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View Diary: Conservatives less likely to buy same lightbulbs if you tell them it will help the environment (203 comments)

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  •  Dimmers are incredibly inefficient! (1+ / 0-)
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    The efficiency of an incandescent light is a function of filament temperature.  A dimmer not only lowers the power consumption, but it lowers the efficiency as well.  So the bulb puts out -- this is not precise -- maybe a quarter the light but using half the power.

    Halogen bulbs are more efficient than conventional incandescent because they run hotter.  The small tube with a bit of a halogen in it causes the boiled-off tungsten to re-deposit on the filament, allowing the bulb to last longer than it otherwise would at that temperature.  By the same token, a "130 watt" incandescent runs cooler at 120 watts, and puts out much less light, but lasts a long time.  I used to have a dimmered fixture where I used a 130-volt halogen; it was a good compromise.

    (Fluorescents and dimmers do not get along well.  Some extra-price CFLs will work, but they won't dim smoothly.)

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