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Touch lamp + fluorescent bulb = :( ?

KalTorakKalTorak Registered User regular
edited April 2008 in Help / Advice Forum
I have a standing touch lamp (the kind made of metal that you just touch anywhere to turn it on) that cycles through three grades of brightness and off as you touch it. A few days ago the three-way (incandescent 50w-100w-150w) bulb blew out when I turned on the lamp, and today I replaced it with an equivalent 3-way fluorescent bulb. Now the lamp doesn't respond to touch at all - it's just on at full brightness when plugged in. Is there something wrong with the lamp, or do these kinds of lamps just not work with fluorescent bulbs?

KalTorak on

Posts

  • CrashtardCrashtard Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    Probably it just doesn't work with those bulbs. I've run into similar problems in the past, although you'd think something like that would be fixed.

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  • CycophantCycophant Registered User
    edited April 2008
    I assume you're talking about the compact fluorescent bulbs, in which case yes; they don't work with any kind of dimmer switch or tri-light (which is what your touch lamp is) without buying a bulb specifically for that purpose. So if you really want that kind of functionality, go out and buy a CFL designed for tri-lights. They're not usually much more expensive.

    Edit: Totally missed that you used a 3-way CFL. Maybe your touch light works on a really strange 3-way dimmer switch that isn't working with that specific type of bulb. I bet if you bought a regular 3-way tungsten bulb it would probably still work. I know the CFL bulbs, despite having a few years under their belts, are still a bit touchy.

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  • matt has a problemmatt has a problem Six pack on a dick Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    He replaced it with a 3-way fluorescent. That's not the problem.

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  • KalTorakKalTorak Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    I went and checked out the lightbulb's manufacturer website - what's weird is they don't even have it one the site. Well, they have this:
    217_3way_p.jpg

    Which has nearly the same name as the one I got - Philips Marathon Energy Saving 3-way. Except mine isn't of the twisty design - it's more of a rectangle, made of three separate loops. It looks like one of the top two here:

    bulbsx.jpg

    Although it does say to not use it with a dimmer on the back (in tiny print). Maybe touch lamps work like dimmers instead of 3-way switch lamps, which seem to have separate circuits? I'm all confused now - not sure whether to buy a new lamp or a different bulb, or which kind. Maybe i'll just get a new bulb like the old one i had. I was all excited to get a snazzy fluorescent one tho :(

  • DalbozDalboz Resident Puppy Eater Right behind you...Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    KalTorak wrote: »
    I went and checked out the lightbulb's manufacturer website - what's weird is they don't even have it one the site. Well, they have this:
    217_3way_p.jpg

    Which has nearly the same name as the one I got - Philips Marathon Energy Saving 3-way. Except mine isn't of the twisty design - it's more of a rectangle, made of three separate loops. It looks like one of the top two here:

    bulbsx.jpg

    Although it does say to not use it with a dimmer on the back (in tiny print). Maybe touch lamps work like dimmers instead of 3-way switch lamps, which seem to have separate circuits? I'm all confused now - not sure whether to buy a new lamp or a different bulb, or which kind. Maybe i'll just get a new bulb like the old one i had. I was all excited to get a snazzy fluorescent one tho :(

    Yeah, the touch lamps are slightly different. They control the dimmer by controlling the flow of electricity. I'm not a hundred percent certain how the 3-way CFLs are different though. I've used a regular bulb in a three-way lamp before, and it turned on at full brightness, but had a sort of high frequency flickering at the lowest setting. The three-way CFLs may simply have some kind of jury-rigging to make them work better. I'm not sure.

    It's also possible you could just have a bad bulb. I had a CFL burn out after a couple of days, and it turned out it was just a bad bulb. I replaced it with another, and it's been working ever since.

  • DaenrisDaenris Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    KalTorak wrote: »
    Although it does say to not use it with a dimmer on the back (in tiny print). Maybe touch lamps work like dimmers instead of 3-way switch lamps, which seem to have separate circuits?

    This. Many (most?) touch lamps like you describe don't actually work in the same way as a typical 3 way lamp. They just work on a gradual dimmer with 3 steps. This is most likely the type of lamp that you have (as mentioned you should be able to test it by just putting in a regular non 3-way incandescent bulb and see if it still has different brightnesses when you touch the lamp. CFL bulbs don't work on dimmers.

    You can probably get a touch lamp that will operate as a typical 3-way lamp that should work with a 3-way CFL, but I'm not sure where to get one like that. Or you go back to incandescent for that light.

  • moops177moops177 Registered User new member
    I have the same problem. I think it has something to do with the lower energy going through the lamp. I just got a Philips EcoVantage 73 watt light bulb and it works. The 73 watt light bulb is equal to a 100 watt light bulb.

  • SloSlo Registered User regular
    Most CFLs don't work with any dimmer-type item. You can get some (Inductive type dimmers), but unless you want to take apart your lamp and make an electronic project out of it, you're better off just getting a different bulb.

This discussion has been closed.