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Old 03-06-2010, 06:52 PM   #1
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New to CFLs - compatibility question


I bought a new light fixture with a CFL for the kitchen. (It's tax free day here in VT) My current setup has a dimmer switch, which we like. The new fixture doesn't come with a dimmable bulb. It's a two prong bulb, by the way. And the store that I got the fixture from didn't have two prong dimmable CFLs.

So, my main question is are all two prong CFLs the same? (why can't they all just be universal screw in like incandescent bulbs?) The bulb that I'm thinking of ordering on the interwebs is here. The bulb I have says this on the base: 120V, 60Hz, 23Watt, 0.380A, 3000K, 82 CRI.

Other questions of mine are:
Is GU24 the code for two prong? What is CRI? Is the .380A the amperage?
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Old 03-06-2010, 07:38 PM   #2
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CRI= Color Rendering Index
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Old 03-06-2010, 10:04 PM   #3
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"GU" describes the pin shape on the bulb.
24 is the distance in mm between the pins
.38 is the Amps. (very low power factor here)
3000 is the color temp in degrees Kelvin.
82 is the color rendering index
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Old 03-06-2010, 11:03 PM   #4
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Screw in CFL's that fit ordinary (incandescent) lamp sockets have built in ballasts and take the regular 120 volt AC current.

Pinned CFL's do not have built in ballasts and may be used only in the fixtures that are meant to accept them. You have to match the style or type with the fixture which among other things matches the wattage.

There are a few CFL's that have a ballast that screws into an ordinary socket but also has a separately replaceable glass tube assembly with pins.
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Old 03-07-2010, 08:14 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kbsparky View Post
"GU" describes the pin shape on the bulb.
24 is the distance in mm between the pins
So, are all two pin type bulbs for general home use going to be 24mm? Or are there GU26 and GU28 and so on? Or is the 24 pretty standard and any other measurements would be for something out of the ordinary with special applications?
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Old 03-07-2010, 11:03 AM   #6
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'm not sure whether there are other pin spacings like 26mm, etc. but even if the bulb fits in the socket, that does not mean it will work properly. Many CFL's have a plastic post (sometimes called a key) between the pins that prevents some bulb/fixture mismatches.
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Old 03-07-2010, 07:04 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dismas View Post
So, are all two pin type bulbs for general home use going to be 24mm? Or are there GU26 and GU28 and so on? Or is the 24 pretty standard and any other measurements would be for something out of the ordinary with special applications?
I know that there are GU10 bulbs, and probably others. I also know that the GU24 are for CFL type applications only, and never for incandescent loads.

There will probably standards for other spacings as technology advances and requires unique connection bases.
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