Dimmable CFLs - will these work with a DIN Dimmer ?

Discussion in 'C-Bus Wired Hardware' started by theboyg, Jan 5, 2008.

  1. theboyg

    theboyg

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    You think these would be ok to connect to my din dimmer units ?

    http://www.tlc-direct.co.uk/Products/LADF20ES.html



    CFL Dimmable bulbs

    Varilight DigiFlux
    20w ES Dimmable CFL Lamps


    VARILIGHT? dimmable compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs)
    feature our innovative patented FlexDigit? technology enabling smooth dimming
    from 2%-100% brightness and having many advantages over competing
    analogue attempts at dimming

    Whilst every attempt has been made to ensure these lamps
    work with the majority of dimmers some dimmers may require
    more than one lamp to be used to meet the minimum wattage

    This Lamp will work with most existing dimmer switches


    Rated at 20W
    Compatible with most standard dimmers
    Incorporates patented DigiFlux technology
    Dimming range: 2.46% to 100%
    Switch on at any light level
    Constant light output with voltage fluctuations
    High luminous output of 66 Lm/W
    Long lifetime of 16000 hours
    Colour temperature 2700?K
    Energy Class A1
    Excellent Power Factor Correction (0.93)
    Colour Rendering Index of 81Ra
    High Quality T3 Tube
    Low mercury content only 2.5mg
    During the lifetime of this light bulb (which is 16,000 hours)
    you can expect to save over ?100 on energy bills
    and reduce CO2 emissions by half a tonne*
    *Approximate values based on average usage
    Colour: Warm White 2700K
    Equivalent to 100w lamp
     
    theboyg, Jan 5, 2008
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  2. theboyg

    PSC

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    Theboyg,

    Remember, the search option is your friend... ;)

    Does anyone know if they are available in Aus?

    I know I can order one from the UK, I was just after a local distributor - JohnC, where are you??? :p

    And Mr Amberelectrics, how is your testing going with this lamp?
     
    PSC, Jan 5, 2008
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  3. theboyg

    JohnC

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    Back to work today !

    You need to check with the SUPPLIER if they are suitable for use on Leading Edge dimmers (which the standard C-BUS Din rail units are). If in doubt, use the new Universal dimmers (which also have heaps of other advantages).

    In Europe, they have used Trailing Edge dimmers for many years as it is more compatible with "normally used" loads - ie: Resistive (incandescent and halogen) and Capacitive (electronic ballasts and transformers). Leading edge dimmers are usually only suitable for Resistive and Inductive (iron-cored transformers).

    So, be careful of that claim that "This Lamp will work with most existing dimmer switches", as a Leading Edge dimmer may not be classified as "common" in other parts of the world.

    Our company has tested the following lamps will work fine on either Leading or Trailing edge :

    Osram Dulux EL DIM 20W (made in germany)
    GE FLE13HLX/B22/T3DIM
    GE FLE20HLX/B22/T3DIM

    All 3 of these lamps is available in Australia, not sure of other countries. They all require a minimum dim level be set on the dimmer, as they will NOT restart properly at low dim settings. The other solution is to make sure teh dimmer swicth is set as a Toggle dimmer, rather than a Memory dimmer.

    The Osram is a TC-D style (3 loops) whist the GE lamps are a spiral style. All of them operate much more smoothly on Trailing Edge however.

    If you want a "proper" solution, forget these compex "bandaid" solutions and install a proper 4-pin CFL lamp and dedicated controllable ballast using 0-10v or DALI interface. That will provide maximum lamp life, much MUCH better dimming control and will also be cheaper in the long run.

    Hope that help, JohnC
     
    JohnC, Jan 7, 2008
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  4. theboyg

    amberelectrics

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    I have used the Varilight lamps on a 4 channel dimmer with no problems at all. They work with one per channel, multiples per channel (have tested up to 4) and mixed CFL and halogen.

