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Thread: Dimming CFLs BZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

  1. #1

    Default Dimming CFLs BZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

    I purchased some dimmable 23 watt cfl bulbs called EcoBulb by Feit. Nice color and they start up quickely, but when I dim them they buzz fairly loudely. Tried them in different parts of the house on a Lutron Maestro dimmer, a Lutron regular 3 way dimmer switch, and a round dial type dimmer. All of them buzz like crazy when dimmed. Is there a dimmer I can use that won't make the lights buzz?

    Am I wasting my time trying to replace my incandecent bulbs in sconces with the CFLs? Should I be looking at LEDs instead? Trying to conserve without loosing esthetics. The bulbs must be somewhat warm or neutral in color and dimmable. Thought I had that with the dimming CFLs until the bzzzzzzzzz.

    Thank you,

    GKS

  2. #2
    Flashaholic
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    Waynesboro, Pa FM19es
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    Default Re: Dimming CFLs BZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

    Feit Bulbs are junk, I don't think good CFLs will buzz like that.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Dimming CFLs BZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

    Lutron does a better job explaining why conventional dimmer switches + CFL = bad than I can:

    https://www.lutron.com/CMS/CMSSystem...d=1058&id=7863

    Feit bulbs are utter crap, and in a few instances where I've had no other option I've had some success with "dimmable" CFLs, albeit brands other than Feit. They don't have a 100% dimmable range, but they do allow some dim control by using a more complex ballast. Might be worth trying a different brand.

    Dimmable LED bulbs that can be screwed into conventional medium base bulb sockets vary to the extreme in terms of color, out-put and reliability. A few have been discussed here, but I would certainly look for specific recommendations of specific LED bulbs before clunking out $50 or so for one of them.

    Other options I'd consider is using a very low wattge CFL in the 3000-3500k range, and skipping the urge to dim by leaving the dimmer set to it's highest level and leaving it alone. Augment your household lights when you need more light with a few lamps using brighter CFLs.

    There is actually a niche market for Incan/Halogen lights with this type of requirement. However, all the high tech options that offer warm white light quality at the low end of the dim range are in the 12volt arena ( aka, Solux). Why the Chinese haven't ripped this tehcnology off yet and made is available in 120volt/ medium base kind of surprises me

  4. #4

    Default Re: Dimming CFLs BZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

    Ok, the Feit bulbs are junk. They were on sale and as cheap as regular non dimmable CFLs so I thought I would give them a try. Plus it's the only dimmable cfl offered at Orchard Supply Hardware. What brands should I be purchasing?

    I don't mind going to a specialty lighting store and paying more if the quality is there. I just don't know which brand to buy? These particular bulbs will be hidden in sconces so I'm open to anything that dims, is in a warm to neutral color range, and is energy efficient. That is why I was also asking about LEDs for this application.

    The dimming in this room is a must & not an option. It is used for too many different things to have one level of lighting.

    Thanks

  5. #5
    Flashaholic* yuandrew's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dimming CFLs BZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

    I know my Lowes hardware recently started carrying Sylvania dimmable CFL bulbs.



    Home Depot also has a house brand dimmable CFL in a olive-green type package; I remembered it said "Eco-something" on it. You may also find some Philips dimmables floodlights with reflectors on them (you can break the reflector off carefully if you want and leave three bare U tubes)

    I like the Philips ones the best in terms of how easily they dimmed and the color temperature is very close to an incandescent to my own eyes; with a lamp shade hiding the bulb; I can't tell the difference.

    There's also one by Greenlite which you may have to find at Lamps Plus (I got mine's there. It dims fine but is somewhat picky on what dimmer I used; an old one with a dial (I believe it was made by Lutron in the 80's) made it buzz but didn't make a sound with an X-10 wall dimmer.
    Last edited by yuandrew; 11-30-2008 at 12:28 AM.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Dimming CFLs BZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

    Add one more experience with Feit CFL floods using a Lutron Maestro dimmer. I purchased them at Costco knowing if there was any issue they'd be easy to return. For others interested in them they are 15W R30 format labeled as "Dimmable, works with most dimming switches" (Costco # 263481, $19.99 for a three pack).

    They won't dim significantly (only reducing to perhaps 60%-75% of max brightness, i.e. 25%-40% dimming) and start to whine and buzz as soon as the dimming starts, with the sound level intensifying as the amount of dimming increases.


    Is there any good options for dimmable recessed lights that are cost effective?

  7. #7

    Default Re: Dimming CFLs BZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

    Quote Originally Posted by gof View Post

    Is there any good options for dimmable recessed lights that are cost effective?
    In short. No. If you want dimming fluorescents done right (reliable), they cost a pretty penny.

  8. #8
    Unenlightened
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
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    Default Re: Dimming CFLs BZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

    On Feb 9 2009 I purchased 5 two packs of the FEIT Electric ECObulbs Dimmable Compact Fluorescent 23W=100. In the first week 3 fried. I spoke with their customer support and explained what I have and on their suggestion I replaced my 1000W digital dimmer switch with a 600W mechanical dimmer switch. I went back to Home Depot and they cheerfully replaced the bulbs. Since then 5 more have failed. For those of you that haven't done the math thats 80% failure in eleven days. today is Feb 21 2009. Unless FEIT can come up with a reasonable explanation for their products dismal performance I will be returning all 10 and going back to incandescent.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Dimming CFLs BZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

    Quote Originally Posted by hersraterdave View Post
    On Feb 9 2009 I purchased 5 two packs of the FEIT Electric ECObulbs Dimmable Compact Fluorescent 23W=100. In the first week 3 fried. I spoke with their customer support and explained what I have and on their suggestion I replaced my 1000W digital dimmer switch with a 600W mechanical dimmer switch. I went back to Home Depot and they cheerfully replaced the bulbs. Since then 5 more have failed. For those of you that haven't done the math thats 80% failure in eleven days. today is Feb 21 2009. Unless FEIT can come up with a reasonable explanation for their products dismal performance I will be returning all 10 and going back to incandescent.
    That's just it; they can't. Feit is a VERY poor quality brand. you will continue to have those problems with darn near any feit product. They are cheap (low cost) for a reason. I will never buy any Feit product. Not even a measely incand.

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