CFL bulbs and Dimmer Switches (& not the obvious question!)
I recently bought a floor lamp that is designed to take 3 incandescent light bulbs, but with which I plan to use compact fluorescent (CFL) bulbs instead for their substantial energy savings.
The problem is: the lamp has a dimmer switch. I don't intend to use it, that is, it will be left full bright all the time. My question is, can I use standard, non-dimmable CFLs in this lamp? I am aware that even when set to full brightness, most dimmers are actually only letting about 95% of the voltage through. So I have several choices:
a) Use the cheap CFLs I already own and hope nothing bad happens;
b) Buy new dimmable CFLs which are expensive and not sold at most local stores;
c) Replace the dimmer switch with a simple on-off switch, assuming I can find a suitable part (or I can open up the lamp and rewire to bypass the existing dimmer switch, and add a new on/off cord switch), or
d) Keep the dimmer and use 40w halogen/infrared bulbs that are dimmable and as bright as 60w incandescents, although not nearly as efficient as the 14w CFLs that are just as bright.
I have had trouble with dimmable CFLs the one time I bought them - they buzzed noticeably whenever dimmed. And CFLs don't take on that nice, characteristic orangish dimmed-light color when dimmed.