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Flourescent bulbs flicker with ceiling fan remote

Posted by yam2006 (My Page) on
Tue, Mar 6, 07 at 11:12

I recently installed compact flourescent bulbs in my new ceiling fan. The ceiling fan remote receiver causes the flourescent lights to flicker. After discussing this with Emerson technical support, I learned that the remote receiver controls the lights using a pulse width modulated signal (basically a dimmer switch). They advised using only incandescent bulbs in the fixture because of this "feature". They did not understand the irony of installing half a kilowatt's worth of incandescent bulbs on the ceiling fan which I installed to reduce my summer cooling bills.

After a little bit of experimentation, I found that the flourescent lights look ok at the brightest setting, but flicker significantly at the dimmer settings. I tried using some dimmer-compatible bulbs from another room but it didn't make any difference.

Are there any safety or reliability problems with this setup? I think I can live with the very slight flicker at the brightest setting.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Flourescent bulbs flicker with ceiling fan remote

Good Morning ~ FYI -- the only dimmers that are supposed to be used on flourescent fixtures require a special ballast. If you want to save energy, and use regular bulbs, please visit Lutron Lighting's website. They have calculated that by using a regular bulb and not putting the dimmer on full you save energy and extend the life of the bulb.

I have used this on various applications around the house and it has worked great.

The flickering of the lamps may cause them to go out faster as the ballast is not getting enough power to operate properly. These bulbs are not made to be placed on a dimmer.


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RE: Flourescent bulbs flicker with ceiling fan remote

Dimming an incandescent is still gong to produce more heat than a fluorescent bulb - and still eat more energy for the same or similar visible light output.

I'd suggest a new ceiling fan. I hhave three of them in the house now that were here when I moved in. I'm not putting any up in my new home. I'd sooner install a fan without lights built in or at least without a dimmer.

The other thing I noticed with the fans is that I could not use a specialty switch with them (even with regular incandescent bulbs). Using a remote controllable switch produced a nasty hum from the fixtures. My fans don't have their own remotes.

Did you try the (expensive) dimmable CFL bulbs mentioned in the Australia thread? One would think those would work since they're specifically meant for retrofit applications using standard line-level dimmers.

Bruno


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RE: Flourescent bulbs flicker with ceiling fan remote

I tried some of the very expensive dimmable cfl bulbs (I borrowed them from a fixture in another room). They still flickered, whch probably means that the remote receiver modulates too slowly (ie cheap defective design). It would also be prohibitively expensive (approx $160) to fully populate the four-socket fixtures on both fans with this problem.

The ceiling fan is independent of the remote control receiver, which fits inline at the ceiling wiring connection. I'd buy another remote receiver in a heartbeat if I could find one with no dimmer on the lights. Unfortunately all of the receivers have this "feature" which makes them unusable with cfl bulbs. Very frustrating. I'm paying someone $100 to come out and remove the remote receivers this weekend. I can't reach them myself because they are on a 15 foot cathedral ceiling. Arrgh!


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RE: Flourescent bulbs flicker with ceiling fan remote

Seems to me that a little creative wiring would be able to bypass the remote for the lights but not the fan. But I haven't seen the situation, so that's just a guess.


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RE: Flourescent bulbs flicker with ceiling fan remote

I HAVE PURCHASED A EMERSON FAN AND USING A REGULAR SMALL 60WATT BULB(3) AND IT DOES'NT THROW OFF ENOUGH LIGHT.
THE REMOTE I PURCHASED HAS A DIMMER, ALTHOUGH WE DO NOT NEED TO USE THE DIMMER, BUT NEED A BULB (CFL)THAT WOULD WORK. 60WATTS OUTPUT IS SUGGESTED. BUT PROBABLY 15WATT CFL WOULD BE CORRECT.
WHAT AM I LOOFING FOR.


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