Dimmer and Dumber

For hallways, dining rooms, family rooms and bedrooms, California requires that permanently installed luminaires shall either be high efficacy or shall be controlled by an occupant sensor or dimmer. Here’s the problem with this rule. If the ceiling or wall light that you like only comes in an incandescent, what do you do?

The optimal choice I would imagine would be to use an incandescent lamp with a screw-in compact fluorescent bulb. This is called a win-win solution. You get your style. The state gets its energy savings.

However, by requiring you to install a dimmer, what bulb will you be choosing now? According to GE, to use a compact fluorescent bulb on a dimmer switch, you must buy a bulb that’s specifically made to work with dimmers. Great! That’s one more thing to look out for. Actually, instead of figuring out whether a compact fluorescent will work with your dimmer or not, the easier solution is to just use an incandescent bulb. Who wins now?

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