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Customer Discussions > Home Improvement forum

dimmable CFL light bulbs


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Showing 26-50 of 70 posts in this discussion
In reply to an earlier post on Dec 5, 2008, 9:06:36 AM PST
T.H. says:
I bought the dimmable CLFs manufactured by 'ULA' and four of 16 have died within the first year, one DOA. I have not been happy with the quality.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 6, 2008, 10:38:24 AM PST
Stevestr says:
I, too, have been disappointed in the quality of my ULA dimmables. I bought 3 and 2 would buzz like crazy on a dimmer setting and the other one after running for 20 minutes would flicker like the old fluorescents used to when their starter was going bad. It was like a disco. It would always start to flicker after about an hour of use no matter what the dimmer setting was set on. I have had good luck with the Philips that someone recommended for my can lights but they really only dim down to a limited range and not as full as the incandescents. I've also read that LEDs cannot be dimmed currently - several packages here at the store that even have the LED bulbs claim they cannot be dimmed. Perhaps the transformers used to take the 120 down to the 12 or so volts the LED needs cannot be dimmed. I cannot wait until we can switch to LEDs.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 6, 2008, 11:40:17 AM PST
DIDDY says:
I AGREE!
ALTHOUGH MINE ARE "GE" INDOOR FLOOD BULBS, I HAD THE SAME PROLEM...I SWITCHED BACK TO REGULAR INCANDESCENTS....

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 7, 2008, 6:46:47 AM PST
d_javaman says:
The energystar.gov site has info specific to the original question:
http://energystar.custhelp.com/cgi-bin/energystar.cfg/php/enduser/std_adp.php?p_faqid=2565

Posted on Dec 28, 2011, 1:48:29 PM PST
Bob G. Volk says:
I purchased a dimmable Netune 14 watt bulbs for my dining room table fixtures and last night one of the bulbs caught on fire!! After removing the bulb I found a puffed out dime sized section of the base had puffed out. Now do I dump /return the remaining bulbs???

Posted on Jan 4, 2012, 4:06:53 PM PST
Kieseyhow says:
Do not use dimable CFL units! They introduce "noise" into the electrical grid. They are prone to premature failure. If you have to keep replacing CFL lights, you completely undermine the cost savings, also you are directly contributing to polluting the environment. By nature a CFL is made to be switched on and stay on. They are not meant for short duty cycles. Also the CFL is essentially like a neon light, it requires a regulated power supply to work at an optimum level, introducing a dimmer disrespects this design characteristic. Adding a dimmer severely reduces the expected lifetime of the CFL.

If you want an affordable, efficient, and "clean" choice use LED lighting products!

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 5, 2012, 6:29:04 AM PST
Bob G. Volk says:
Great comments from Kieseyhow on the CFLs. Why won't the manufactures tell us the straight news on CFL's?

I will be replacing the dimmer switches with regular on/off switches where I use CFL's.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 5, 2012, 5:34:50 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 5, 2012, 5:56:53 PM PST
If one uses CCFL then dimmers work perfectly. I have been using Litetronics MicroBrites (MB-800DL) for three years now. They dim perfectly down to 1% and out of 22 of these I have only had two go bad in the three years. I had 8 of the MB-800DP 2850K and everyone of them went bad within a year, must have been a bad batch. These 8Watt CCFL lights work great with a Halo 30WATH6 Air-tight 6" trim in my recessed cans. When you dim the 2250K they also keep their yellow tint (Candle color). The 2850K started to turn a bit grey when dimmed. The reason CCFL work so well is they are "Cold" CFL's. Regular CFL use heat to excite the fluorescence and it is very hard to regulate the heat source in a CFL with a solid state dimmer. CCFL's use voltage to control light output. There is about 4' of coiled up tube on one of these light and as you dim the light, the length of lit tube shortens. CFL on the other hand dim the whole tube down until the heat is too low then starts flickering or turning off.

