I added this section to the tutorial to document the aftermath of converting an entire house to CFLs. It was added two months after the job was completed (?) and will be updated as things evolve, along with the rest of the thread. Note that, in some cases, I'm documenting problems that haven't been solved yet, so if you have any suggestions please post them. CFL/FLUORESCENT INTERACTION:
The upstairs bathroom has four 40 W equivalent CFLs in a strip at the top of the wide medicine cabinet mirror doors. As noted elsewhere they are too bright when full on for everyday use so we have a switch in the fixture to turn off the middle two when we don't need them. These are controlled by a modified WS467. There is also a fluorescent light under the bottom edge of the medicine cabinet that bounces light off of the white counter top so you can see under your chin when shaving, etc. This is controlled by its own manual switch before the WS467 on the same circuit. Most of the time, if you turn on the fluorescent light after you turn on either two or four of the CFLs, the blinking of the fluorescent, during its turn on process, will turn OFF the CFLs! We're living with this for now, while I try to figure out a cure.
7/26/08: We've discovered that this interaction only occurs when the CFLs are "cold". If they've been on for more than a couple of minutes the fluorescent doesn't turn them off when it powers up.UNEXPECTED BENEFIT OF SLOW CFL BRIGHTENING:
The spirals in the above CFLs are inside decorative globes and are MUCH slower then current NVision production to reach full intensity. The slow brightening turns out to be an advantage at night since they give your eyes a chance to adapt to the light if you turn them on when you've been asleep and were guided into the bathroom by only the glow of a night light. As nice as this is for now, I may have a problem if I have to replace one or more of them per the next note.SUSPECTED OLDER TECHNOLOGY IN ENCASED CFLS:
One thing I've noticed is that the simple twisty NVision CFLs from Home Depot turn on immediately. But, the encased bulbs such as we use in our bathroom and floodlights are extremely slow to turn on. I'm concerned that the technology in the innards of these bulbs is much older production that doesn't move as fast off the shelf. I may try to do a little more research on this. I'm also afraid that if I have to replace one of them it will turn on much faster than the other three!TELEPHONE/CFL INTERACTION:
Some CFLs seem to radiate noise that is picked up on the phone lines. In our house the problem comes from only about 5 of the total of 49 bulbs currently installed. Click here to see what I had to do to correct this problem.
Note that some of this remediation had to be done anyway, not just for CFLs.POWERMID/CFL INTERACTION:
The two CFLs in ceiling fixtures over the hearth of our fireplace interferes with our PowerMid
that controls the upstairs Tivo. We only turn on the power to this when we use it but if these CFLs are ON, the PowerMid transmitter LED blinks continuously as if an IR remote control were aimed at it. Regular X10 filters don't fix the problem. Again, we're living with this for now while I look for a cure.THE BRANCH CIRCUIT FROM HADES:
One branch circuit from our breaker panel handles two outside lights controlled by X10, a two bulb lamp plugged into a switched outlet controlled by X10, two light fixtures over our fireplace controlled by X10 (see above), a Christmas tree, in season, controlled by X10, a Tivo box, an LCD TV set and a PowerMid (see above). My research over the years has shown that the wiring on this branch, while up to code, is a rats nest. Long before the 6 bulbs were converted to CFLs the reliability of the X10 modules on this branch was iffy. After the module replacements and conversions described elsewhere in this thread the reliability was still iffy. I already had X10 filters on the TV and the Tivo and after the conversion added them to the lamp and fireplace fixtures which helped quite a bit, but not enough. So, I bit the bullet and installed an XTB signal booster
from Jeff Volp. This branch as well as the whole system is now rock stable. It would appear that even CFLs that play well with X10 can also be signal suckers if there are enough of them on a given branch.ONE YEAR LATER:
As of today, 12/13/08, all the modifications described in the thread, except for the ones in this post, have been in use for several months more than one year. Although several forum members have posted cautionary notes about resistor values, and such things I am pleased to report that everything is still working as installed with no problems. However, as a firm believer in belt and suspender safety, I'd consider using the theoretically safer component values if I were to do these modifications again even though I've not had anything go wrong so far.