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Customer Discussions > Home Improvement forum

Bulb extenders for CFL 3-way


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Showing 1-25 of 69 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Mar 2, 2011, 6:17:15 AM PST
RiverRat37 says:
I have a torchiere lamp (bulb with base down) in which I cannot fit a 3-way CLF bulb. It needs an extender (to add an inch or so to the base of the bulb). I can find plenty for 1-way bulbs but am unable to find any for 3-way bulbs. Anyone know where to find them?

Posted on Mar 4, 2011, 2:08:05 PM PST
Art Thompson says:
I think you're out of luck on that. Time for Plan B

Posted on Mar 4, 2011, 2:36:29 PM PST
RiverRat37 says:
OK. Plan B is to start manufacturing them .... and get filthy, stinking rich. The masses are out there just waiting for us, eh?

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 5, 2011, 2:42:02 AM PST
OldAmazonian says:
Just get a lamp with a fluorescent dimmer built in. Ours dims to about 1/4 of its full brightness, and uses a u-shaped 27-watt tube.

Posted on Mar 28, 2011, 3:00:49 AM PDT
quixdraw says:
Stop trying to find that part and just change the lamp base to a more common one.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 28, 2011, 6:13:43 AM PDT
RiverRat37 says:
You know quixdraw .... you'd come across a lot better and make the world a nicer place to live if you soften your tone a bit. We're not all dummies out here. My torchiere lamp IS a common base. It's the upside down shade (like all torchiere's have) that gets in the way. Besides, there must a gazillion of them out there that have the same problem (I actually have 2 of them). To make a three way extender would be child's play for a manufacturer to do. Oh well.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 28, 2011, 8:42:44 PM PDT
(You know quixdraw .... you'd come across a lot better and make the world a nicer place to live if you soften your tone a bit. We're not all dummies out here.) Amen to that, brother. Wish I could help but I know of no such product either.

Posted on Mar 29, 2011, 6:02:32 AM PDT
John Novicki says:
Would be interested in such a product also, as I have been looking for the better part of 2 years now.

Posted on Mar 30, 2011, 10:15:20 AM PDT
Sam says:
amazon B001F71O70
Leviton 1403 Two Outlet Socket Adapter, Black
Leviton 1403 Two Outlet Socket Adapter, Black

hope this helps

Posted on Mar 30, 2011, 2:21:25 PM PDT
Lost Gecko says:
I've got torchiere lamps with similar problems.

Hey everyone, please remember to post here if you find a solution.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 30, 2011, 2:38:24 PM PDT
RiverRat37 says:
Sam: thanks for trying ... however ... this will work fine only with a standard 1-way bulb but not with a 3-way. 3-way bulbs have an extra contact on the bottom of the bulb that allow the 3-way bulbs to work. You probably have experienced the problem of putting a 3-way bulb in a standard lamp, only to have it use only one of the 3 wattages. The bulb and the base have to match (with the contacts) for the 3-way to work "3 ways". Your pointer to Amazon was for a one-way bulb with additional pronged outlets too. If you search Amazon for "bulb extender" you'll find many less expensive solutions to my problem, but, sadly, none are for 3-way bulbs -- hence the trouble. Keep trying folks .. there has to be one out there somewhere. (I've called Leviton and they said they don't make one.")
PS Sam, the reason for the extender need is the CFL (compact fluorescent lamp) that have a large, wide part above the screw-in threads that won't allow the bulb to go down into a torchiere lamp (3-ay OR 1-way, actually. A short extender would lift the bulb a bit so it would not hit the shade before being completely screwed in. There exist many solutions for 1-way CFL's but not 3-way CFL's. Hope that helps.

Posted on Mar 30, 2011, 2:52:38 PM PDT
Lost Gecko says:
I clicked on one of the "Sponsored Links" ads here at Amazon, which took me to elightbulbs. They have some items that I'm guessing may help, "socket extenders". I haven't figured out yet whether they are the right size, or will fix my torchiere problems.

BTW, another interesting product that elightbulbs has is plastic "CFL Adapter" rings, which seem for use with reflectors or maybe canister lamps or maybe recessed ceiling lights? .

Posted on Mar 30, 2011, 5:26:04 PM PDT
RiverRat37 says:
Cynthia ~ Thanks so much for trying. elightbulbs.com has some pretty amazing socket extenders I've never seen before and a good selection, but none for 3-way bulbs (darn). Their customer support dept is closed for the day now, but I sent off an email asking about 3-way extenders. I'll let everyone know if I get a positive response.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 15, 2011, 5:44:11 AM PDT
John O. Coan says:
I have been trying to solve a similar problem this morning and it was just luck I ran across your post. My torchère is from the 1930's; it was in my grandmother's house. It was made to take a mogul base 3-way up to 300 watts. I have been using it with a single way bulb -- I gave up on incandescent 3-way bulbs a long time ago because I got tired of having the high current filament fail (always first, by the way), leaving a monster low output bulb which gets thrown out. I am ordering a six pack of 300 watt medium base bulbs from Amazon for $4.50 ea (including shipping with Amazon "Prime") which is a pretty good deal.

