We’ve been using compact fluorescent (CFL) bulbs around here, and we’re trying hard to like them, really. But their light makes everyone look sickly, either green or too red, so there is a quality-of-life cost to all that green, energy-saving goodness. Now here’s dimmer maker Lutron trying to convince everyone to forget CFL bulbs and just use halogen bulbs, but dim them.
The result? For starters, dimming halogen or incandescent bulbs by 25% saves 20% in energy, and you might not even notice the less-intense light. Plus, a 3000-hour halogen bulb will last 12,000 hours when dimmed 30%. And then Lutron plays up the problem with disposing the mercury in CFL bulbs, adds that they’re not “fully dimmable” (some are), and accuses the bulbs of flickering (we haven’t noticed this).
You’re still going to save more energy with CFL bulbs, but Lutron makes a good point about CFL’s inferior color rendering capability. And color rendering is not the same as color temperature. But Lutron is spreading a bit of disinformation to sell dimmers here. Even so, we like dimmers, use them everywhere, and think they have their own benefits of ambiance and control. We’ll go with a mix of halogen and CFL and not feel too bad about it.