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Handyman: Dimmer switch w/ circular flourescent bulbs?

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Forum: HandymanReplies: 1, Views: 40
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Vancouver, WA
(Zone 8a)

December 10, 2011
7:26 PM

Post #8924496

We installed a new kitchen ceiling light fixture w/ 2 circular flourescent bulbs. The guy @ Home Depot said a dimmer switch will not work w/ these bulbs. However, I found the following info. on line re: Can a dimmer switch be used w/ such light bulbs?:

Yes, only if the fluorescent lamp is using a dimmable electronic ballast. Any time a dimmable electronic ballast is used, a compatible dimming switch needs to be installed.
The FIREFLY Electronic Ballast offers higher light output, 30 - 40% savings on energy and longer life as compared to standard magnetic ballasts. It has instant start and flicker free features eliminating the need for glow starters and can be used with dimmers. It is available at 8,000 hrs. & 20,000 hrs. of lamp life and also in 12 Volts.

Can someone translate that for me? Is that a special type of circular fl. bulb or ???
Thank you.
Dublin, CA
(Zone 9a)

December 10, 2011
8:23 PM

Post #8924528

The ballast isn't a bulb, it's part of the light fixture that regulates the electricity flowing to the bulb. Assuming your current fixture doesn't have the proper ballast, you'd have to replace it with a different one that would allow use of the dimmer.

There's an explanation of ballasts on this site:

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