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Old 01-30-2014, 03:02 PM   #1
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CFL Flood and Dimmer Switch


Hey Guys, sorry for the back to back questions.

I have 5 hi hats in the kitchen with the CFL Floods (CFL is inside the sealed flood). The are turned on and off with a dimmer.

I am going to assume this is bad as there is a delay before they turn on and then warm up.

What hazards can I encounter here?
Will it kill the dimmer?
Will it kill the CFL floods?
or worse yet - damage the wiring in the walls/ceilings?

Thanks again, your guys kick butt here.

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Old 01-30-2014, 03:18 PM   #2
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CFL Flood and Dimmer Switch


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Originally Posted by icepal1999 View Post
Hey Guys, sorry for the back to back questions.

I have 5 hi hats in the kitchen with the CFL Floods (CFL is inside the sealed flood). The are turned on and off with a dimmer.

I am going to assume this is bad as there is a delay before they turn on and then warm up.

What hazards can I encounter here?
Will it kill the dimmer?
Will it kill the CFL floods?
or worse yet - damage the wiring in the walls/ceilings?

Thanks again, your guys kick butt here.
Id say it will be tough on the electronics built into the bulbs

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Old 01-30-2014, 03:23 PM   #3
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CFL Flood and Dimmer Switch


The first question is are the CFL's dimmable ? They are sold both ways.

If you are attempting to dim a non-dimmable, it will shorten the life of the bulb. (If the packaging did not brag about being dimmable, it probably is not)

With dimmable bulbs, you should start them at full power and dim after they have warmed up.

You will get better performance out of a CFL dimmer as compared to using a standard dimmer.
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Old 01-30-2014, 03:31 PM   #4
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CFL Flood and Dimmer Switch


OSO - good point. I don't know, I didn't buy them, the wife did. We do dim them from time to time, mostly hi power while cooking, etc.

They do dim, like I said I more concerned about the delay when turning them on. It's a good 1-2 secs.
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Old 01-30-2014, 03:54 PM   #5
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CFL Flood and Dimmer Switch


What delay are you referring to? Non-dimmable CFLs don't dim when connected to a dimmer, they remain full output and flicker when the dimmer output diminishes to a point when it's not outputting enough.
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Old 01-30-2014, 04:08 PM   #6
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IG - when I first turn them on to full power - no dimming.
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Old 01-31-2014, 01:13 PM   #7
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CFL Flood and Dimmer Switch


Since you can't dim them, the thing to do is replace the dimmer with a switch. No delay there. I've noticed some CFLs do not come up full bright the instant they're turned on, this is normal for CFLs and has nothing to do with your dimmer. This will not damage your wiring.
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Old 01-31-2014, 05:16 PM   #8
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CFL Flood and Dimmer Switch


If they are not dimmable CFL's then they most likely will dim to an extent,
But it will be hard on the internal circuits of the CFL's.
And ultimately shorten the life of the lamp.
It will not damage your wiring,
How ever it could damage your dimer.
If you want to keep using them, get dimmable CFL's
and the correct type of dimer.


Do it once !
Do it well !
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Old 01-31-2014, 10:14 PM   #9
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CFL Flood and Dimmer Switch


Ok they do dim. I keep them on full power when I am in the kitchen. My wife will dim them from time to time.

My problem is when I turn them on - there is a 1-2 sec delay when turning them on whether it be full power or at half power (dimmed).

From what I gather it seems like it will shorten the life of the bulb more than anything else.
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Old 02-01-2014, 02:03 AM   #10
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CFL Flood and Dimmer Switch


It is normal for CFL's to be slow to come on !
And the older they get the longer it can take,
Quite normal , and probably exsaserbated by the dimmer.
Learn to live with it !
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Old 02-01-2014, 07:34 AM   #11
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dmax - I know about them being slow to illuminate.

I want to know if the 1-2 second delay is:

1) Damaging the bulbs
2) Damaging the dimmer
3) or both

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