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will this upgrade ever happen


Philip
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back in '07 I had CFLs in my north pole lights and quicky found out that they had to be swapped out with incandescents. No big deal, I found 15 watters at the DG. Anyways, I have posted in the past about a feature request to use CFLs with LOR and was told "it's in the works"

So here we are, moving into 2009 and LOR2 has finally come to fruition. But the CFL issue still reigns. I'd really prefer to put my CFL black lights for halloween on a controller without having to buy a dedicated controller for them.

Will the CFL issue ever REALLY be resolved or has anyone found any sort of work-around???

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CFL's appear to be an issue on multiple fronts.

First, they mess up the zero crossing detection on the controller they are plugged into, and even have caused problems for other controllers on the same extension cord.

Additionally, I have seen issues where CFLs strongly appear to have been the source of communication errors. I was turning enabling/disabling one CFL by hand, and watching some display elements start and stop responding to commands for other controllers on the network...

It may be possible to find some sort of filter that could go between the CFL and the controller, but I don't expect it to be cost effective.. It is not something to be fixed by software or firmware, but rather an electrical hardware issue that does not exist with incandescent, or dimmable LEDs..

I'm considering a DMX LED black light for Halloween, so I can get rid of the CFL black lights.. Plus I would be able to dim and strobe it, unlike the CFL... But it sure is not cheap, and it is not weather resistant either...

I think LED lamps may be a better solution, once they become more readily available, and cost effective...

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We have not made much progress in this area. We are working on some improvments that MAY help the issue but we currently do not have a complete understanding of all of the issues introduced by the lights so we cannot be sure.

One thing that most likely is true is that the existing hardware cannot be coaxed via firmware to handle CFLs. Most likely internal and/or external filters will be required.

Dan

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XPPF X10 noise filters seem to work (search for "XPPF" on ebay -- $4 to $5)

Plug the CFL into the filter and then into the controller. I have not done any real testing beyond using it with a few different CFLs. I would appreciate feedback if some one tries it.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I am just wondering something. I have some CFLs in my garge. Both warm and cool lamps. Have any of you ever turned off the lights in a room that have CFLs, and then looked at the lamp? They have a nice glow still going for them. The warm ones have an orange look to them. And the cool white have a slight blue green look to them. And any area were the temperature drops below 40 to 45, the bulbs do not reach full brightness for a time.

Maybe I just dont know something and hopefully someone can fill in the gaps of my knowledge.

Max

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The different color balances (and sometimes just different brands) have different phosphor mixes to get the changes in both color balance, and CRI (Color Rendering Index). All phosphors work by accepting energy from a source, and emitting a portion of that energy back out in the phosphor's characteristic wavelength. The time between energy absorption and release can vary by compound. So if in one mixture the compounds for orange release the energy slower, you will get a residual orange glow...

As for cold start, in fluorescent lights, the energy source for the phosphors is an electric arc running through mercury vapor in the tube.. How conductive the mercury vapor is depends on the pressure of the mercury vapor, which in turn depends on the temperature... The ballast limits how high the current in the tube can go, but when it is cold, there is not enough voltage available to get the desired current through the tube with the mercury vapor pressure available...

One side effect of this is that the CFL's that are enclosed in outer glass envelopes wind up with a higher ultimate pressure because of the extra insulation that air enclosed in the outer bulb provides. It appears that the ones I have around the house have had less mercury built into them, and even at 70 degrees, they start much dimmer, and take longer to warm up than the typical ones...

Also, most CFL's have a minimum temperature at which they will even start... Usually, once they start, they will warm up, and wind up operating at a substantial percentage of their normal brightness.

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