Five Percent: Conserve Energy

Climate Change Is Important: Energy Conservation is the First Step

December 29, 2005

Dimmable Compact Fluorescent Bulbs

Category: Household,Save Electricity,Technology,Tips – Tom Harrison – 11:10 am

Update, 2009: Dimmable CFLs are still useful in limited cases

We have a bunch of lights on dimmers — our original motivation was to improve room ambiance. Who knew this was also a good way to save electricity. But now that we’re trying compact fluorescent (CF) bulbs we thought we wouldn’t be able to replace any of these.

Phillips to the rescue. They seem to have lead the way in dimmable CF bulbs, even including floodlight and recessed bulbs. I just placed an order from for several to try them out. A couple will go in the living room which has recessed ceiling floods. I also got a non-dimmable outdoor-rated floodlight.

Of the bulbs we have changed already, I would observe that not all are the same: fluorescent light can be very “cold” compared to incandescent. You can even buy “daylight” bulbs, which are very bight, but even colder. Cold (blue) light makes skin tones look sallow and washed out and has a harsh, industrial kind of feel. Warm white is the better option, and according to some sources, it’s worth going for brand names (e.g. Phillips, Sylvania) rather than the “value” bulbs, as they have put more effort into getting pleasing light.

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