Friday, June 27, 2008

CFL Update

Since my first foray into CFLs, the two "special" incandescent bulbs in my room (in a floor lamp with a dimmer switch and light sensor and a 3-way desk lamp) have burned out, and I've replaced them with CFLs.

The dimmable one is a little disappointing: it doesn't light up at all until the switch is at about the 60% position, and then it's at almost full brightness, so there's really very little variation as you turn it up all the way. But it doesn't flash, and the adjustment is nice and smooth, which I'm sure is an impressive technical feat even if it's not very useful. So I've mostly just been turning that switch all the way on, which is what I used to do most of the time anyway when it had an incandescent bulb. The light sensor, which is supposed to dim the light to maintain the amount of light in the lamp's vicinity as other natural and artificial light sources change, adds a further complication, as turning on another lamp can cause the light sensor to drop the dimmer setting below that 60% mark and make the lamp completely dark.

The three-way CFL works great, though it doesn't quite fit with the lampshade. The incandescent bulb was 30/70/100W, while the CFL is 50/100/150W equivalent, so maybe it's just not supposed to go in a desk lamp. Maybe when it burns out in ten years I'll look for a 30/70/100W equivalent one. There's a slight delay when turning it on initially, but switching modes is instantaneous. It's pretty cool.

So I think that's pretty much it. When my other floor lamp's bulb burns out I'll see if I can find a CFL with a longer "stem" that will fit in it. And they do make CFLs that fit in my track lights (PAR20), but I imagine I'll have moved by the time they need replacing.

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