    My method of testing was basically:

    leave unit switched on at percentage loads from 20~90% for 24 hours periods


    The only thing you need to do is set your minimum level to about 5%, this stops them shutting off completely. At this level the light output is hardly altered at all. It can be a bit odd when you switch them on too as the ramp up usually gets going before the lamp strikes, so instead of switching on at a low level and ramping up it will light up higher on the ramp if you get what I mean. Your also dealing with the usual increasing brightness over time although in fairness on the varilight it doesnt change hugely.

    hope that helps a bit.

    Cheers

    Simon
     
    amberelectrics, Jan 7, 2008
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  5. theboyg

    countach

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    "They all require a minimum dim level be set on the dimmer, as they will NOT restart properly at low dim settings."


    "If you want a "proper" solution, forget these compex "bandaid" solutions and install a proper 4-pin CFL lamp and dedicated controllable ballast"



    Can someone translate all this stuff into English so that a homeowner can figure out what to do about the impending incandescent bulb ban in Aus?
     
    countach, Jan 8, 2008
    #5
  6. theboyg

    froop

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    I'm certainly no expert here, but this is the gist that I am getting;

    These verilight dimmable CFL (compact flourescent lamps) globes are dimmable with the standard C-Bus dimmers. However they don't kick in at low levels. I don't know what the level is, but call it 20% for argument sake. With a normal incandescent globe, you can ramp from 0% to 15%, and the globe will come up from nothing to a dim output. If you put a Verilight in and tried the same, it wouldn't turn on, because the 20% output isn't enough to give it a kick start. So your dimming range is effectively only from 20% to 100%, instead of 0% to 100%.

    As far as the incandescent light ban, I'm not sure if there has been any mention of it or follow up since it first hit the headlines almost 12 months ago. And there's also been a change in government, and environment minister since then. There's also another 2-3 years for manufacturers to improve the dimming characteristics on CFL globes.

    But what would I know, I'm just a consumer.
     
    froop, Jan 8, 2008
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  7. theboyg

    amberelectrics

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    The Varilight will turn on from 5% upwards, in most cases this is acceptable for the trade off in cost of the more expensive 4 pin CFL setups.

    I'd suggest using the Varilight on standard dimmers is an acceptable solution for domestic users for general lighting, if you need more low level control for use in a cinema room then either use IRC Halogens or LEDs on a DALI based system.
     
    amberelectrics, Jan 8, 2008
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  8. theboyg

    froop

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    There is a little more information on www.1stopelectrics.com, where it mentions that:

     
    froop, Jan 8, 2008
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  9. theboyg

    JohnC

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    "They all require a minimum dim level be set on the dimmer, as they will NOT restart properly at low dim settings."

    The others have explained this already. Basically, the lamp needs a certain "minimum" level before it will start and run. In some cases, it might start at 15%, but then after it's running you can dim back to 5%. Also note that the starting voltage will be to a degree temperature dependant.

    The easiest solution is to change the dimmer type from memory to toggle. That means the lamp will always be started at 100%, and holding your finger on the button will then dim it down as required. Starting at low dimming levels is almost certainly hazardous to fluoro lamp life, although no lamp manufacturer will tell you this. All tests for lamp life are done at FULL POWER, so you will almost certainly find that lamp life will be significantly reduced when CFLs are dimmed.

    "If you want a "proper" solution, forget these compex "bandaid" solutions and install a proper 4-pin CFL lamp and dedicated controllable ballast"

    Actually, it means what it says :) Sticking an el-cheapo screw-in CFL with integrated ballast inside a light fitting that was designed for an incandescent is not an "optimised solution". It's a botch job, or a compromise - this kind of thing would never be done in a commercial environment.

    The technically correct way is to use a proper luminaire that is designed for the vastly different physical and thermal attributes of a CFL lamp. The light fitting should be designed to utilise the completely different light distribution characteristics of a CFL lamp too.

    Then control that lamp using a proper electronic ballast that is thermally isolated from the lamp, and has not been built "down to a price". If you want "dimming" then use a proper controllable electronic ballast and control it using DALI or other protocol. This will cost more than the "compromise" solution of a screw-in lamp... but why would you use a $5,000 or $10,000 lighting control system on a $8 light fitting with a crappy $6 lamp stuffed inside it? :D


    what to do about the impending incandescent bulb ban in Aus?

