dimmable CFL bulb sources?


Senior Member
As a footnote there are reasonably priced dimmable CFL bulbs around if you really look around. I am buying mine on eBay for about $2.30 a bulb (including shipping) for a 15 W (equals a 60 to 75 watt) and they are 1100 lumens. Not a bad deal. The guy is SUPER FAST at shipping them (From CA to NY in 2 days on average via priority mail).

Please provide a source and/or a link. Please list what devices you have used to do the dimming (the technology (Insteon, UPB, Z-wave, etc) and the device) and your impressions of it.
So will these Dimmable COMPACT FLUORESCENT bulbs work with the expensive light switches like Switchlinc?

I will provide more information tonight.

The bulbs are ULA Model SDS15-2P 15 watt mini (spiral type). They put out 1100 lumens. So far so good. I have 10 and 20 more should come in tomorrow. I am using them with Insteon dimmers. I will experiment more tonight and post what I find.

They are all over ebay http://search.ebay.com/_W0QQsassZ6801goodbuyQQhtZ-1 but this guy in particular has the best deal that I found. They are elsewhere on teh net for 2 for $17.95 etc.
The bulbs I am using have a hum to them if you are nearby and its quiet when using an Insteon dimmer. On full brightness they are ok.
I was thinking about this earlier and was not going to post but then after watching the news tonight and seeing a piece reinforcing my thoughts, it moved me too...

CFL's are advertised as clean and green and the best thing for us. The reality is they are dangerous, both now and for our children and their futures. CFL's (like other flourescents) contain mercury, usually like 1 or 2 drops per bulb. I can tell you firsthand about the danger and effect of mercury and the human body.

The immediate danger of CFL's are if one breaks. If a CFL breaks, the mercury will come out of the bulb into your environment. 1 or 2 drops may not sound like much, but it is cumulative with all the other mercury you are exposed to. A child or pet can easily absorb this mercury where it will contaminate their body which in the long term can lead to severe health consequences.

The bigger and longer term danger is the poisoning of our environment, especially the water supply. MOST people do not dispose of CFL's properly (taking it to a local hazardous waste recycling plant). Instead, they are thrown in the normal trash where they ultimately break and get buried in our landfills. Over time these thousands or even millions of bulbs leech their mercury into the ground where it can get into our water supply. Sure, still 1 or 2 drops is nothing you think, but cumulatively the amount is enormous. A study in Canada in 2005 showed that only 7% of the population disposed of the bulbs properly.

Anyway, my intent is not to tell everyone not to buy CFL's (that would be nice), but if you do BE CAREFUL handling them and PLEASE be responsible and dispose of them properly when they burn out. Our kids futures depend on our actions today!

There are other technologies that can be developed that are safer. Personally I use regular halogen bulbs that come on to a low dim level most of the time. They can always be brightened for short periods when full light is needed. When used this way, they also use much less electricty and last alot longer.

Whatever you decide, just please be careful and be aware of what you are buying, how to use it safely and dispose of it when done...

This post is not meant to offend anyone or their intelligence and I realize many people will have feelings on this one way or another. I do not wish to start a debate on it either, I expressed my feelings and concerns. I do have a good bit of experience both personally and witnessed that shows how dangerous mercury can be, so lets just leave it at that...
A quick heads up . .

I bought a batch of these and so far they are not working well with the few old x10 switches I still have . . work fine locally, but I can't control them via x10 . . not sure if it's a noise issue or something else at this point . .
I bought a batch of the same from eBay - or the 23w/100w ones, anyway. They are installed in rooms with Insteon dimmer switches in recessed cans. Two rooms so far; may do another one or two. Will try them in standard over-head fixtures.

Insteon compatibility: They work fine on the Insteon Switchlinc switches I've put them with.

Noise: They work fine in full bright mode, but "buzz" in lower levels. I'm only putting them in rooms that are typically used at "full bright" light levels.

Color: The light color is certainly not the same as the Philips bulbs we found we like best (after trying a few different bulbs for color).

Dimming: They dim to something close to 30% of power then go to an un-usable "flicker" mode (while buzzing LOUDLY).

Green-ness: Thanks for the mercury tip; I hadn't thought about that aspect... though I'd heard it WRT flourescent tubes, I just hadn't thought of it WRT CFLs. ;)
I'm trying to weigh the power savings versus the inconveniences. I'm not sure I'm ready for this. I think LEDs will probably be the thing that will make me change all my lighting.