Find: Fluorescent Bulb with Dimmer Built In
Here’s as easy alternative to installing dimmer switches to save energy or create ambiance: Light bulbs with the dimmer feature incorporated into the design.
You probably have a few single-switch lamps that, depending on the bulb, can provide soft ambient light or bright light for reading but nothing in between. You could add an extension cord that has a dimmer, but do you want another cord to challenge the vacuum cleaner? These bulbs have a stem that’s easy to locate at the base of the bulb and they can be set to a level as low as candlelight to the full brightness of the bulb. Although they’re fluorescent, the coil is ensconced in a typical looking glass bulb.
The light is soft and pleasant (fluorescents have come such a long way), but with the improved efficiency and control, you can turn any of your lamps into a nightlight (baby’s room) or sentinel while you’re out (foyer) without feeling you are wasting energy. The dimmer feature works independently of the lamp’s switch, so the bulb lights up instantly at whatever level you’ve set.
The bulbs are $10, so a couple of bucks more than a similar fluorescent without the dimming feature. If you need more versatile lighting, don’t buy a new lamp. Just get a new bulb.