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Old 12-27-2008, 10:26 PM   #1
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Tried this and it didnt work.

Later heard a radio show which was talking about elasticity and a dimmer question called in and said a dimmer (most, not the special ones) do not regulate the voltage but send the voltage as a pulse.

If that is true; once the USA bans incandescent bulbs will we have to buy these expensive dimmers with voltage regulators in them ?


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Old 12-27-2008, 10:38 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by iMisspell View Post
Later heard a radio show which was talking about elasticity and a dimmer question called in and said a dimmer (most, not the special ones) do not regulate the voltage but send the voltage as a pulse.

If that is true; once the USA bans incandescent bulbs will we have to buy these expensive dimmers with voltage regulators in them?
The "rule" is that dimmers of any kind do not work with fluorescents of any kind.

To which there are various "exceptions".

You need to at least start by looking at dimmers specifically meant for fluorescent lights.

With "old fashioned" resistance dimmers or rheostats the voltage seen by the lamp at a given dimmer dial setting depends on the current flowing in the circuit which in turn depends also on the (internal) resistance of the lamp.

Dimmers that "send the voltage as a pulse" do change the voltage seen by the lamp (or other load). The size and shape of the pulse(s) translate into an AC voltage referred to as the RMS (root-mean-square) voltage which permits direct (apples to apples) comparison between an AC with a funny waveform from a dimmer and an unaltered sine wave AC.

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Last edited by AllanJ; 12-27-2008 at 10:51 PM.
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Old 12-28-2008, 11:20 AM   #3
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The last issue of Electronic Design talked about two versions of circuitry to dim flourescents. Maybe the second generation of these dimmers will have the bugs out.
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Old 12-28-2008, 11:28 AM   #4
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Hope so... dimmers for fluorescents seam to start around 50-60 bucks.
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Old 12-28-2008, 12:36 PM   #5
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I worked in a courthouse that had all the courtroom florescent lights on dimmers. There was a panel in the electric room that housed the components and each fixture had an electronic ballast. I never touched it and tried everything to get information on that panel to no avail. Each courtroom had slider switches and some indicator lights on them. They worked, but it was not very reliable. Most of the time I had to turn the lights to full brightness even though the judges did not like it. "you want light or not"? I was gone in two weeks.
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Old 12-28-2008, 03:31 PM   #6
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Is the U.S. really going to ban incandescent lighting?
I doubt that it will happen anytime soon... just like we're switching to the Metric (SI) system

In any case, "dimmable" fluorescent lighting has been around for a long time, and yes, the dimmers are expensive. From what I understand, not all fluorescent lighting is dimmagle.
I'm fairly confident that the geniuses who work on these gadgets will have something much less expensive on the market within the next two years.
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Old 12-28-2008, 03:44 PM   #7
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Is the U.S. really going to ban incandescent lighting?
I doubt that it will happen anytime soon... just like we're switching to the Metric (SI) system
Yep. 2012 is the year that incandescents will be no more. The end of an era. I seriously doubt they will disappear immediately though. I'm gonna buy several cases to have on hand. They are old reliable, and when they do blow, very cheap to replace.

And the U.S. does use metric. All of our standards are defined in terms of SI units. They have been since 1893.
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Old 12-28-2008, 03:55 PM   #8
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Most cheap dimmers operate by cutting a piece out of each sine wave. The end result is what was earlier described as a "pulse" -- or rapidly switching the power on and off.

Another analogy would be to say that these dimmers reduce the average voltage, but not the peak voltage. This is one reason why some bulbs' filaments can "sing" while being subjected to the output of a dimmer.

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Old 12-29-2008, 02:31 PM   #9
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Yep. 2012 is the year that incandescents will be no more. The end of an era. I seriously doubt they will disappear immediately though. I'm gonna buy several cases to have on hand. They are old reliable, and when they do blow, very cheap to replace.

And the U.S. does use metric. All of our standards are defined in terms of SI units. They have been since 1893.
Not true I was told that they anly banned inefficient lightbulbs. Nowhere does it state incandescents. If you can make an efficient incandescent then you can sell it. If I am wrong I applogize but please have the proof to back it up.
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Old 12-29-2008, 02:56 PM   #10
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Not true I was told that they anly banned inefficient lightbulbs. Nowhere does it state incandescents. If you can make an efficient incandescent then you can sell it. If I am wrong I applogize but please have the proof to back it up.
Do tell, how do you make an efficient incandescent light bulb? The very term "incandescent" means to heat something until it glows. If you know of a way to heat a metal filament to white hot temperatures, without wasting energy as heat, then my friend, you have made a major breakthrough and have turned known physics upside down.
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Old 12-30-2008, 12:29 AM   #11
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Thats why I said if you could figure out how to make it work it is possible to still sell. I was told that there is a company trying to make an efficient incandescent. I highly doubt that that part is true.
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Old 12-30-2008, 12:51 AM   #12
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I have no idea what they're about but Philips Halogena bulbs are an alternative. I know they aren't incandescent but they aren't CFL either. They have an incandescent equivalency rating like CFL's do but it's not as drastic of a difference. I think their 60W bulbs are equivalent to 75W.
I use them for customers who specifically don't want CFLs. I mainly use the BR30's in recessed lighting fixtures which are 40W bulbs with 65W incandescent output equivalency. Never had a customer complain about them (yet).
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Old 12-30-2008, 01:27 PM   #13
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Philips Halogena is most definitely incandescent. It's a quartz-halogen type incandescent. It's an improved version of incandescent (lasts a little longer, burns a little brighter), but it's still incandescent.

A Halogena is built to resemble a regular light bulb, but the outer glass is just a decoy surrounding the real business--the quartz-halogen inner bulb. The inner bulb has inert gasses (such as krypton and xenon, aka halogen gasses) that cause vaporized atoms of the tungsten to stick to the filiment for longer life, and the quartz inner bulb withstands temperatures that would melt glass, allowing the light to burn hotter, resulting in whiter, brighter light than a regular glass incandescent.
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Old 12-30-2008, 03:48 PM   #14
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OK then, good explanation. There's nothing on Philip's website that says anything about that and based off how they look, I assumed incandescent until I started reading reviews about them. There are many claims out there (internet) that say they're not incandescent. Either way, they claim to use less wattage to achieve the same brightness. I was just adding an option to the CFL, typical incandescent choices.
I like to use them because I can promote the less energy factor and they look and act like typical bulbs....plus they can be dimmed with a standard dimmer.

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