    There is no 'ban" on incandescents at all, and there never was (although it WAS showcased that way in the press). Simplistically, the government is simply proposing to increase the minimum energy-efficiency levels for lamps - these are termed "MEPs" and are similar to the "energy star" ratings that you see on fridges, washing machines, air conditioners, etc.

    Basically, they are proposing a lift from about 13.5lm/W (100W incandescent GLS) to either 15lm/W or 20lm/W - which will automatically eliminate the lowest priced, low-medium wattage incandescents. Apart from the most common GLS bulbs, and it is almost certain that almost ALL other incandescent lamps (eg: candle lamps),will not be affected by the first stages of the new guidelines, although they may begin to be restricted next decade.

    These MEPs ratings have already been applied to other lighting products - for example wire-wound ballasts must now be "semi-low-loss" rather than the cheaper and less efficient "code" ballasts. This saved a few watts per fluorescent with almost no downside. These more efficient ballasts have always been available, but the electricians always buy on PRICE - they get no benefit whatsoever from supplying you a more energy saving product, so why should they supply you with one?

    There are ALREADY plenty of general household lamps that meet the proposed efficiency levels, and you don't have to install CFLs (although you might choose to if you wish). These are not NEW products, but nobody currently buys them because they cost a little more - in most cases they are tungsten halogen. Almost all are a standard 240V halogen lamp inside an "envelope" that gives it the appearance of a more traditional incandescent light source.

    In the coming months you will see a HUGE promotion from Osram here in Australia... announcing the "new" (but actually been available for many years) Osram Halolux Classic :

    [​IMG]

    And guess what - it meets all the proposed Government "requirements", even though they haven't yet been applied ! ;)

    --------------------

    It must be noted that on a purely "environmental" level, a CFL lamp is not quite the "gift from god" that is promoted. They contain lead, mercury and a multitude of other chemicals - and Australia has no formal recycling schemes for these lamps so all this rubbish ends up in landfill and ultimately into the food chain. CFLs cost a huge amount of resources to manufacture (OK, in China rather than in our country, so theoretically the pollution stays there), and are expensive to recycle. You will find that a lot of the push for these lamps comes from the companies that are giving them away from free, after you sign away your NGACs (Carbon Credits) to them. Those carbon credits that you "donate" are worth FAR more than the cost of the crappy chinese CFL lamps that you have been given ;)

    So, take care to understand the agendas involved - of course the CFL lamp manufacturers will only tell you the "good side" of what they are promoting, and (like the LED lamp suppliers) will basically tell you whatever you wish to hear to extract an order from you. Yes, cheap retrofit CFLs certainly have their place - but they will never be the BEST solution to all applications. :rolleyes:

    WOW - that was a long typing job ! :eek:

    Note: This information is deliberately simplified and certain technical aspects have been glossed over to produce a more easily-readable post. Also note that there are some areas of Australia where local councils are requesting CFLs, but this is not the subject of this post
     
    JohnC, Jan 9, 2008
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  10. theboyg

    Don

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    Great post John! - what more can I say?
     
    Don, Jan 10, 2008
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  11. theboyg

    JohnC

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    I guess what I am trying to say is that if you want "instant light", and/or perfect dimmability, then use Halogen.

    If you have long operating hours and can tolerate slow warm-up times, poor low-temperature efficiency/output and compromised dimmablity, then use Fluorescent.

    And if you want flurorescent, then at least use a properly designed fixture with a proper quality electronic ballast.

