Utilitech Lighting Product Issues
As mentioned on the “contact us” section of this site, Utilitech Lighting.org has no affiliation with the manufacture of utilitech lighting products. I started this site because I spend a large amount of time and effort looking in Utilitech. Finding very little information about Utilitech products, I embarked on journey of trying almost every product that they had available. The reason I did this is because of the amount of lighting types that Utilitech have available and the reasonable prices compared to similar products from other manufacturers. This site is where I share that information with other people.
I receive many emails from readers of this site, some are emails giving me additional information for certain areas of the site, others are queries asking for my advice about what lighting products to use. Many are customer service issues relating to utilitech products, many of these have not read my contact page properly and think that this site has something to do with the manufacture and distribution of Utilitech Lighting.
I love receiving emails from people and do try and reply to everyone, however, the volume of email has become so large in recent months it is impossible to get back to everybody, for this I apologize.
Through the amount of mail I receive, I can see one common query appearing through the majority of messages. This is one of bulbs not lasting as long a the manufacturer states they will.
Known Utilitech Lighting Problems
I have done some research into this and intend do shed some light (excuse the pun) on the matter in this post.
The length of time that a lightbulb lasts is measured by manufactures using Mean Time to Failure and Mean Time Between Failures.
“Up To” – When a company sells a lightbulb, there sales pitch will often quote that the particular bulb will last “Up To X amount of Hours”. This figure is derived by testing the bulb to absolute failure, essentially by leaving it on and recoded how long it lasts before failing.
Now here is where things get a little tricky, a 30 watt Utilitech compact fluorescent bulb will often not just burn out one day like old incandescent bulbs did. A CFL bulb will get gradually dimmer before it fails. The dimmer the bulb gets, the less usable the light it emits becomes. A CFL bulb may become unusably dim but still continue to function for a further thousand hours before burning out.
On and Off Cycles
Manufactures measure the lifespan of bulbs by turning them on and leaving them on. But in normal use a bulb may be turned on and off many times during the course of a day. This regular usage can shorten the usable life of the bulb a lot. Extremely frequent on and off cycles can reduce the life of a CFL bulb to under that of an incandescent.
Quality of Electricity
The quality of the electricity feeding your home or business may differ depending on your location. Big cities will normally have a good regular supply of electricity, smaller towns and rural communities’ supplies may be more prone to interruptions. Remote dwellings often use power that is not generated by the national grid system but comes from generators and sustainable sources like solar and wind.
Less reliable electricity sources are more susceptible to surges and spikes. Many people will have experienced bulbs and fuses blowing when there is a sudden spike in the electricity supply to the home. While a particularly strong surge or spike may have this effect, milder fluctuations in the electricity supply can still cause damage that may drastically shorten the useful life of any type of bulb.
So you see, it’s complicated. While manufacturers claims about the life of their products can be misleading because of the way they test their bulbs and their definition of useful life. Also, often uncontrollable factors like electricity supplies, spikes and surges can effect the way a bulb performs.