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Setting the Mood With CFLs

15 August 2012

At a farmers market a couple weekends ago I was asked “Do Compact flourescent bulbs work with our old dimmer switch??” Since I am sure this woman was not the only person who has this question, thought I would answer it here.

Answer: Not well. There are two reasons for this:

  1. You need to buy a specific dimmable CFL bulb. Not all CFLs can be dimmed- so you need to make sure it specifically says it is dimmable.
  2. Normal dimmer switches are not designed to work with CFLs. If you want it to work properly you will have to install a new dimmer switch designed to work with CFL bulbs. You can find one at your local hardware store.

Once you match up the correct bulb with the correct dimmer it should work better! Another factor to consider is why you want a  dimmable bulb. If it is to save energy, then you may not need to go through the trouble of putting in a new dimmer switch. With a CFL you are already saving energy since CFLs use 70% less energy than incandescent bulbs. Energy Star CFL savings

Do the Twist; Family Handy Man

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