After making the switch to CFL bulbs throughout my home, I've had nine of them burn out within a year. It is not limited to one faulty fixture or one brand or wattage. I've kept the dead CFLs in a cabinet waiting to learn where I can dispose of them properly. Has anyone else been less than impressed with these new bulbs? I'm not saving much money if I'm having to replace them more often than incandescents, nor am I doing the environment much good if I'm just adding to the Mercury waste problem.

see a PM report that rates different CFL bulbs

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I just had my first burnout last month, after two years in use. (Thankfully I have all my incandescents lying around to use as spares)

Considering all the toxic chemicals in CFLs, I'm reluctant to buy more if they're not going to last much longer...

Another question for electrician-minded folks: Due to the low wattage of CFLs, can I use a higher wattage CFL? For instance, can I use a "75 Watt Equivalent" on a 60W fixture so long as the actual wattage is below 60?
yup.
the 75 watt equivalent is a bit of a misnomer since there is no direct relationship between watts and lumens.
(mA = milliampere = 1/1000 ampere, µA = microampere = 1/1000000 ampere)
i wonder if perhaps you've got some dirty power or spikes/surges, or perhaps some circuits are not wired correctly? any other electrical anomalies at your house gabe?
My apartment can hardly be said to have modern wiring. Built in 1948, my 800sf place runs on two 40amp circuits. Most of the outlets are two-prong, so I can only begin to assume that the copper wiring in my walls has seen better days.

Maybe I'll just blow my allowance money on one of these.
You're not the only one having a bad experience with the CFL bulbs. I bought about a dozen of them in 2007 and used them to replace standard bulbs. All but 2 have burned out and most were not even used that frequently. I now have 10 burned out CFL bulbs sitting in a drawer while I try to figure out how to get rid of them. I have friends who have had similar experiences. I have been wondering why this issue hasn't come up in the media. All I hear is the hype about how great they are. I won't let the kids handle them either because they are so fragile and I worry about the mercury issue. I have had numerous standard bulbs get jammed/frozen in sockets over the years where they had to be broken to remove them - I sure wouldn't want to try and force one of these delicate CFLs from a socket! Thanks for bringing this issue up - I also look forward to hearing about other people's experience with these bulbs.
One thing to keep in mind is that these bulbs should not be used in ceiling fans (or any other outlet that is subject to vibration) or in rooms with dimmer switches.
Or in codpieces
If these CFL bulbs can't hold up to spikes and surges they are not intended for the real world. At least not if you are a PNM customer!

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