    It's useless to change a 25 lumen per watt (lm/W) IRC halogen that has a 100% light output ratio (LOR) to a 50 lm/W retrofit CFL that is unsuitable for the fixture and therefore only has a 50% LOR ! :)

    Due to the slow warm-up times, CFLs tend to get left on much longer than incandescent and halogen lamps that illuminate to full brightness instantly. Remember that a 100W incandescent lamp that is switched on and off as required totalling 2 hours per day will use 50% less power than a 25W CFL that is run continuously for 12 hours per day ;)
     
    JohnC, Jan 10, 2008
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  12. theboyg

    CC&C

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    I was wondering yesterday as to whether it was the real JohnC, was he ill, did he have a brain explosion because in the previous long and very informative post there was no mention of IRC halogen :eek:. Good too see that your feeling better, although I'm not sure if your 100% as the manufacturer beginning with O usually gets a mention. All meant in good fun, Cheers, cc&c. :) :) :)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 10, 2008
    CC&C, Jan 10, 2008
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  13. theboyg

    damian.flynn

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    This is fantastic information, I did not realise there were vaible alternatives to the dreded CFL's. I just installed 8 packs for 8 Channel Dimmers in my house in Ireland, to relise that the goverment now want everyone to use CFLs, and the current batch here [?8 each] are non Dimmable.

    These halogen bulbs, although high wattage than the CFLs and Low than the standard bulb are no where to be seen or heard of here; and have made me very curious. Ireland is 240v so I assume if i google i can pick these up somewhere and have them shipped over so the question is are there other vairants from different manufactures of the 'Halolux'

    thanks
    Damian

    [First Post!]
     
    damian.flynn, Jan 21, 2008
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  14. theboyg

    NickD Moderator

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    Osram appear to have changed their marketing for them.. I *think* these are now called "DECOSTAR? 51 ENERGY SAVER". You'll have to search the Osram site for these yourself.. the link doesn't look like it will cut and paste here.

    Nick
     
    NickD, Jan 22, 2008
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  15. theboyg

    Darpa

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    Here is a link to the OSRAM site regarding the lamps that JohnC was talking about:

    http://www.osram.com.au/halogen/halogen.html

    Although as Nick stated, to find the products in the catalogue, you'll need to look through it manually. They are listed under "Tungsten Halogen Lamps" > "HaloLux" and then under the "Energy Saver" titles.

    Darpa
     
    Darpa, Jan 23, 2008
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  16. theboyg

    ukdavros

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    Hi Damian
    I am also in ireland, did you get any further with this.
    I tried the Varilight and they were rubbish, sometimes it looked like we had a lightening storm inside the house. at best we got a annoying flicker and other times they flashed, a bit like a flasgun going off. I had about ten of them and they were all the same. Still using a couple on non dimming circuits.

    Regards
    Mark
    Maka engineering
    Cbus supplies and commisioning in Ireland
     
    ukdavros, Jan 24, 2008
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  17. theboyg

    PSC

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    What model dimmer did you have them connected to?
     
    PSC, Jan 24, 2008
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  18. theboyg

    damian.flynn

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    Well

    I was explaining these cool Halogen lamps to my ould fella [ex sparkie] and he sits agreeing with the idea, disappears and pops back with one that he happened to have purchased from Homebase about 3 years ago at 100watts.

    So; not the lower end of the energy scale, but never the less i grab and run to try this thing out. and all i can say is its the business.

    I need to find a CHEAP supplied of these babies on the web and im going go grab half a dozen to do more tests before biting the bullet and splurgin out.

    But as far as the dimmable cfls - im not impressed so far. but they still use less energy.

    Osrams links that the other guys have posted have lots of shapes and sizes including some low voltage models, so i have more home work to do.

    what part of this green isle are you on? im based in Ballina

    cheers
    damian
     
    damian.flynn, Jan 25, 2008
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  19. theboyg

    ukdavros

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    Hi Peter

    I was using the 8 channel dimmer 5508D1A and also the 4 channel version

    Hi Damian I am up in Cavan, let me know if you come up with anything, its either that or stock up on incandescent bulbs

    Regards
    Mark
     
    ukdavros, Jan 25, 2008
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  20. theboyg

    PSC

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    Hi Mark,

    I think you will find the Universal Dimmer will solve your problem... :)
     
    PSC, Jan 25, 2008
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