Dimmers and compact flourescents

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Old 02-27-06, 05:06 PM
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Dimmers and compact flourescents

Hi,

We recently moved into a new home that the previous owner had renovated a bit. One of the more interesting things that he did was to install recessed lighting almost everywhere with dimmer switches. The problem is that I am interested in installing some compact flourescents to save some electricity. As I understand it, one cannot use these types of bulbs with dimmer switches. Does it make sense to replace the dimmers with standard switches in order to install the flourescents?

thanks,
Erik
 
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Old 02-27-06, 06:15 PM
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Either the dimmer or the florescent will have to be removed--your preference.
 
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Old 02-28-06, 04:26 AM
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Or you can buy fixtures made for compact flouescents with dimmable ballasts.
 
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Old 03-05-06, 01:42 AM
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Retrofit Interior Recessed CFL Light Fixtures

Check these ones out. I'm thinking of using a couple of the dimmable ones.
http://www.energyfederation.org/cons...ath/25_174_510
 
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Old 03-06-06, 02:15 PM
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Be careful with the PAR38 and R40 recessed fluorescent bulbs. I got two from Home Depot and they take about 3-4 minutes to come up to full brightness. I found this kit that uses the twin tube style cfl's, but it looked a little cheap.

http://www.lampsontheweb.com/Frames/Items/130766.html

It might be better to replace the whole fixture with some quality cfl fixtures.

-Neil
 
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Old 03-08-06, 09:30 AM
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Can you say what you find cheap about this retrofit kit? I dont have an eye for judging cans. Also can you take a look at the link i posted and tell me what you think?
 
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Old 03-08-06, 10:21 AM
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Originally Posted by d00bs
Can you say what you find cheap about this retrofit kit? I dont have an eye for judging cans. Also can you take a look at the link i posted and tell me what you think?

Urrg, I just replied but the site timed out on me and I lost the whole post.

Anyway, to say it again, both kits look like simple screw in retrofits. I don't see any mention of Energy Star compliance, or the type of ballast being used. From everything I have read and researched, you want electronic ballast, not magnetic. Magnetic is the old style, cheaper-to-produce ballast, but is usually what gives you that characteristic flourescent hum. Imagine 8-10 recessed lights all humming together and it would probably drive you nuts. I am not bashing either product since I do not have experience with either, but I wold feel much more confident if I saw them in action at a lighting showroom, where I could see them up close. I am usually skeptical of items you can find on the web. But for the price, it might worth it to try one or two and see how they work.

If you would like to really learn more about CFL's, check out www.ibacos.com and click on High Performance Lighting. Lots of good information.

Going back to the original post, it seems like the cans installed were probably remodel cans (installed during the previous owner's renovation). If it were me, I would verify that and if they are remodels, probably remove them (usually held in by clips to the ceiling) and replace them with quality remodel CFL cans. If they were installed prior to drywalling the ceiling, they are probably nailed to the joists and a retrofit kit would be your only option without doing a lot of other work.

Just my $0.02. I am definitely not an expert, but I have been doing a lot of research lately since I am hoping to upgrade the lighting in my living room. Mine will be all new remodel cans since I have no existing ceiling lights right now. Wife switched jobs and gotta wait for her first paychecK!!

-Neil
 
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Old 03-08-06, 10:45 AM
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Just looked on the TCP Inc. website and they do say it is an electronic ballast, which is good. My only other concern is that they are using a spiral bulb instead of a reflector (PAR38, R40, etc.). I have always heard that you wouldn't put a regular light bulb in a recessed can because you lose a lot of light in the can, I don't see why you would put a spiral fl. bulb in either. I could be wrong. I also have not had good luck with your regular Home Depot fluorescent flood lights, so maybe that is why they use a spiral bulb. I have two fluorescent floods and they take about 3-4 minutes to come to full brightness.

Not too crazy about the lens either, but you can probably leave that off. Some photometric files would be nice so you can see how much light you are actually getting.

-Neil
 
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Old 03-08-06, 07:27 PM
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Originally Posted by d00bs
Check these ones out. I'm thinking of using a couple of the dimmable ones.
http://www.energyfederation.org/cons...ath/25_174_510
I've never seen such a fixture - especially not dimmable. Neither have I ever seen a lamp like those, which might indicate a need to buy extras if you elect to buy the fixtures.

If you decide to use them - especiallythe dimmable ones - would you post back and tell how they work?

Thanks!
 
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Old 03-10-06, 04:59 PM
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I will definately report back on how they work. Right now im doing some other stuff (low wattage flourescent under cabinet lighting) and air sealing my basment/band joist so i dont plan on getting to the living room lighting for a few weeks if not months. One thing im debating though is wether or not i should just install some wall sconces over my fireplace instead of the overhead. Btw anyone have any good links or ideas on how to pull the wires needed for recessed lighting in a living room? Id have to pass through multple joists im guessing. Ugh.
 
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Old 03-27-06, 10:18 AM
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R40 CFL in Basement

Hi,

I'm using around 24 of these R40 CFL floodlights, they're acutally spiral inside but covered up to look like a floodlight. They do sell them double the price, I paid around $5 each including shipping.
Two of them had failed because I used them under a dimmerable switch which they don't recommend, but the rest are fine so far. I had them for only a month or so, so I'm not sure about the reliability but will report back soon. Why do you have to change the cans? Mine are not CFL cans and they worked fine. I actually are using regular cans with spirals upstairs for years and had no problem for around 3 yrs. So if someone can tell me why they would spend $45 to replace a can that will work just fine?


Thanks

p1fcl01
 
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