recently (about a month ago) bought two of these for my wife’s laundry room and was pleasantly surprised. They are very bright but not over powering. I’m glad to see you like them too. I have bought in the past bulbs from HD and will never buy them there again. They don’t last.
Thanks for the review.

-- Bob K. East Northport, NY

View ferstler's profile


342 posts in 4374 days

#7 posted 12-19-2008 08:53 PM

I use these in my shop, too, and also replaced about 40 incandescent bulbs with them in my house. I have some incandescent bulbs still in the house, but those are on dimmer controls and you cannot use CFL bulbs with those.

Two points about these CFL bulbs:

First, I read somewhere that if you break one you are supposed to leave the room for 15 minutes, with the windows open if possible, before cleaning up the mess. The gas and solid materials inside the bulbs are somewhat toxic. I have already broken one out in my shop, and vacated the place before heading back in to replace the bulb and sweep the floor. Why take chances?

Second, florsecent bulbs can fade things. For several years we had long-tube, warm-whilte florescent bulbs in our kitchen. I think there were a total of six, in three fixtures, totaling 120 watts. One day, I decided to replace the butcher-block formica countertops with new ones and I took the old ones out and cut them up to make bench tops for my shop benches and some mobile stands. When I got them outdoors I noticed that some areas had a green shading to them. I thought back and realized that the greenish areas had been directly exposed to the light from the nearest florescent fixtures, with the non-greenish areas having been shaded by the upper cabinets. Over several years those florescent lights had caused the otherwise tough formica countertops to change color slightly.

I have no idea if the CFL bulbs will do this sort of thing, but at least the kitched lights I have in that area now are incandescents that are on dimmers. Time will tell if CFL bulbs have any negative impact on things like home furnishings, wall paintings and photos, and the like – or on humans.

Howard Ferstler

View JerrySats's profile


237 posts in 4464 days

#8 posted 12-20-2008 04:36 AM

Thanks for the great review , I need some more lighting in my shop , think these will work out fine .

View FredG's profile


139 posts in 4551 days

#9 posted 12-20-2008 05:52 AM


DorS (Dimming on random Switch) bulbs have an input power of either 100%, 66%, 33% or 5%.

-- Fred

View ChuckM's profile


652 posts in 4520 days

#10 posted 12-20-2008 05:59 AM

There’s one more benefit of using the CFLs: they have long lifespan even if they’re used under vibration condition (e.g. lamp clipped or attached to the bandsaw).

-- The time I enjoy wasting is not time wasted

View Gofor's profile


470 posts in 4641 days

#11 posted 12-21-2008 03:31 AM

The toxic element from breaking them is mercury. The bleaching effect is from ultra-violet light (the stuff in sunlight that gives you skin cancer and decreases your eyesight). Both are in minimal amounts and for most of us old farts, the effects will probably be minimal. For infants and young children, the long term effects as they age under the constant and increasing use has not been determined.


-- Go

View jim1953's profile


2740 posts in 4696 days

#12 posted 12-21-2008 04:46 AM

Hi Frank
I was wondering where you got the reflectors for your shop lights

-- Jim, Kentucky

View Karson's profile


35225 posts in 5254 days

#13 posted 12-21-2008 05:50 AM

I bought a cheap bathroom wall fixture that accepts 3 bulbs. I put it over my workbench and it does a great job. The ceiling bulbs were behing my back when I was at the bench and this helped a lot.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia [email protected]

View gusthehonky's profile


130 posts in 4596 days

#14 posted 12-21-2008 06:35 AM

I had worked within the lighting industry years back and even took some classes offered by the IES-Illuminating Engineering Society. Quite a deal of research and design has gone into the various types of luminaries and their lamps. One characteristic of CFL is both foot candles and CRI will deteriorate over time, simply put they will be dimmer and “less daylight” looking over their lifespan, but a small price to pay for their savings in energy consumed over their +/-10,000 average lifespan. There are now models that are dim-able now on the market, technology is improving the so when dimmed there will be little effect on CRI. The Fiet Brand is an import line, often halogen and fluorescents fixtures that are sold with lamps (bulbs are planted) included use this brand. They are not GE or Sylvania, but still a reputable residential lamp manf. One last random lightbulb nuggets—when a lamp explodes rather than simply “burn out” the industry term is non passive failure—I always liked that term. JM$0.02

-- Ciao, gth.

View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 5153 days

#15 posted 12-22-2008 06:15 PM

I’ve been using CFL bulbs for quite some time now. They save on power, but I’ve had lousy service from the bulbs.

It seems like I buy more bulbs than ever.

They say they’re supposed to last 5 to 7 years, but I’m lucky to get 6 months usage before they burn out.

The reason you have to be careful about breaking them, is because they have Mercury in them.

I’ve been waiting for the prices on LED bulbs to come down.

They’re the bulb of the future, & you don’t have to worry about Mercury. Every traffic signal in the country now uses LED’s.

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN.

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