Triple Entendre (triple_entendre) wrote,
Triple Entendre

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Torchy yay lamps

I remember when these lamps first caught on... it was Wal-Mart, of course... the torchiere style had been around for a while, but as imports, and in the $150+ range in lighting stores. The mass-produced $15-$35 models broke easily, caught things on fire, and tended to explode (the bulbs). Every so often they'll cook up a dust bunny, producing that something-is-burning smell that takes a while to locate.

If it's an older one, make sure it's not a Tensor "LT609N" or "LT609P"; 100,000 of those were recalled in 1996.

If your fixture is 250 watts or higher, Get a 100-watt bulb to replace the existing one.

If your torchiere lamp doesn't have a guard on it (it looks kind of like a catcher's mask), you can get them for free by calling (800) 985-2220.

Or, there's a better option available: buy a compact fluorescent torchiere lamp.
Many people have purchased halogen torchieres because they are inexpensive to buy. But because they use lots of electricity, they are expensive to operate. A single halogen torchiere used 8 hours a day can cost $70 in a electricity each year. And halogen torchieres are a fire hazard. According to the Alliance to Save Energy (, "The heat produced by these lamps is extreme-reaching 1,000 degrees F, hot enough to fry an egg on top of the fixture. Curtains and scraps of paper can be easily ignited by the heat these lamps produce. The Consumer Product Safety Commission has cited these cheap lamps as the cause of 189 fires and 11 deaths since 1992." So, choose a different sort of lighting. A compact fluorescent torchiere will serve the same purpose but will be safer and much kinder to the environment and to your pocketbook.
excerpted from: Eight Easy Things You Can Do to Save Energy and Money at Home.

Some more links and resources:

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and the halogen lamp industry are cooperatively recalling about 40 million of the lamps for in-home consumer repair. Protective measures are being taken because these lamps have contributed to nearly 200 fires and 11 deaths since 1992.

CPSC Issues Warning on Tubular Halogen Bulbs

CPSC and Industry Announce Corrective Action to Improve Safety of Halogen Torchiere Floor Lamps

Many college campuses ban halogen torchiere lamps.

Underwriters Labs on Halogen Torchiere Lamps

This story is awesome because it contains the term "swing-arm goniophotometer"

Lots of links from Brown

Authorities in New York State Urge Consumers to Avoid Buying Halogen Torchiere Lamps

An exerpt from the DOE's Energy Savers booklet (available in PDF form)

The Berkeley Lamp

Interesting lighting resource: The Lighting Design Lab

Color picture of measured heat output ( as much energy as a typical refrigerator! )

Anyway, these CFL lamps pay for themselves in a year:
Good Earth Lighting has a nice one for $49, looks just like the ordinary ones, or shop around...
Triple Entendre

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