Compact fluorescent bulbs can work well with dimmers—if they're the right type of dimmer. Replace older, standard dimmer switches with CFL compatible models, and make sure you buy dimmable bulbs.
By the DIY experts of The Family Handyman Magazine:February 2011
Upgrade your dimmer
to an electronic CFL-compatible
really works. It provides
full-range dimming, starts
at any brightness level
and eliminates flickering.
Many dimmable CFL bulbs don't
work well with a standard incandescent
dimmer. If that's your
situation, don't blame the bulb.
Standard dimmers were never
designed to run CFL bulbs and
can cause “drop-out” (the bulb
turns off before you finish dimming)
and “flicker” (the bulb turns
off when a high-voltage appliance
goes on). Or the bulb won't light
up on “dim” settings, forcing you
to push the dimmer to full bright
and then bring it down again.
Replacing a conventional dimmer
with a CFL-compatible electronic
dimmer switch will solve
the problems. Lutron DVWCL-153PH Diva or Leviton No.
6673-10W are two models
available at home centers and
amazon.com. They're pricier than
standard dimmers, and they only
work with certain brands of CFLs
(check the manufacturer's Web
site for compatible bulbs). Just
swap out your existing dimmer
for one of these new models and
dim the light fantastic.
Have the necessary tools for this DIY project lined up before you start—you’ll save time and frustration.
Avoid last-minute shopping trips by having all your materials ready ahead of time. Here's a list.
Copyright © 2013 The Family Handyman. All Rights Reserved.