[personal profile] nowalmart
So I decided to replace the lightbulbs in my ceiling fan with some CFLs. Easy enough, I figured, just make a quick trip to Ikea or Target. Having been to both of these places, I returned home without any CFLs. Turns out that the fan uses a rare sized light bulb and neither place carried a bulb that would fit.

I did some research and found that I was not alone. Looks like this was due to a loophole in the Energy Policy Act of 1005 that required, among other things, that ceiling fans that have lights ship with CFLs to fit inside all medium sized bases (E26). The loophole is that if the fan does not have any medium-sized bases, the fan can ship with whatever lights it wants provided they do not use more than 190W.

What does the fan industry do, as best seen by Home Depot and their Hampton Bay house brand? They switch their fans from Medium bases (E26) to intermediate bases (E17). That allows them to ship with the cheaper (energy-wasting) incandescent bulbs.

Home Depot will make it up to you - they are just about the only place you can buy an E17 CFL bulb. So first they save money on the fan (and avoiding the spirit of the Energy Bill), and then make more money on you when you want to get CFLs for the fan they sold you.

(As a point of reference - the fan in question shipped with four 40W bulbs - a total of 160W. I am looking to replace them with bulbs between about 7W-10W, for a total of 40W)

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nowalmart

September 2011

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