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Old 10-10-2010, 08:23 AM   #1
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Dimmable CFL


I got a kitchen light at one of the big box stores some months ago and just yesterday put it in. The instructions say that it's not a dimmable light. From what I recall, we asked one of the employees if we could just put a dimmable bulb in and be fine. They said we could, so we got a dimmable bulb to fit it.

So, is there any physical difference in the fixture between dimmable and "standard"? The reason I ask is that the light sometimes won't come on when we hit the switch. Sometimes sliding the dimmer makes it come on. And then there are times like just now where I hit the switch, it didn't come on, I played with the dimmer, still nothing. So I took the dogs out for a minute and when I came back in (~5 minutes) it was on!

What's going on here? Is this dangerous?

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Old 10-10-2010, 09:14 AM   #2
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Dimmable CFL


Not dangerous, not annoying. There are Dimming type CFL's, and they will say on the package if they are able to.

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Old 10-10-2010, 09:17 AM   #3
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Dimmable CFL


From the title of this thread, it appears you are running a compact fluorescent lamp. Did you install this in an existing fixture or did you buy a new fixture too?
Quote:
The instructions say that it's not a dimmable light.
Here is your first mistake:
Quote:
From what I recall, we asked one of the employees if we could just put a dimmable bulb in and be fine. They said we could, so we got a dimmable bulb to fit it.
CFL, or any fluorescent, needs full voltage for the ballast to fire the bulb. As the directions state, they don't work on a dimmer.
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Old 10-10-2010, 09:18 AM   #4
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Dimmable CFL


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Originally Posted by gregzoll View Post
Not dangerous, not annoying. There are Dimming type CFL's, and they will say on the package if they are able to.
Yeah, we have a dimmable CFL in the fixture. Thanks, maybe I wasn't clear enough on that.
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Old 10-10-2010, 09:20 AM   #5
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Dimmable CFL


Quote:
Originally Posted by a7ecorsair View Post
From the title of this thread, it appears you are running a compact fluorescent lamp. Did you install this in an existing fixture or did you buy a new fixture too?
Here is your first mistake:
CFL, or any fluorescent, needs full voltage for the ballast to fire the bulb. As the directions state, they don't work on a dimmer.
It is a new fixture. This new fixture says that it doesn't work with a dimmer switch. Since it includes a bulb, we were told that the fixture would be fine with a dimmer but the included bulb would not. So we got a new bulb that clearly says "dimmable" on it.

The previous fixture worked fine with a dimmable CFL bulb in it. This new one does not.
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Old 10-10-2010, 09:58 AM   #6
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Dimmable CFL


If the fixture states it will not work with a dimmer switch then take the switch out
Or replace the fixture with one that will work with a dimmer

SPECIFIC CFL's can be dimmed - twisty bulbs that aree marked dimmable
Sometimes you need a certain dimmer to work with a CFL dimmable bulb
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Old 10-17-2010, 09:13 AM   #7
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Dimmable CFL


Just in case someone searches for CFL info and comes across this thread...

A previous respondent said that this set-up wasn't dangerous or annoying. They seem to be right about half of that. My house didn't burn down but it was rather annoying not having a light turn on when you wanted it to.

And apparently there is a difference in the fixtures between dimmable and non. It's not just the bulb that makes a set up dimmable.

I've replaced the dimmer switch and the dimmable bulb with a regular switch and regular CFL bulb. The light now works 100% of the time.

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