Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Today's Effort

      This is, more or less, a vacation week for me.  Just in time for warmer weather, too, which is nice.  And rain, which is not.

      Rain or shine, there's something I have to do: a robin has started to build a nest atop the back yard light, a barnyard fixture just under the back gable.  The original light was a mercury vapor type; when the ballast failed, a close look at the barnyard-grade wiring job and the condition of the fixture convinced me to replace it with a modern CFL: just as much light for a fraction of the power.  The first two replacements were short-lived* but the third is going on four or five years.

      But none of them were designed to hold a bird's nest on top.  She's no structural engineer: the current effort keeps falling apart once it gets too large for the available support.  I need to get the nest cleared away before the robin lays eggs.
* Electrolytic capacitor failures.  Possibly low-grade counterfeit components; an industrial spy stole an (incomplete) electrolyte formula from a well-regraded Japanese firm many years ago and ever since, fly-by-night component makers have flooded the manufacturing supply chain with inexpensive lookalikes that have a fraction of the life of the honest ones.  I thought about replacing the bad parts but the remainder of the construction was extremely budget-driven, the kind of house of cards that is just going to have one failure after another and which tends to fall apart if you mess with it too much.  The present light is from a farm supply retailer, cost about twice as much and has so far lasted four times as long.


Bob said...

Have CFLs had their day? Do you replace, when/if needed, with LED?

jdunmyer said...

FWIW: I had a mercury vapor light that I installed in 1966 or 1967, it worked well and never failed. Replaced it 2 or 3 years ago with an LED yard light, and I think it made a significant difference in my electric bill. Also replaced the florescent tubes in all my shop lights with LED tubes, cutting the current draw exactly in half. Well worthwhile!

Anonymous said...

Hasn't CFLs time passed? Will you replace with LEDs when necessary?

Roberta X said...

I don't know if the high-output barnyard light bulb is a genuine CFL-as-defined. It has a big "mogul" screw base and support electronics in the fixture. LED bulbs are electrically noisy (more so than CFLs) and I prefer to avoid them.

Bob said...

" LED bulbs are electrically noisy (more so than CFLs) and I prefer to avoid them."

Whoops, can you elaborate? I just ad all my basement 4ft florescents replaced with LED fixtures. Did I hinder my router signal from the basement to the rest of the house?