Outdoor light flickering when use with CFL's

Discussion in 'Electrical Forum discussion & Blog' started by paulsiu, Oct 16, 2009.

  1. paulsiu

    paulsiu New Member

    Messages:
    32
    Location:
    Itasca, IL
    Hi,

    I am having a weird problem where when I install a CFL into the light outside, it starts to flicker. I do not have a dusk to dawn or motion sensor on the lamp, so I am puzzled at why this is happening.

    I did notice an old Brinks security system panel somewhere in the house. It is not active and the previous owner did not use it. I am wondering if it is the cause of the flickering even though it is off.

    What are my options for fixing this issue?

    Paul
  2. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,817
    Location:
    New England
    Does this happen at all temperatures? Some of the older bulbs don't like cold temperature. If the socket is steel rather than brass, you could have some corrosion...maybe just cleaning it would help (shut the power off first!).
  3. Jeff1

    Jeff1 New Member

    Messages:
    102
    Location:
    So Cal
    What kind of switch are you using?
  4. paulsiu

    paulsiu New Member

    Messages:
    32
    Location:
    Itasca, IL
    The bulbs are brand new. The switch consists of a mechanical push button switch. Push it and it toggles the light to on or off. It's tied to a button in the garage. To my knowledge, it appears not to be attach to a dimmer or a motion sensor, but since I purchased the house several months ago, I have no idea what the previous owner did.

    It's possible that the temperature is at fault, but the same type of bulb is used in the back and the light is fairly steady. It has been really cold recently.

    Paul
  5. Ford2001

    Ford2001 New Member

    Messages:
    44
    Location:
    Manchester, Vermont
    Cpf bulb

    Had you try a different brand, I use G.E, Helical 26 watts, here in VT.
    expect for the warming period, they run nice a bright in winter.

    Also a bad lamp socket, can cause your problem. Or any bad splice.
  6. Lakee911

    Lakee911 I&C Engineer (mostly WWTP)

    Messages:
    1,328
    Location:
    Columbus, OH
    That sounds kind of odd. A typical 120VAC switch is something that you toggle up and down.

    Maybe if you look inside the two switches you'll see that one isn't real and it's one of those remote controlled add a switch products...
  7. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,817
    Location:
    New England
    If the remote switch is electronic and not mechanical contacts, it is probably the cause. Electronic switches tend to work fine on incandescents, but can give some CFLs problems. An electronic switch can have a larger interruption during the zero cross-over of the a/c power, and you could notice it.
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