Dimming fluorescent compact lights

Discussion in 'The Projects Forum' started by garch, Dec 26, 2008.

  1. garch

    Thread Starter Member

    Aug 23, 2008

    I have purchased some 230VAC Compact Fluorescent Megaman DimmerAble Energy Saving bulbs. They have digital electronics on-board to manage the dimming ie where there is a continuous AC supply, but do have problems with touch / remote dimmer switches. I assume this is because these types of dimmers are TRIAC based (phaze-cut) and switch on/off during the AC cycle to effect the dimming. Is there a way that I can add a choke / capacitor in series to "store" energy such that during the TRIAC "Off" cycle, power is still supplied to the bulbs ie to "average" the TRIAC modulated (on/off) output to a continuous output such that there is always a voltage across the bulbs?

    I have included conventional bulbs in-line with the Fluoresent Bulbs to ensure that there is a resistive load for the dimmer.

    Since the power consumption of the CF and conventional bulbs is in the region of 200W, I guess that the energy "store" would have to be quite significant to provide enough power during the off-cycle?

    Many thanks
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2008
  2. Bernard

    AAC Fanatic!

    Aug 7, 2008
    If the CF's were designed ot operate on 230 V AC , I see no need for incadescent bulbs in series. An AC line filter might help with remote switches.
  3. Audioguru


    Dec 20, 2007
    "Inline" is in series. Then the incandescent bulbs do nothing to load the dimmer.
    The incandescent bulbs must be in parallel, directly connected to the dimmer as its load.
  4. garch

    Thread Starter Member

    Aug 23, 2008
    Thanks for your comments.

    Yes I meant resistive load in parallel. I have added a couple of inductors to the live (hot) and neutral and this has helped. However, at a low dim (< 30%) the CFLs eventually start flickering and they have to be returned to 100% to restore them. The documentation with the digital controlled CFLs indicate a dimming level down to 10%.

    If I added a large'ish mains capacitor between live (hot) and neutral might this help? Do I need a specially rated capacitor (X, Y type rating) to do this safely?