Until dimmable CFLs are easy to find in stores, we're shopping online at 1000Bulbs.com. They sell Litetronics brand compact fluorescent lights, or CFLs. (Note: our readers have had good things to say about n:Vision CFLs, which are only available at Home Depot, but Litetronics makes a wider selection of dimmable bulbs.)
Now that we've sorted out the mercury issue and figured out how to get bulbs that put off the right amount and color of light, it seems one of the biggest obstacles to switching to energy-saving CFLs is finding ones that dim... and don't flicker when they're dimmed.
The big attraction is the wide range of dimmable fluorescents, but 1000Bulbs sells a few other innovative and green products, like an energy-saving rope light made with brighter tungsten filaments:
• Bright white 3 watt rope light, $55 for a 150' roll, which includes fittings; said to put off as much light as competing 6 watt rope lights, even though it is rated at only 3 watts.
• Globe lights are good for applications where the bulb is exposed (think retro 70's or Las Vegas style.) And they're dimmable, so they'll work in traditional bathroom light bar applications. $12-$15.
&bull Candelabra bulbs work not just in chandeliers, but also in many smaller light fixtures, including many of IKEA's floor and table lights. If you're looking to replace 25 or 30 watt bulbs, these dimmable florescents will do just the trick.
1000Bulbs lists color temperature and lumen output for each of their bulbs, so you can get a good idea of how much light the bulb will put off, and how warm or cool it will be.