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Old 06-12-2010, 05:14 PM   #1
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CFL bulbs flashing, NOT turning on.


I recently installed a medicine cabinet and light bar in one of my 100 yr old apartments. and in the process I determined that the combination switch/outlet was faulty, So I also replaced it, and wired it correctly.
But..... the CFL bulbs I installed will NOT come on, they only flash. and no the switch is NOT a dimmer switch. what is the problem????
I was wondering if I need to find some regular incandecent bulbs, would this cure the problem???

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Old 06-12-2010, 06:46 PM   #2
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CFL bulbs flashing, NOT turning on.


I would first check the voltage to confirm it is in fact 120 volts, and not something weird, or maybe even in series with another circuit.

Maybe they are faulty, or not getting enough juice. Where I work there is a lecture theater with like 50 CFLs in recessed fixtures, and whoever wired it put a dimmer... every now and then we go in there and it's like walking into a rave, because somebody decided to dim them and they're all flickering like crazy.

This one time there was like 3 maintenance guys on ladders changing all the light bulbs because they all burnt! They put those in place to save money in the long run, but probably did not want to spend the extra 2 bucks to replace the dimmer with a regular switch. Typical of my workplace.

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Old 06-12-2010, 07:25 PM   #3
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CFL bulbs flashing, NOT turning on.


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Originally Posted by miraclemant View Post
I was wondering if I need to find some regular incandecent bulbs, would this cure the problem???
See what voltage you get with large incand. lamps in place.
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Old 06-12-2010, 09:35 PM   #4
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CFL bulbs flashing, NOT turning on.


I suggest you put in regular incandescent (pennies) and add a dimmer switch (<$8 single pole). You'll get better quality light (a warmer color temp and much higher color rendering), achieve nearly the same life, and you won't have the disposal issue (mercury in CFL). When you turn on the light, if you start it at partial power, then bring it up to full (even quickly), you'll get even longer life than a CFL. The energy difference will be no more than $1/year more, spread over the higher price of the CFL... and it's a no brainer!
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Old 06-13-2010, 07:43 AM   #5
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CFL bulbs flashing, NOT turning on.


Simply trying a small to medium wattage incandescent lamp (if the socket is the same) will reveal whether the circuit was wired properly and everything (except perhaps the CFL lamp itself) was working.

Was the light bar ready to hang with just one black and one white wire protruding, or was it a kit you had to assemble? For multiple sockets in the light fixture, all the black wires are tied together and (in a second bundle) all the white wires are tied together.
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Last edited by AllanJ; 06-13-2010 at 07:47 AM.
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Old 06-13-2010, 08:07 AM   #6
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CFL bulbs flashing, NOT turning on.


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Originally Posted by TomSDIY View Post
I suggest you put in regular incandescent (pennies) and add a dimmer switch (<$8 single pole). You'll get better quality light (a warmer color temp and much higher color rendering), achieve nearly the same life, and you won't have the disposal issue (mercury in CFL). When you turn on the light, if you start it at partial power, then bring it up to full (even quickly), you'll get even longer life than a CFL. The energy difference will be no more than $1/year more, spread over the higher price of the CFL... and it's a no brainer!
Actually more mercury is released in most cases by the energy required to provide the extra electricity to power the incandescents
The exception being electric generated by Hydro, solar, wind etc
And better quality light is merely a choosing the right color rendition CFL - normally a daylight bulb
As far as cost I have picked up huindreds of CFLs for free due to specials funded by local energy comapnies
At present a 4pk of CFL's is $3.25-3.85

I'm wondering if the light bar is somehow wired is serial ?

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