May 11, 2011

Energy Savings Bulbs Fire Hazard

I wrote previously about potential mercury poisoning and UV radiation hazards related compact fluorescent lamp (CFL). Now it appears they may also present a fire hazard. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission just announced a voluntary recall of some energy-saving light bulbs made by Telstar Products (d/b/a Sprint International Inc) due to fire hazard. The affected bulbs are rated between 18 and 40 watt and are sold in discount stores under the brand names Telstar and Electra. Remember, unlike incandescent bulbs, a CFL is not just a filament. It contains a small PCB with electronic circuit that converts 115VAC 60 Hz input voltage into high frequency AC that drives the lamp. And any electronic circuit, especially the one that contains high voltage transistors and electrolytic capacitors, may be a potential fire hazard. This is another reason to stock up old incandescent bulbs that may not be available in US beginning 2012.