As was foretold, we've added advertisements to the forums! If you have questions, or if you encounter any bugs, please visit this thread:

CFLs (Compact Fluorescent Lamps)

bfickybficky Registered User regular
edited December 2007 in Games and Technology
(If this doesn't belong in G&T, please move/let me know)

I'm starting to look into using CFLs (compact fluorescent lamps) in our new house. The previous owner went ape-shit with recessed lighting, and we currently have 38 can lights in our house, each with a 120 watt floodlight in them. They are energy-wasting, heat-producing, $5-a-pop bastards, and I want to phase them out.

A while ago I went to Walmart and bought a single 75w equiv. flood CFL to try out. My issues with the CFL are many-fold:
  1. The color. This isn't really a problem, as I will (and would like to anyway) get used to the cooler, more natural color. The problem is mixing and matching with non-CFLs, creating weird color changes in the room.
  2. The delay. When you turn on the switch, the bulb takes a half second to turn on. Again, not really a problem, but mixing and matching with non-CFLs makes it noticable.
  3. The warm up period. Especially now that it's colder, the time it takes to get up to full brightness is getting longer and longer. The CFL is in the bathroom now, and by the time I'm done in there, it's nowhere near at full brightness.
  4. Not being able to dim them. When the previous owner wasn't installing spotlights, he was putting dimmer switches on every damn light switch. The CFL I bought doesn't dim (do any?). It's either on or off, and when it's in a room with a dimmer, it stays on full blast while all the other non-CFLs dim all the down to off. We actually use the dimmers more than we expected, so this is a major issue.

Did I just buy the wrong brand? Are there better CFLs that don't have these problems? The goal is to save money in the long run and not have 38 inefficient little heaters in our house, but I'm starting to think I'm embracing this technology a few years early.

PSN: BFicky | Switch: 1590-9221-4827 | Animal Crossing: Brandon (Waterview) | ACNH Wishlist
bficky on


  • Lord YodLord Yod Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    Can I use a compact fluorescent light bulb with a dimmer switch?
    To use a compact fluorescent bulb on a dimmer switch, you must buy a bulb that's specifically made to work with dimmers (check the package). GE makes a dimming compact fluorescent light bulb (called the Energy Smart Dimming Spirals®) that is specially designed for use with dimming switches. We don't recommend using regular compact fluorescent bulbs with dimming switches, since this can shorten bulb life. (Using a regular compact fluorescent bulb with a dimmer will also nullify the bulb's warranty.)

    No, you're not doing it too early. CFL's are great.

    Lord Yod on
  • xzzyxzzy Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    Only thing to keep in mind with these bulbs is they are a bit bigger physically than an equivalent incandescent bulb.

    Had to buy a lot of new "bowl" fixtures for the ceiling lamps in my place before I could completely rotate out the old bulbs.

    xzzy on
  • WoodroezWoodroez Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    EDIT: nevermind.

    But, as long as you're trying out different lights, there's always LED-based bulbs.

    At least one of these specifically says "works well with dimmers"

    Personally, we have cfl's in the house. I hate the warm-up times as well. Whenever I move I'm going to look into LEDs.

    Woodroez on
  • RivulentRivulent Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    I bought a big pack of 60 watters from BJ's wholesale (like sam's club), for I think about $1.50 / bulb. Very energy efficient, produces nearly no heat byproduct. Since I came from living in dorms, my eyes didn't require much adjustment with the color. The ONLY problem I can foresee with CFL's is the increased eye strain produced by the type of light. I'm as near sided as a bat (not to mention I stare at a tv or monitor nearly every minute I'm awake), so I don't really care about that.

    Rivulent on
  • whitey9whitey9 Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    My dad is an electrician with a penchant for new and strange, and he's been on a CFL kick for the last couple of years. CFL's have the ability to have more color range than traditional lights, and they are allowed to be dimmed. The problem is that the demand for dimmable CFL's isn't high enough that you can find them on a shelf at home depot. He has a catalog about 2 inches thick with different styles of CFL's ranging from regular lightbulb prices to $50 bulbs.

    Talk to a custom lamp store or something along those lines.

    whitey9 on
Sign In or Register to comment.