Fluorescents and dimmers

bus_driverOctober 23, 2010

I have never installed nor used dimming fluorescents. But I did encounter this week a ceiling fan with separate wall switches for the fan and lights. The light control is a dimmer. The owner had installed 13 watt fluorescent with Edison base. The fluorescent seems to work well and maintains almost full brightness even with the dimmer set to the lowest setting. The owner showed me the package upon request and it states not to use with dimmers. Anyone have actual experience with this?

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smithy123

i tried using a ge cfl on a dimmer and it started crackling. i used bright effects ones, and so did my friend and they worked fine.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2010 at 12:50PM
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brickeyee

"The fluorescent seems to work well and maintains almost full brightness even with the dimmer set to the lowest setting. The owner showed me the package upon request and it states not to use with dimmers. Anyone have actual experience with this?"

The 'electronic ballast' ballast in the fluorescent lights is not designed to deal with the chopped voltage waveform the dimmest produces.

It introduces higher frequency components in to the circuit, and WILL result in overheating of the electronics and shortened life, if the electronics do not actually overheat enough to start a fire.

There have been problems with some CFLs being burned base up from overheating, let alone the heating created by a dimmer supplying a distorted voltage waveform.

Conventional digital volt meters do not evne read the correct value from the voltage waveform of a dimmer across the entire range.

Some better ones that claim to be 'true RMS' can get close, but none work across the entire range.

It is an immediate fire hazard.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2010 at 12:52PM
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smithy123

take them out. use dimmable cfls

    Bookmark   October 23, 2010 at 3:13PM
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