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Old 03-25-14, 01:47 PM   #1
oil pan 4
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Default A 13 watt CFL uses a lot more power than what it claims.

Most CFL say they use 13 or 11 watts or what ever.
But what they dont tell you is that they run 0.5 to 0.65 power factor.
They use might use 13 watts but what they dont tell you is they around 23 volt-amps.
Now I have seen it said many times that "residential utility meters only read true power, aka wattage", yet I am able to prove other wise with a very simple test.
See :
http://ecorenovator.org/forum/36999-post7.html
A low power factor is bad for the power grid and bad power factor can produce resonance in your home power wiring which can cause problems with other electronics.
Plus when you run a higher power factor inductive devices use less power over all.
So in reality the metter is getting spun as if you are using a 23watt bulb, not a 13.

So much for being more efficient, they consume close to double the power they say and cause problems down the line.

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Old 03-25-14, 04:25 PM   #2
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PFC in the home environment is, for the most part, a scam.
KVAR Power Factor Correction in the Home is a Scam
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Old 03-25-14, 07:26 PM   #3
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I used to choose CFL's with the lowest Milliamp rating instead of wattage because if you do the math you can see that they are not the same ratings.
Now I use LED's and they are true to their labeling and use less power.
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Old 03-25-14, 11:16 PM   #4
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Here in NA, power factor is not part of the game in terms of electricity billing/consumption, especially with home electricity users.

So, even though CFLs, with their electronic ballast circuitry, typically rated between .53 ~.67 PF @ rated wattage, it's not being converted to PF=1 in your residential utility billing.

This PF issue is more of an "issue" if you live in certain European countries such as France, etc.

So, power correction for residential devices in NA is, IMHO, moot.

IMHO.

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Old 03-26-14, 10:55 AM   #5
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I am not advocating the use of power factor correction for home use.
I am saying that CFLs are advertising false savings.
You are being billed for apperant power useage if you have an old style power meter, I already proved it case closed move on.
Assume you are being billed for apperant power usage unless you can prove other wise.
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Old 03-27-14, 09:15 PM   #6
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Hope you keep your mechanical meter, most of them read a slow due to increased friction as they age. When we had all the meters replaced some people got a nasty surprise when they started being charged for what they were actually using..
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Old 03-28-14, 08:44 AM   #7
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I thought I'd join in this thread as it was interesting, and I'd never actually given much thought to lights using more power than their rating. So I grabbed the table lamp and took it to our kitchen island, plugged in the Kill-A-Watt meter and started testing. So this is what happened with 3 light bulbs. Bulb 1 was an LED that we had in a can light over the sink, rated at 8 watts, bulb 2 was a spiral CFL from this lamp, rated at 10 watts and bulb 3 was a decorator type enclosed spiral CFL from over the dining room table rated at 14 watts. As the pictures show, my house is at ~120 volts and the wattages all tested good. The part I thought odd was bulb 3. It comes on dim and ramps up slowly to full brilliance and as such it stated at 10w and in about 30 seconds went to 14w. This caused me to go back and retest the other bulbs to make sure they had time to ramp up more if they were going to. They did not. Since pictures are worth 1000 words, here's a few thousand to look at
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Old 03-28-14, 10:15 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gasstingy View Post
I thought I'd join in this thread as it was interesting, and I'd never actually given much thought to lights using more power than their rating. So I grabbed the table lamp and took it to our kitchen island, plugged in the Kill-A-Watt meter and started testing. So this is what happened with 3 light bulbs. Bulb 1 was an LED that we had in a can light over the sink, rated at 8 watts, bulb 2 was a spiral CFL from this lamp, rated at 10 watts and bulb 3 was a decorator type enclosed spiral CFL from over the dining room table rated at 14 watts. As the pictures show, my house is at ~120 volts and the wattages all tested good. The part I thought odd was bulb 3. It comes on dim and ramps up slowly to full brilliance and as such it stated at 10w and in about 30 seconds went to 14w. This caused me to go back and retest the other bulbs to make sure they had time to ramp up more if they were going to. They did not. Since pictures are worth 1000 words, here's a few thousand to look at
What did the VoltAmps going to those light sources look like?
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Old 03-28-14, 10:22 AM   #9
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I guess I don't understand the term VoltAmps. Does showing the house voltage and the wattage not show the consumption accurately?

I'm not trying to be defensive or argumentative, I just don't understand what it is that you are looking to answer? My knowledge of how electricity works is just too limited to answer this question.
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Old 03-28-14, 04:41 PM   #10
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True power and watts are the samething.
Apperant power and VoltAmps are the samething

True power or wattage is when amps and volts consumption happen on the same order of magnatude at the same time.
Since electrical power, alternating current in north America switches directions 120 times a second. In that time voltage at a 120 volt wall socket goes from 0 to 170 to 0 volts each time. And yes you do get 170 volts at a 120v outlet, but you also get 0 volts too.
In a perfect world with a power factor of 1 every time that alternating current going to a device hit the peak voltage the amperage draw would peak in the same instant and go back down at the same rate as the voltage. The amp draw would perfectly follow voltage.
This perfect unity of voltage and current flow only happens in purely resistive loads such as light bulbs and base board heaters.

In a world where you have AC motors, transformers, solid state switching devices somthing rather odd happens. Peak or peaks in current flow start to lag behind the peak in voltage.
This is really bad for a laundry list of reasons.
As the voltage peaks, current being drawn by a device keeps rising, this continued increase in current draw can be happening while the voltage of a cycle is drawing down.
This is when current flow peaks and voltage peaks shift out of line with each other.

This shift is called power factor.

Watts are kind of like a measure of the work your boss sees you do. The VoltAmps are your job plus all the other crap you have to put up with and do to get your job done.
That is about the most easy and least accurate way to breake it down.
I have other comparisons that break watts and voltamps down using drunk loggers or trains pulling traincars.


Last edited by oil pan 4; 03-28-14 at 04:51 PM..
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