Dimmable Fluorescents & Ballasts

mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 8,368 ✭✭✭✭✭
Since some countries/states are planning on banning Incandescent Bulbs, that leaves LED's or Fluorescents. While I'm likely to pop for some LED bulbs for the chandelier, there are other places I want dimmable lights, beyond the LED class.

I've found some dimmable ballasts here: http://www.advancetransformer.com/products/fluorescent-electronic.jsp
and http://www.advancedbuildings.org/main_t_lighting_e_dimmable_ballasts.htm

I haven't really found any "dimmers" but literature suggests that a rugged dimmer can operate a dimmable electronic fluorescent ballast.

Tech writeups:
http://members.misty.com/don/f-dim.html (UK voltages)

Anyway, this ought to stir up some chatter.
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  • System2System2 Posts: 6,290 admin
    Re: Dimmable Fluorescents & Ballasts

    well, as to LED's i have to say i havent had the best track record. I bought an everlite for my inlaws and one of the bulbs (or something) went so that the thing became a strobe light. the first one i bought for myself did this too. they replaced it under warranty and the seond one has been fine for over a year. i also had the exact same symptoms on a low power ac led fixture i bought after only a few months (im not sure what component failing would cause the thing to start strobing. i have only bought a handful of led's but 3 going bad the same way from different manufacurers is not so good. on my list to try is the thin under cabinet led's that have 3 luxeons (which ive never actually seen in use). id much rather spend more on led's myself, if they would really last as long as they should.
    otoh i have some DC screw in type led's and they have run for a long time w/no probs.
  • RedfordRedford Solar Expert Posts: 38 ✭✭
    Re: Dimmable Fluorescents & Ballasts

    There are some LED dimmer here:


    Although I've never used them I have a few IMTRA products in my house and they work and look great.
    I'm thinking of integrating a dimmer into my dining room lights for ambience.

    The only problem is they don't work with high flux LED's with the built in drivers....but it says it will work with others.
  • crewzercrewzer Registered Users, Solar Expert Posts: 1,832 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Dimmable Fluorescents & Ballasts

    I'll have to check into the fluorescent dimmers... thanks! Here's a link to so DC "dimmer" I've used with LED's and fans. They're actually variable duty-cycle PWM drivers.


    Jim / crewzer
  • lamplightlamplight Solar Expert Posts: 368 ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    have any of you seen the great series on the sundance channel called the green (wonderfully inspiring!)? last night i watched a saved segment called "work". they installed not only CF ballasts that were dimmable but ones that auto adjust to the lighting conditions throughout the day! very cool. lots of sun coming in the windows, dims itself way down. not appropriate for my house but for an office like this was for, very cool idea! i wonder if anyone knows who makes them?

    -PS no opportunity to turn on my avatar picture? i do love having my little area of self expression, can you enable that please mr moderator?
  • icarusicarus Solar Expert Posts: 5,221 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Dimmable Fluorescents & Ballasts

    I've bought tons of bulbs(We build and sell lamps!) from these guys, good service, fair prices. http://www.nolico.com/saveenergy/

    They have a selection of dimmable cfl. I have a few, but I'm still looking for some conventional small bulb shaped ones.


    PS Try this as well, haven't used them though, http://www.buylighting.com/Dimmable-Compact-Fluorescent-s/113.htm
  • System2System2 Posts: 6,290 admin
    Re: Dimmable Fluorescents & Ballasts

    Picked up a pair of dimmable GE Energy Smart Flood Lights (GE# 21710) at sLowes the other day....Got them home, plugged them into the cans in the living room. Powered them up. Could barely carry on a conversation under one because of the hum/buzz. The other hummed/buzzed, but not nearly as much. They both had a good range of dimming while heating up. But once 'up to temp' they go from very bright to mostly bright to off. They are a R30, 15w bulb (65w equivalent output). And you seem to get all 15 watts, then they dim to 14w then to 1w....The technology seems to have a ways to go...I'll be returning these.

    Anybody had good success with any of the CF dimmables? What brand?
  • icarusicarus Solar Expert Posts: 5,221 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Dimmable Fluorescents & Ballasts

    You might consider what kind of dimmer you have. Some old fashioned dimmers would induce a major buzz in a conventional bulb. I have found that the new electronic dimmers are much better. I have ones that have slide pots on the side of a conventional looking switch. I don't know that technology they use, but they don't buzz with either cfls, or incandescents.

  • System2System2 Posts: 6,290 admin
    Re: Dimmable Fluorescents & Ballasts

    The dimmer I have is a slide type, don't know if it is electronic or not. Do know that I have had several different brand non CFL spots on it and they have never buzzed. I might be willing to go with the thought of it being a dimmer problem, but, one buzzed very loud and one not so much. I just swapped them around and the buzz level follows the bulb.
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