Litetronics MicroBrite MB-800DL - 8 Watt CFL Light Bulb - Compact Fluorescent - Dimmable C - 45 W Equal - Warm White - 18,000 Life Hours

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 5, 2012, 6:50:57 PM PST
Bob B says:
4w (25w Equivalent) Dimamble LED Candelabra Light Bulb - Silver - Clear Flame Tip

I recommend LED's candelabra bulbs. They are much more elegant than CFL's. They have no warm up time and the use 1/2 of the electricity for the same brightness ! They dim very well---and, unlike CFL's they emit a rich, warm white light. I have used the 4 Watt Wholesale LED dimmable bulbs (I own silver and clear models).

Posted on Jan 8, 2012, 10:59:05 AM PST
JPC Houston says:
The problem is not the lamp (bulb) it is the dimmer. CFL's and LED lamps have a minimum voltage threshold, once you drop below, they will flicker or just not work. Whether the dimmer is Electronic or Mechanical(rheostat) does not matter, although finding an older rhestat type is not really an issue, as I do not believe anyone even manufactures them anymore. You need to get a dimmer that includes a trim knob that is set to to the lowest output of the dimmer. Turn on circuit, set dimmer at lowest point then dial in the low light level with the trim knob, set to the lowest level possible without flickering, you may have to dial it in more than once, because fluorescent lamps have to burn in for a period of time before they are working at their designed specs, it reminds me of "zeroing" a sweep type ohmeter. Every lamp will be different no matter the manufacturer. You must purchase dimmable CFL's and the "L" stands for lamp, as the term "bulb" is a description of the shape, and is not what anyone in the electrical or lighting industry calls them, and a "bulb" is actually called and "A" lamp as in A19, A21, A23 the differences being the length of the neck and the diameter. Lutron makes the dimmer I referenced above, and can easily be identified on their website. Also in response to "chicken little" and his "mercury" will kill our children, and all small animals in the house, and or cause the EPA, to declare your residence a "Superfund Site" it is complete garbage, invented by the same types of people who brought you the "Exploding Ford Pickup," Cholesterol from eggs will kill us all by 40, and Salt is evil, and will also kill us all by 40. These are thesame people who want to espouse the freedom of the fourth estate, while they are only shills for the networks or magazines they work for, the only reason we have news on TV is to sell Advertising, they are not "Non-Profit" entities, they exist to generate the shareholders money, and not to inform anyone of the "Truth." Did anyone reading this eat a "Tunafish" sandwich, or just eat some tuna from a can or pouch, if so you got more mercury from that, than you will ever get from a "CFL." They should however be disposed of properly, like the akaline batteries, that nobody ever puts in the trash, and or the "bug spray," empty oil container, or the 1000's of other things we dispose of improperly every single day of our lives. Well to sum up, the "press" is not to help or inform us of anything other than the next POS someone wants us to buy, and the Mercury from a broken Flourescent lamp can quite simply be cleaned up with a rag, if you can actually find the Quicksilver rolling around on the floor, and i will bet my yearly salary, you never will see it, just sweep up and put in trash, you will not be dead by the morning.

Posted on Jan 8, 2012, 1:51:42 PM PST
JPC Houston says:
Instead of R40 lamps which are an indoor lamp, you can use the outdoor Par38 "capsylite halogen" lamps. They work just fine indoors, only very slightly smaller, but have "diffuser Glass" and they have a greater lumen / watt than the indoor R lamps, and the beam angle can be specified from as narrow as 10deg spot all the way to The best thing about these are that they are exempt from the Energy Independence and Security list, and are not going to be phased out. Neither are the "G" lamps "Hollywood" round globes lamps. And the BR lamps such as BR40, or 30, will be limited to 65w, and we only lose the 100w "A" lamps this year and the old and already obsolete T12 Fluorescent lamps F34T12, which if people were smarter would have been gone already, and replaced with T8 or optimally the T5 lamps (12, 8 , 5, 4 designations are the diameter in eighth's of an inch, Ex. T12 = 12/8" or 1-1/2" diameter, 8/8" = 1" diameter) T12 lamps have been obsolete for almost 20years now, as the T8 was designed to be a direct swap for them, length, and pins are identical and ballasts are more efficient and can operate up to 4 lamps, T12 was limited to 2 lamps only.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 14, 2012, 2:53:01 PM PST
I bought some neptune bulbs they were quite pricey one went out the second day and now another has gone out about 3 weeks later. I called the company because they 're supposedly under warranty ( after the first one died ) I'm still waiting for my replacement bulb a month later. I've called twice haven't even called about the second one yet. After spending well over 100 bucks for 8 bulbs I can tell you that I'll never purchase their product again. My next call will be to the company I purchased them from so that I can relay what horrible customer service they have and their crappy product too.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 14, 2012, 3:31:37 PM PST
great I just read your post see my other one at the bottom of the page

