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Long-Term Test Conclusion: Dim, Slow and Ugly
on December 16, 2010
I have been using these TCP compact fluorescent floods for one year now. I originally bought a CARTON/BOX full of them, which (if I recall) is something like 48 bulbs. I installed them in our new 6,000 sq.ft. home, which has around 40 ceiling cans. After a year of use, I can honestly report the following:
1) The bulbs are very dim when first energized, and require a minute or more to reach a usable brightness level.
2) Many of these bulbs fail prematurely (6 out of 40, so far) due to their cheap electronic ballast. I've given up on contacting TCP and getting replacement bulbs - after two calls (and two dead bulbs), the gal thought I was lying and trying to get free bulbs.
3) As they age, these bulbs assume an ugly yellow color while "warming up" (remember... it takes a minute or more for them to actually reach a usable light output and a white color). If you replace one in an area with several, it is very noticeable! The old ones will light up "yellow" and dim, while the new one will light up "white" and dim, but warm up much faster than the old ones.
I was hoping TCP produced a quality product, but it's obvious now that they use the cheapest (and under-rated) materials possible. It's been a pain replacing these bulbs, given that I have 10' ceilings in most rooms, and 30' vaulted ceilings in the entry and stairway area.
Are they a good deal? Only if you get them at a very discounted price (which I did) and you buy 15% more than you need, as replacement stock. My outside ones (in a covered area, not exposed to water) only lasted two months! I'm putting incandescents back into those areas, as I'm tired of changing bulbs and wasting my money on TCP's.