Oct 5 2010
Those of us who have made the switch to more energy-efficient bulbs like compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) and screw-in light emitting diode (LED) lamps, but love the ambiance and energy efficiency of a dimmer, can now have the best of both worlds.
Light control manufacturer Lutron Electronics is pleased to introduce two styles of dimmers, Diva®/C·L and Credenza®/C·L, that work not only with today’s most popular light bulbs, like incandescent and halogen, but also with dimmable CFLs and LEDs, which are expected to become even more widely adopted over the next 10 years. By installing one of these new dimmers, homeowners will be able to reliably control the widest range of dimmable light sources available in the market today.
According to an August 2010 report from the National Electrical Manufacturers’ Association (NEMA), “CFLs continue to gain market share at the expense of incandescent lamps. The share of CFL lamps increased to a new high water mark of 26.7 percent while A-line incandescent lamps fell for the second consecutive quarter, decreasing to 73.3 percent.”
Rising energy costs and legislation are forcing homeowners to reduce energy consumption at home, which is accelerating the adoption of new energy efficient light sources.
As soon as 2012, new energy legislation, called the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, will begin phasing out incandescent lights bulbs that do not meet the new standards of energy efficiency. Thus, Lutron’s new dimmers will help consumers deal with this transition, and enable them to get reliable dimming performance.
Though CFLs and LEDs both use less energy than typical incandescent and halogen light sources do, they also have a shortcoming: historically, they have not been compatible with light dimmers. Over the last few years, CFL and LED bulbs capable of dimming are becoming more readily available but many still have performance issues when used with a standard incandescent dimmer.
Lutron’s new Diva/C·L and Credenza/C·L dimmers have been engineered to solve these problems and are UL listed to work with a broad range of dimmable CFL and LED light bulbs, as well as with halogens and incandescents. Both products specifically address issues commonly found when dimming these bulbs with standard incandescent dimmers including:
- Lights dropping out: As CFL or LED bulbs are dimmed, they will sometimes turn off before the slider reaches the bottom. Referred to as “drop out,” this makes it extremely difficult to set the dimmer at the right level without bulbs turning off.
- Lights not turning on: After being dimmed to a low light level and switched off, sometimes CFL or LED bulbs will not turn on until the dimmer’s slider is moved up. This is referred to as “pop-on,” which is especially challenging in 3-way installations, where lights can be turned on/off from different locations, not just with the dimmer.
- Lights turning off unexpectedly: Dimmable CFL and LED bulbs can be influenced by line voltage fluctuations. As your incandescent bulbs will sometimes dim or flicker when a device such as air conditioning or a hair dryer is used, when dimmed to a low light level a CFL or LED bulb can actually turn off or flicker excessively in those situations.
The new dimmers use Lutron’s HED™ Technology, which features advanced dimming circuitry designed for compatibility with most high efficacy light bulbs to alleviate the aforementioned problems of dimming CFLs and LEDs. And with HED Technology, the dimmers can also dim a mixed load of light sources (i.e. LED and halogen or CFL and LED bulbs) on the same circuit.
The new dimmer is available in two styles:
- wall mounted; features a large paddle switch and a small slider
- suggested list price is $39.70
Credenza/C·L plug-in lamp dimmer
- plugs into any table or floor lamp; features slider control and nightlight
- suggested list price is $15