Posted on Jan 16, 2012, 1:30:19 PM PST
Mockingbird says:
Why use CFL's? The new dimmable LED bulbs are great, they use less electricity, don't have the bluish cast that CFL's can have, and are dimmable without any flickering. They also last much longer and don't contain mercury like CFL's do. Not all LED bulbs perform this well, but I tried a bunch out and found an excellent bulb that doesn't hum or buzz, is fully dimmable, only uses 6 watts, and has great color rendering (87 CRI). And its a warm color of light: 2900k. 360 lumens from only 6 watts! Anyways, the bulb I liked best is called Pharox300 from Lemnis lighting. Pharox 300 Dimmable LED Bulb - 6 Watt Incandescent Replacement Bulb

Expensive for a lightbulb? I guess... but it lasts 25 years, so considered over the lifetime of the bulb, its cheaper than buying multiple bulbs, and I'd rather pay for it upfront and not have to worry about switching bulbs when they burn out.

Also, sometimes you need to use a dimmer that is meant for lower wattage bulbs, in order to avoid buzzing / humming. Lutron makes a few that work great with the Pharox and other led's / cfl's, such as the Diva dimmer.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 21, 2012, 1:41:41 PM PST
lancaster says:
it flickers and buzz because you are using the wrong light bulb.must remove them immediately because the bulb you have in will cause a fire.besides you do not need fluorescent bulbs in them because the dimmer for incandesent bulbs are doing the same electric usage as the flouescent bulbs

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 21, 2012, 3:05:50 PM PST
OldAmazonian says:
Bob G. Volk,
Report the bulb's fire hazard to the CPSC. They may want the evidence. Don't let manufacturers get away with this crapola.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 26, 2012, 11:33:30 PM PST
iamcrazybob says:
Amps Schmamps.... What exactly do you think the dimmer switch is adjusting? Without a volt reading amps don't mean anything when comparing power consumption.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 10, 2012, 10:23:11 AM PST
Joel Kolstad says:
> Great comments from Kieseyhow on the CFLs. Why won't the manufactures tell us the straight news on CFL's

Because he's pretty much full of nonsense.

Dimmed CFLs introduce no more "noise" into the grid than dimmed incandescent lights do.

There are many, MANY regulations when it comes to noise (both into the air and into the grid) on the books. Assuming you're buying brand names, you can rest assured that these are all being complied with.

His statement, "...also the CFL is essentially like a neon light, it requires a regulated power supply to work at an optimum level, introducing a dimmer disrespects this design characteristic. Adding a dimmer severely reduces the expected lifetime of the CFL..." -- is simply untrue: When a properly designed (dimming) ballast, there is no expected difference in lifespan between a dimmable CFL and a non-dimmable one. (Putting a non-dimmable CFL on a dimmer is a bad idea though, of course.)

It *is* true that the lifespan of CFLs is measured both in "burn time" as well as "power cycles," and that therefore applications where CFLs are power-cycled many times a time (more than a dozen or so times) will tend to shorten its life relative to the "burn time" metric.