My real purpose in writing though is to thank you for mentioning that a "light bulb extender" for single way bulbs is available. I have been looking for same without knowing the name for years. This will let me try out using a one-way 80 watt cfl lamp in the torchère. Although I will not be able to use the dimmer I have in the circuit, this should emit a brilliant, daylight color temperature, reflected-off-the-ceiling light perfect for reading in my easy chair!

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 15, 2011, 5:48:28 AM PDT
RiverRat37 says:
John: There ARE dimmable CFLs available. They weren't at first but for the last year or so they have become commonly available altho I kinda doubt at 80W. Good luck.

Posted on Apr 18, 2011, 6:31:38 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 18, 2011, 6:32:56 AM PDT
Amy Nelson says:
In addition to a dimmable CFL lamp, you'll likely need a dimmer specifically made to dim CFL lamps:

http://www.cooperindustries.com/content/public/en/wiring_devices/products/lighting_controls/residential/dimmers/slide/skye/skye_8a_277v_fluorescent_full_slide_dimmer_sf8ap7.html

Posted on Apr 18, 2011, 11:28:24 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 19, 2011, 4:05:55 AM PDT
Dirk, Hi, I hunted around too for that 3-way socket extender, with no luck. I am assuming that the socket size is "medium" E-26.
I was wondering that if a socket extender for a 3-way bulb could not be found, what about looking for a longer socket?
Yes, I'm sure you thought of that already. But what type of lamp socket does your torchiere lamp use? Depending upon how
the fixture was made (how the actual lamp socket is attached at its base), you might be able to use a socket with an extension,
such as a socket with a "hickey" attachment. That might give you up to 3/4" lift. Of course, even if this idea would work
mechanically, I'm not sure if it would work cosmetically. Or elevate the socket base with a longer nipple (likely a 1/8 IPS)?
Or what about a "candle cover" to raise the socket from its base?

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 19, 2011, 4:37:11 AM PDT
RiverRat37 says:
Christopher: Thanks for looking for a solution (both physically and theoretically). As to your solutions: What about buying a new lamp? <grin> I think I've reached my limit on this one. With apologies to Edison, but it's just not all that important. Heck, I might even be able to cobble together a Rube Goldberg solution ... but I have other driving passions in my life and this one is sinking towards the bottom. I'm confident that there's not a simple extender out there (yet). If one happens along I'll jump on board. Cheers.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 24, 2011, 9:46:08 AM PDT
LesB says:
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 25, 2011, 6:31:09 PM PDT
RiverRat37 says:
Les ~ Methinks you missed the point. We can find 3-way CLF bulbs without any trouble now. But in some lamps (esp. torchiere's) the bulb won't fit because that fat part just above the threaded part (the ballast), hits the shade and so can't be screwed down to make contact. An "extender" is short Male to Female piece to extend the base up a bit so the bulb will fit. There are dozens of different ones available for NON-3way bulbs but we can't find any for the 3-ways (the bottom of the base of the light has different contacts on it from the 1way bulbs). If you find a 3-way extender .... you'll be a hero to a bunch of us.

Posted on Apr 26, 2011, 8:23:15 AM PDT
A. Hagerman says:
I bought a bulb extender and tried it with a 3-way CFL bulb. The bulb works but with only one lighting setting, meaning the bulb extender somehow kills the 3 way function. I haven't found a bulb extender for a CFL bulb that keeps the 3 way function yet.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 26, 2011, 9:03:31 AM PDT
RiverRat37 says:
A. Hagerman: You've discovered the problem! It's because there are two filaments (in the old bulbs) and so two hot contacts on the bottom of the bulb base. Compare the bottom of a regular bulb to a 3-way and you can see the diff. The 3-way switch powers one contact (first), the other contact (second) and both contacts (third). The filaments are usually of differing brightness. For instance one might be 50W and the other 100W giving you 50W (first) 100W (second) and 150W (third). You'll notice the third setting is always a combo of the first two. So now, the extender has to pass thru the contacts from the lamp to the bulb. A 1-way extender can't do this and there appears to be no 3-way extender available. Dumb, but true. Eventually one of the manufacturers will figure it out. Eventually.

Posted on Dec 7, 2011, 5:33:28 PM PST
frannyglass says:
SOLUTION--3 product options on Amazon--none perfect but should work:
A) CFL Lamp Harp Extender - TCP 15HEXT - TCP
B) search for "Lamp Harp for CFL" and there are 2 options that come up

There are no socket extenders I could find that do 3-way (three-way).
Good luck!

Posted on Dec 12, 2011, 11:24:30 AM PST
Chuck W. says:
Since I have had very poor luck with the life expectancy of 3 way CFLs, I have given up on them except for some limited applications where they get little use. I tried them in exterior fixtures on a timer, using only the dim 98% of the time, with the availability of the 150 Watt (equal) when I needed it. One to 9 months use out of a $10 bulb was just not worth it. Single circuit CFLs last years in the same application.

I would mount a second socket above & wired into the lower one. Lowes will sell you a 3 way socket.
Chuck W.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 12, 2011, 12:12:28 PM PST
RiverRat37 says:
Nice idea regarding the Lowe's 3-way socket. However, I tried that first; it wouldn't work. The problem is the 3-way part (or more accurately the 2-way part of the 3-way part) won't fit down in the socket of the torchiere light (bulb aims up). There seems to be no solution short of destructive electrical work. Thanks for the input on the life expectancy of dimmable CFLs.
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