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Article Archive >> Environment

Using energy efficient bulbs with dimmers

Using energy efficient bulbs with dimmers

(NAPS)-Energy efficient lighting has become a top priority for homeowners looking for simple ways to save energy. Many homeowners, however, have found that switching from incandescent bulbs to energy efficient LEDs or CFLs means not being able to use their dimmer to create the same ambience as before.
Most dimmers in homes today are designed exclusively for incandescent lighting. When an energy efficient bulb is installed, homeowners say, their lights flicker or don't dim as well as with less efficient, incandescent bulbs. Even when the energy efficient bulbs are listed as compatible, there's a good chance homeowners won't get the performance expected when combined with an existing dimmer.
Explains Michael Neary, Leviton's Product Manager for Residential Lighting Controls, "The vast majority of existing home installations prior to 2011 were designed in such a way that the lighting devices are unable to effectively support dimmable LED or CFL bulbs." He believes dimming products today must meet the necessary requirements of today and tomorrow's lighting advancements and work effectively with all older solutions as well. Leviton recently introduced its Universal Dimmer, which is compatible with dimmable bulbs, maximizes energy efficiency and eliminates dimming issues for energy efficient bulbs.
Homeowners should keep an eye out for these lighting issues when using LED and CFL bulbs with incandescent dimmers:
* Reduction in dimming range. Dimmers are designed to help set the mood for any room. Mixing certain energy efficient bulbs and dimmers reduces the dimming range-lights can't be adjusted to full brightness or are limited at their lowest levels.
* Flickering or fluttering of the bulb when dimmed to certain levels. Depending on the level of inconsistency between the bulb and the dimmer, the flickering can be dramatic or faint.
* Inconsistent performance among individual bulbs controlled by one dimmer. Based on the number of LED or CFL bulbs and the varying brands, performance in each can range from practically perfect to pretty poor.
* Bulb packaging. When switching incandescent bulbs with LED or CFL bulbs, be sure "dimmable" is on the package.
For more information about the dimmers, including compatibility charts, spec sheets and what to look out for, visit www.leviton.com/universal.

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