LEDs do have a lot to recommend them, but at present they cost rather more than CFLs. Within a decade, though, I hope that they'll reach parity.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 10, 2012, 10:24:54 AM PST
Joel Kolstad says:
> I recommend LED's candelabra bulbs. They are much more elegant than CFL's. They have no warm up time and the use 1/2 of the electricity for the same brightness !

Do you have some fuller specs for those bulbs? I think you might be mistaken about the amount of energy used for the same brightness, but the product page doesn't actually tell you the light about these bulbs have... which could be an oversight on their part, but it also often occurs when the hype doesn't live up to the reality.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 10, 2012, 10:31:00 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 10, 2012, 11:20:27 AM PST
Joel Kolstad says:
> Why use CFL's? The new dimmable LED bulbs are great

Yes, albeit spendy.

> they use less electricity

Not really. This is commonly believed, but typically LEDs are a bit worse or its about a wash (although over time it probably will tip in the favor of LEDs). From your own product page there, for 6W you're getting 330 lumens or 55 lumens/watt. From a low-power CFL... say, this one: Sunlite SMS13F/E/41K 13 Watt Super Mini Spiral Energy Star Certified CFL Light Bulb 4 Pack Medium Base Cool White (it's hard to find really-low-power CFLs), you're getting 900 lumens for 13W, or 69 lumens/watt -- 25% better than the LED.

> don't have the bluish cast that CFL's can have

I suppose so, but many people actually *like* that bluish cast. (You can play around with CFL phosphors to get a more yellowish light if desired, of course.)

> and are dimmable without any flickering.

That's probably one of the best points -- LEDs are a lot more "dimmer friendly" than CFLs tend to be.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 10, 2012, 11:01:29 AM PST
Wal-Mart has a CFL bulb with Twist-n-Dim dimmer integrated for $10.97
The brand is Sylvania. 100W replacement using only 23W.
I get one but is not really as bright as a normal 100W bulb.
1500 lumens at the higher setting, but look only as bright as a 23 Watts CFL.
Don't flicker and don't buzz. Hope it helps.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 12, 2012, 11:02:46 AM PST
etp says:
You have to get the ones that say "dimmable" in the package. The are expensive but will last a long time.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 15, 2012, 6:36:36 AM PST
Try CCFL dimmable bulbs vs. CFL dimmable. 1000Bulbs.com has an article http://blog.1000bulbs.com/differences-between-dimmable-cfl-vs-ccfls/ explaining the new CCFL technology. I haven't used any myself as I just rec'd their email last week telling customers about the new CCFL dimmables.

1000bulbs.com is a great source for bulbs of all types and has fantastic pricing, especially compared to your Lowes / Home Depot prices.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 16, 2012, 2:59:47 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 16, 2012, 3:04:17 PM PST
DigitalBug says:
"(Putting a non-dimmable CFL on a dimmer is a bad idea though, of course.)"

What if we put a regular CFL bulb on a dimmer socket, but always just slide the dimmer to max every time we use it?

Our place has dimmer sockets everywhere except the kitchen, bathroom, and entryway. I bought dimming capable CFLs for the recessed sockets in the living room. They will dim to about 50%, but just flash below that. For all the rest of the sockets, I just put in regular CFLs (they kind you get for $1 all the time in the grocery stores when they are promoting energy savings) and they actually do dim perfectly (not sure why).

Is it okay to use these as long as we just slide it up to max every time?

On a different note, we've tried several different LED bulbs in the entry way and kitchen (where the screw in sockets are the smaller size) to get better light instantly and save money, but have been disappointed with all of them. The light is instant, but it doesn't disperse well at all and doesn't illuminate the area anywhere near as well as regular bulbs or CFLs. Given that they cost about four times as much as the CFLs, I don't see why anyone uses them.

I don't care about lighting color or anything, just safety and cost savings. Our electricity is 40 cents per kWh here so it gets expensive fast.

In reply to an earlier post on May 29, 2012, 10:21:48 AM PDT
B. Goldstein says:
NOT TRUE!
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