I checked the bulb, it is one of the energy saving variety, i.e. not
strictly incandescent but not fluorescent either. It uses the
same socket as incandescent.
I assumed that the switch timer would draw some small current
but I did not expect it would be big enough to make the bulb
flicker. I tried an incandescent bulb and it does not flicker.
Does anybody know of a switch timer that would use a standard
battery (min 6 months without replacement) and would operate
the patio light as a standard 2-way wall switch without drawing
I replaced two bulbs in a ceiling fixture with CFLs. The light is
controlled by an X10 switch, and yes, the bulbs DO flicker slightly when the
power is turned off. But a VM shows no voltage at the sockets when the
switch is off. According to a knowledgable contact at a local lighting
showroom, the flickering is not uncommon with CFLs, and he suspects that it
is caused by EMI affecting the bulbs themself, outside of the normal
electrical circuitry. It may not be the timer that is causing your
It's probably a CF (compact fluorescent). Which is why it didn't
work right. These things aren't simple resistive devices, and
may behave erratically when fed too little power for continuous
full voltage operation. Eg: flashing.
I've never seen such a beast. It takes a fair amount of power
to switch, and you probably won't get enough lifetime on a battery.
Unless you can get a neutral to the switch (and go to a timer that
uses a neutral), or, switch to incandescent, you may be out of luck.
It is _possible_ that a dimmable CF bulb will behave properly because
they're designed for variable power levels. Dimmable CFs are newer, and
harder to find. Here's one list of dimmable CFs:
Our Home Depot has dimmable R30s, R38s and R40s - which are all floods.
It may have other types, but I didn't see them.
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