Light Bulb Issue

  • Thread starter Drakkith
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  • #1
Drakkith
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Hey all. I've got some of those newer light bulbs, the ones that are like 5-10 times more efficient than the normal ones and are usually built in a spiral shape on top of a piece which contains the electronics. Now, the issue I have is that I'm apparently getting interference or something in certain situations.

For example, when I put 2 of these bulbs in my ceiling fan in my living room, the bulbs flicker very badly. However, if I use 1 new bulb and 1 old incadescent bulb, I get no flicker at all. This doesn't make any sense to me because I've got multiple other new lights in pairs or 3's-4's in other rooms that have no trouble. I've tried turning off electronic devices in the room and even in my office, but it doesn't seem to help. Any ideas?
 

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  • #2
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Perhaps you just have a defective bulb? Try a different pair of bulbs (I would take ones from the other rooms that we know are good) and see if you get the same result. Before one speculates about weird stuff happening, let's make sure it's a real phenomenon.
 
  • #3
Drakkith
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Perhaps you just have a defective bulb? Try a different pair of bulbs (I would take ones from the other rooms that we know are good) and see if you get the same result. Before one speculates about weird stuff happening, let's make sure it's a real phenomenon.
I've tried this. The same bulbs work fine in other rooms, and other bulbs have the same problem in my living room. It isn't too big a deal. I just use either 1 new light bulb or put an old type in there with it. Just kind of annoying. :wink:
 
  • #4
rcgldr
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I'm wondering if the wiring or setup with that ceiling fan is reducing the voltage going to the light bulbs, which wouln't have much effect on an incandescent bulb, but would affect the new energy style bulb. Most of those new bulbs are voltage sensitive, and there are warnings not to use them with dimmer switches or some automatic motion sensors which reduce the voltage going to the bulb. The electronics in these bulbs will overheat if there is insufficient voltage.

I'm not sure of a safe or easy way to measure the voltage, especially with the bulbs in operation. You'd have to tap into the wiring while everything was running.
 
  • #5
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Quite bizzare. I presume there are no dimmer switches or anything of that sort?

Results of some googling
Can I use a CFL in applications involving vibration such as a ceiling fan or garage door opener?
Generally it is not recommended to use CFLs in vibrating environments. Vibration can cause the electronics in the CFL to fail. There is one CFL bulb (FLE11) that is available for use in a ceiling fan. Check the package for this application.
http://www.gelighting.com/na/home_lighting/ask_us/faq_compact.htm#vibration [Broken]

I presume that this occurs when you're not running the fan as well?



My biggest hunch would be that there's something special about the fan circuit itself. Please disassemble it and draw us a schematic.

:p
 
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  • #7
rcgldr
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You could use an Outlet Lamp Socket
Yes, an obvious way to tap into the circuit, one of that plugs into the lamp socket that has a plug as well as an lamp socket. I was a bit concerned about inserting wires or probes into the plug part of the outlet lamp socket.
 
  • #8
Drakkith
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Thanks for the responses. There is no dimmer switch and turning the fan on or off has no effect. I've got a multimeter at the house, could i use it to test the voltage coming out of the fan socket?
 
  • #9
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You probably could, and the results might be illustrative. It would be best to see it under load though (measuring the voltage across a flickering lamp).

I should also mention that it could be rather unsafe to do this with multimeter probes. You'd likely be in an ackward position trying to read the multimeter while keeping the probes on the contacts while they aren't touching you or each other without touching the contacts yourself. And if you're multimeter is older it might have exposed metal on the leads that you'll also have to avoid....

If I were to seriously investigate, I'd get the outlet lamp socket, harvest some plug from some junk lying around and connect the multimeter up to the exposed ends (carefully secured to avoid movement) using alligator clips. I would have the whole setup complete before turning on any power.

But again, I'm an idiot on the internet.
 
  • #10
Drakkith
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Awesome. I'll see what I can do. Thanks guys.
 
  • #11
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Is it possible that the fixture is wired improperly? The 2 connections on a light bulb are the center electrode and the threaded area. An incandescent bulb would not care which one was hot and which was neutral but a CFL might.
 
  • #12
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I've seen this effect too. In my case it was a 4-bulb light fixture with a dimmer circuit. They all flickered unless I put an incandescent in one position. Does your fan have a speed control circuit?
 

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