Electricity: dimmers for fluo bulbs?

e9999

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was digging the other day in my house wiring to replace a 3 way dimmer switch. Says on the dimmer that it's to be used only for incandescent bulbs. I'd like to switch to fluorescents, though. And I have several in the house. Is there an obvious replacement or mod for a good dimmer system for fluo or is it only either dimmer or fluo but not both?
 

LandCruiserPhil

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To dim a fluorescent you need a dimming ballast and a fluorescent spec dimmer. Most dimming ballast require constant hot, netural, and control wire from the wall dimmer. O'yea they are pricey
 

e9999

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thanks, I'm talking about little self-contained bulbs, not tubes, if that makes a difference.
So if you have this dimming ballast, no way to use a regular dimmer at the wall to control it, maybe with a clever mod a la Mud?


(interestingly, I also have a lamp with a 3 position switch that gives different intensities with the incandescent bulb, but a fluo bulb will only work in one of the 3 positions (middle one IIRC))
 

LandCruiserPhil

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thanks, I'm talking about little self-contained bulbs, not tubes, if that makes a difference. ))

I have heard of some hybrid compact fluorescent (screw in) but have never seen one - My guess is $$
So if you have this dimming ballast, no way to use a regular dimmer at the wall to control it, maybe with a clever mod a la Mud?))
Correct
(interestingly, I also have a lamp with a 3 position switch that gives different intensities with the incandescent bulb, but a fluo bulb will only work in one of the 3 positions (middle one IIRC))

An incandescent bulb different intensities are achived from different filiment in the 3-way lamp (look at the difference of the bottom of the lamp) The output of the fixture socket is the same in all 3 postions
 

e9999

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thanks.
did some more research. I saw some dimmable fluo compact bulbs that are said to work with regular dimmers.
But have not seen yet some dimmable floodlight fluo bulbs on the high lumens side (120W inc equivalent).
All expensive if not through some sort of exchange program, though.
 
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Held off switching to compact flos in my living room because I have 6 of the 65watt floodlights. About a year or so ago I noticed GE Soft White dimmable floods at Walmart. I think they were about $12 each. I like the light and but normally keep them dimmed a bit because they're pretty bright. The biggest advantage is I haven't had to change a bulb since. Prior to switching it seemed I was always having to change a bulb which meant a ladder or one of those pole things with a suction cup on it - which half the time didn't work.
 

e9999

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I saw some ads in the paper today that HomeDepot is giving away free fluos today (maybe 1 per person?)

I'm telling you, fluos are a no-brainer if you have incandescent bulbs on a non-dimmer switch. The savings are staggering. The equivalent on your LC would be to get 4x the mpg suddenly...

check the savings: http://www.getenergysmart.org/Files/Light Bulb Calculator.htm



(I made the non-dimmer reservation cuz those are more expensive and less likely to be offered for free or at low cost, I'm guessing, but still worth it surely, just longer payback)
 
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