CFL Compatibility with Lighting Controls
Our expert, Randall Whitehead, IALD, addresses lighting control compatibility with GU24 CFLs.
We have been having trouble using dimmable GU24 CFLs on the Lutron GRAFIK Eye® QS. CFL manufacturers say that their products dim with any incandescent dimmer, but Lutron says that it will burn out the system.
I’m right there with you. As California designers, we really need the GU24s to meet Title 24. One guy I spoke to on the Lutron tech support line suggested using the PHPM-PA interface, but this is untested so far by Lutron. It seems that all the company’s testing efforts are concentrated on LEDs, which is great, but LEDs don’t provide the omni-directional illumination of CFLs or CCFLs for decorative fixtures. And no manufacturer I can find makes an LED A-lamp with a GU24 base. They only come with screw-in bases, which don’t meet Title 24 requirements. My suggestion to the CFL manufacturers is to get your lamps tested by control manufacturers. My suggestion to the LED lamp manufacturers is to offer your lamps with a GU24 base. As designers, we are caught between the California codes and manufacturers of lamps, fixtures and dimmers. The control systems, beyond simple wall box dimmers, won’t dim self-ballasted GU24 or screw-in CFLs; and California code won’t let us use screw-in CFLs or LED lamps (which can be dimmed using more sophisticated controls). The good news is that I was able to get Lutron to look at the problem and work on a possible solution to creating an interface that will allow CFL GU24 dimming with their control systems. I’ll keep you posted.
Randall Whitehead lighting designer
Randall Whitehead, IALD

Randall Whitehead, IALD, is a professional lighting designer and author. His books include "Residential Lighting, A Practical Guide." Whitehead has worked on projects worldwide, appeared on the Discovery Channel, HGTV and CNN, and he is regular guest on Martha Stewart Living Radio. Visit his website for more information on books, upcoming seminars and the latest lighting trends.

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