Dimmable CFL in ceiling fan?

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Old 11-03-08, 08:53 AM
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Dimmable CFL in ceiling fan?

Hi all. Like many people nowadays, I am looking to save some money and the environment. I have switched many of my lights over to cfl's, but still have a couple to go.

One area which I would like to switch is the ceiling fan thatI have in my bedroom. It is the main light, with 2 incandescents at the moment (100 watts each I believe). I have a remote for the ceiling fan and light. The light is dimmable fromthe remote, and when I hit th button on the remote for the lights, it brings the lights up to the light level that I have set (currently 80%). I was hoping that I could switch these two lights to dimmable cfl's (and have them always at 100%). I don't really need the dimming capacity (never dim the lights, but it came with the remote), but oneset I looked at says they will not work with solid state electronic dimmers (which I assume is what I have since the wall switch is not a dimmer). Any thoughts on whether I can switch the ceiling fan to dimmable cfl's safely? I don't think regular cfl's will work since the remote "brings" the lights up, hence why I am looking at dimmable. My other thought was to use the new energy saver Halogena lights. Not quite as much a savings, but better than nothing (I will be putting those in my 2 year old son's room where we dim the lights every night when he goes to bed).

Thanks,
Neil
 
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Old 11-03-08, 09:57 AM
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Even though dimmeable fluorescent are available, the dimmer control in your fixture is likely not rated for them.
Also, you can dim halogen lights but there will be no savings over (opps! said fluorescent meant) regular incandescent and the life of halogen bulbs will be shortened when dimmed.
Halogen also should only be dimmed for a short period of time and operated at full brightness for longer periods.
What makes halogen lighting so bright and long lasting is that as the filament is burned off the gas inside causes the burnt discharge to be redeposited on the filament.
If continuously dimmed the deposits will not reattach to the filament and the bulb will loose its white color.

If you seldom dim the fixture then halogen might be a good choice.
Probably 80% of the lamps in our house are dimmed halogen and we make sure we do not overlamp to always need them dimmed.
 

Last edited by GregH; 11-03-08 at 11:32 AM.
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Old 11-03-08, 10:20 AM
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Thanks for the reply Greg. Sounds like in our bedroom I may go with the Energy Saver Halogena's (40 watts gives 60 watts equivalent light). That will save some energy in the bedroom. I also thought about replacing the ceiling fan with an Energy Star model with cfl's, but that is a lot more expensive than bulbs!

I am thinking the halogens would not be good in my son's room based on what you said. We typically have the light full bright when we are getting him ready for bed (about 15-20 minutes) and then dim them so he can play some before finally falling asleep. The light is dimmed for about 2 hours before we go to bed and I turn his light off for the night. He has three 40 watt bulbs in his ceiling fixture. I don't think there is much I can save on there and it doesn't sound like the light is on long enough for halogens.

Thanks,
Neil
 
 

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