Light fixture with bulbs that take 5 min to "warm up"

tinanJanuary 26, 2013

We have this Ikea light fixture in our house. I like it except for the fact that it takes about 5 minutes for the bulbs to warm up and actually produce significant light! When first turned on, it's very dim. This is inconvenient as it's in an entryway hall and light is needed right away when coming in.

I assume based on the behavior that these are some kind of sodium or halogen lights. The bulbs are described as "Low-energy bulb, SPARSAM reflector GU10 9W."

Can I replace the bulbs with a different type, and if so what type for faster light when switched on? Or will I have to replace the light fixture itself to fix this problem?


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It's probably a CFL which takes time to warm up in order to produce light.

The fixture most likely has a built in ballast - you'd need to either replace the fixture or use a led light with the ballast disconnected.

The easiest route is to replace it.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2013 at 7:11PM
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The slow-warm-up CFL use a paste for the mercury instead of the vapor. The paste has to warm up. Those work better at low temperatures than do the vapor type-- better for outdoors, for example. And they are better for enclosed fixtures too-- withstand heat better. I suspect that the paste type will be longer lasting. In my basement, I have mostly the slow starters with just a few of the faster starters. Works fine for me.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2013 at 9:53PM
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Wow, you are right it appears they are CFLs, I did not know they came in such tiny sizes now. Well, for the location of this light it's not acceptable, because it's the front entryway so I need to be able to see when I come in the door at night!

It looks like they sell LED versions, those should be cool as well - would they prevent the warm-up period?

The bulbs that came with the fixture

Ikea LED GU10

It seems that I could also go with halogens for this fixture, I have other Ikea fixtures with halogens and they have no warm-up period. I know thy produce heat but this fixture is rarely on for more than 10 minutes.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2013 at 10:24PM
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Not sure that you can go with halogens, as it is described as a 9W per light fixture. Is there any label on the fixture as to maximum lighting?

That LED you linked seems to be 3.5W, which means it will put out less light than what you have now (although show be full brightness immediately).

    Bookmark   January 26, 2013 at 11:38PM
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The led output is 150 lumens, which is probably less than the cfl. There may be higher output gu10 led bulbs from other vendors

    Bookmark   January 27, 2013 at 2:11PM
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Here is a collection of LEDs from a vendor

    Bookmark   January 27, 2013 at 2:17PM
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I managed to get the bulbs out (press in and quarter turn ccw) but only to find the CFL GU10s are about twice as deep as the LEDs I bought, and I don't think they will work in this fixture.

Looks like I either have to live with it this way or change the fixture (it was not expensive in the fist place). I assumed when I bought it these were halogen bulbs - teach me to buy a fixture without checking all these things first.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2013 at 4:01PM
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A decent GU10 is the Philips 6 watt, 300 lumen, one from Home Depot. (The Ecosmart one has similar specs, and is a few dollars less expensive. But you give up some dimming performance.) However they are normal sized, like the 150 lumen Ledaire that you posted the link to - not elongated like the CFL bulb. Is there some way you can adjust the socket in the fixture out a bit?

    Bookmark   January 27, 2013 at 8:31PM
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No the fixture is a very cheap Ikea model ($30) with nothing adjustable and not dimmable so no concerns about that part. I'll put it on my "to do" list to replace that fixture or move it elsewhere in the house where the delay won't bother me as much.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2013 at 12:14AM
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