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#173747 01/17/08 07:14 PM
Joined: Oct 2002
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I have a friend who has installed a motion switch in his closet. He says it works fine on incandacent bulbs but not on a "Daylight 6500K CFL". First question: Is this normal or has he possibly got a "bad or cheap switch"? He asked me also if I knew of a simple relay I could recommend. I don't deal in relays too much, though I have in the past, so I would only know to tell him a simple "plug in relay"and base, that was rated at at least the amperage of the load he has on it. I imagine the lowest rated one is probably rated maybe 1 amp?? I'll probably just tell him to go to the nearest electrical supply house and ask them. He lives a few hundred miles from me so I can't go and check it out for him:) Thanks for the help. Steve..

sparkync #173750 01/17/08 07:53 PM
Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 853
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That should make no dif.
Does he realize that the CFL may not be "instant" on?
Perhaps just a new motion is in order.

It should be ok.

leland #173753 01/17/08 08:39 PM
Joined: Jan 2005
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I've seen all manner of restrictions in the instructions to controls. "Not for fluorescent" is a rather common stipulation. So, the first thing you need to do is read the instructions.

I know, is sounds really silly ... but sometimes they even have useful information in them

leland #173754 01/17/08 08:40 PM
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Ya have to keep in your mind there are some motion switch are NOT designed to work with screwin CFL lamp because some of the motion switch need a " close circuit" to keep thier electronic going and with electronic CFL it will keep them in open or failure mode unless you put in indescent lamp in there.

Merci, Marc


Pas de problme,il marche n'est-ce pas?"(No problem, it works doesn't it?)

Joined: Jan 2008
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I agree, i just put a motion in my garage for two, 2 tube eight foot florescent fixtures. It was made by leviton. You have to get one that is rated for CFL or else it WILL NOT WORK.


Virginia Journeyman Eletrician
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If this is simply a case of needing a load when off you could put a 50k resistor across the lamp holder leads.


Greg Fretwell
gfretwell #173767 01/17/08 11:53 PM
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Fixtures that use photosensors also make short work of CFLs.

Joined: Mar 2005
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It's a closet. Not much point in a CFL in a closet, is there? Seems the perfect place to save $2 and just use a cheap ole ordinary bulb.
Originally Posted by frenchelectrican
Ya have to keep in your mind there are some motion switch are NOT designed to work with screwin CFL lamp because some of the motion switch need a " close circuit" to keep thier electronic going and with electronic CFL it will keep them in open or failure mode unless you put in indescent lamp in there.

Merci, Marc
If this were the case, it would work if you put in a double-bulb fixture with a an incandescent and a CFL. I've tried this on a motion-sensor switch in my house, but the CFLs flicker and die in just in a few weeks of intermittant use. I've seen the same problem with dimmers and electric eyes.

One odd thing... We put up a 13-bulb chandalier on a standard lutron dimmer (the kind explicitely not rated for CFL), and on a whim, I replaced one of the 40W incandescents with a 15W ("60W") CFL. And the damned thing works great- puts out more light than the incandescents and actually dims better, too. And, inexplicably, has NOT suffered an early death. This is a cheap CFL too, out of a $10 wal-mart 6-pack. I'm at a loss to explain why this works where others don't.


SteveFehr #173787 01/18/08 12:15 PM
Joined: Jul 2007
Posts: 1,335
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I see the CFL as more of a cheap retro to get incandecents out of the closet and less to save money. Granted the life expentency will be shortend with each cycling of the light.



"Live Awesome!" - Kevin Carosa
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I have 2 CFLs in my garage and another one in my lamp post, controlled by Heath motion sensors. Both seem fine. The lamp post is paralleled with an incandescent porch light but the CFLs in the garage are on by themselves. There are also CFLs in the garage door opener. I am migrating everything to CFL as the old bulbs die. So far so good on all of them


Greg Fretwell
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