Dimmable compact fluorescent bulbs

Has anyone tried dimmable compact fluorescent bulbs. How well do the work and do they smoothly dim? What brand name did you use?
Thanks,
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

They're pretty dim already. <G>
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

question came up so we borrowed a standard Lutron dimmer from a demonstration display and connected it to a GE 29 watt screw base CFL marked for dimming. After warming up at full output, the CFL dimmed fairly smoothly down to about 1/3 light output (we had a light meter) and then it dropped out. The dimmer had to be cranked up to almost full before the CFL came on again. So, our conclusion is that self-ballasted CFLs can be dimmed; but the range is limited.
TKM
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

My experience matches TKMs, plus one other observation when I tried this a few years ago in our dining room. I had a regular tungsten bulb in one lamp socket and a dimmable CFL in another, and started dimming. As expected, the tungsten bulb got dimmer and yellower, but the dimmable CFL got dimmer and bluer. I totally hated the color of the dimmed CFL, so as of now our entire house has CFLs, with the exception of the dining room which still has tungsten bulbs on the dimmer.
The one dimmable CFL I got I ended up just putting it in another non- dimmable fixture somewhere, and I don't even know which one any more.
Ken
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Same as experience as TKM and Ken. I bought one Philips Marathon Classic 65 CFL dimmable flood as a test because I wanted to replace the 20 or so I have installed in can lights throughout the house. The CFL dimmed fairly smooth until it cut out completely at about the last third of the dimmers range. The lamps output was very cool as I expected. I took it out after about 30 seconds. My opinion is that they suck.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

The government wants us to use the CF lamps and LEDs and companies like GE are dramatically scaling down their incandescent bulb production.
Unless there are some new technology breakthroughs, our dimming days are going to be over...
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Well thank you mister doom-and-gloom!
In case you haven't noticed, technological breakthroughs happen all the time. 15 years ago when you wanted to buy a lightbulb, how many technology choices did you have?
In terms of brightness, I would expect LED's to dim better than CFL's, since they don't have the need for high voltage to start/maintain an arc.
There's still the issue of simulating the color change that an incandescent has when dimmed, but I bet it's not too long before some clever person teams up several different-colored LEDs with some control circuitry to give the same effect by looking at the RMS input voltage and varying the drive to the different LEDs.
Oh and you can blame the government if that's what floats your boat, but I buy CFLs because they save me money.
Eric Law

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

There will be plenty of changes in residential lighting during the next few years, no doubt. I think we'll see improvements in CFL dimming, however, because commercial fluorescent dimming systems already do a good job -- they dim smoothly right down to zero output. The problem is that the dimmer controls we have around today were designed for incandescent lamps. We now need controls specifically designed for CFLs.
The CFL dimming test that I reported also had a second part which was dimming an LED downlight (the LR6 unit made by LLF which draws 12 watts). See http://www.llfinc.com/index.aspx Using the same standard Lutron dimmer, the LR6 nicely dimmed down to about 3 watts without any significant color change and then it went out. Our little test group concluded that LEDs dim better than screw-in CFLs, and with a bit of work on the controls, LEDs would dim just fine.
TKM
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Oct 19, 3:12 am, snipped-for-privacy@notreal.none (Beachcomber) wrote:

Well, you can probably delay that by voting for the Republican next year. But I can't tell you for sure, until we know who it is. One thing for sure, any one of them is less likely to ram a CFL up your ass than the Democrat.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I bought some dimmable CFLs from Home Depot. I cannot dim them low enough as comparing to regular dimmable bulbs - meaning that they are still quite bright when they are supposed to be dimmed. This is OK with me. But you may not like that.
The other problem is that they are longer than regular dimmable light bulbs. They are sticking out from the cans of the ceiling fixtures. When I get the time, I may look into the lighting fixture to see if I can adjust the height.
Jay Chan
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

There will be plenty of changes in residential lighting during the next few years, no doubt. I think we'll see improvements in CFL dimming, however, because commercial fluorescent dimming systems already do a good job -- they dim smoothly right down to zero output. The problem is that the dimmer controls we have around today were designed for incandescent lamps. We now need controls specifically designed for CFLs.
The CFL dimming test that I reported also had a second part which was dimming an LED downlight (the LR6 unit made by LLF which draws 12 watts). See http://www.llfinc.com/index.aspx Using the same standard Lutron dimmer, the LR6 nicely dimmed down to about 3 watts without any significant color change and then it went out. Our little test group concluded that LEDs dim better than screw-in CFLs, and with a bit of work on the controls, LEDs would dim just fine.
TKM
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I haven't even gotten to the dimming issue. I bought a 4 pack of FEIT CFL's that look like indoor floods. Put them in my kitchen. First problem, they don't fit the can because the neck area is slightly wider than a regular flood. And yes, they are the correct R type for the can. So, I have to buy extenders.
Next proiblem, they take a good 2 mins to reach maybe 75% of brightness. In the first min, it's like a 30W bulb, which is just great when you come into the kitchen at night. Solution? We'll since they use less energy, I just leave them on a lot more... Doh!
Second problem, one failed after 2 months. Replaced it with another, and it's gone in a month too.
I've had much better results with the spira type that I use in my garage. They get to reasonable output a lot faster and haven't blown up yet.
The huge problem here is a lack of specs. When you go to buy them, you should be able to read on the package how long they take to reach 70% of output, how low you can dim them, how long they last... Oh, wait, they already tell you that, and in some cases, it's a lie.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

There are standard specs. and CFLs are being tested against them. See: http://www.energystar.gov/ia/partners/product_specs/program_reqs/cfls_prog_req.pdf (Page 12-13). There's plenty of junk out there; but I've not had a problem when I buy Energy Star CFLs. No failures in four years, for example.
TKM
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Site Timeline

Related Threads

    HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.