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Steve asked in Science & MathematicsEngineering · 9 years ago

CFL internally lighted switch problem?

I have an internally lighted switch that controls a lamp with a CFL bulb. (Switch off, internal light on)

Recently the CFL failed (after about 1 year) by showing only a dim glow while the switch is in the off position. Replaced it, and the new CFL started cycling on (dimly) & off with the switch off. Now I have an incandescent in the lamp and expect no more trouble.

Is this a known characteristic of CFLs?

3 Answers

  • 9 years ago
    Favourite answer

    The problem is in the switch. The way they have the small light in the switch on when the switch is off is by putting it in series with the lamp, across the switch contacts. This method depends on the lamp load being a relative low resistance so the switch light will light up under these conditions, but the large lamp will not.

    Put in a more efficient CFL, and even when the switch if off, you get enough current flowing through the two lights in series, the one in the switch and the CFL, so that the CFL gets enough voltage to glow a bit, or cycle on and off.

  • 9 years ago

    Try a filament type standard light bulb on the defective lamp. If it lights up ON and OFF correctly with the internal light switch without any flicking light,then the lamp is OK. If not,trouble could be the switch or lamp holder that has a rusty or loosing contact or intermittent broken wire inside.

    Cheap made CFL lamp never last long, some could fail in a few week or some were already defective while they were new,or some fails at outside temperature under 0 C degree.

  • 6 years ago

    confusing thing. try searching with the search engines. this could actually help!

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