My dinning room had an on/off switch for the light which made it impossible to have romantic dinners there - the light was either too bright or off. So I decided to install a dimmer. Being energy conscious and progressive, I wanted to install a dimmer for compact fluorescent lights. I bought a dimmer for compact flourescent lights, the Lutron dimmer with the designer or decora switch, and the slide control to adjust the intensity of the light. I also installed 60W equivalent compact flourescent light bulbs that were recommended by Home Depot as being dimmable. After installing it, I found that it would dim the lights from 100% brightness down to 80% brightness - still nowhere near dim enough for a romantic dinner. When I went to Lowes, the guy there said that I just happened to get a bad switch - try another one. I did - same result. I went back to Home Depot - the guy there was adamant that they do work, so I tried another - same result. I made very sure that I had the polarity of the switch right, checking which was the hot lead with a volt meter before installing the switch.

Is there a trick to get the compact flourescent light switches and dimmable compact flourescent lights to work?

  • @ Curt. When someone gives you great advise, an accept is good, but an up vote is appropriate. So............vote! lol Feb 20, 2012 at 22:18

1 Answer 1


There should be an adjustment dial or slider somewhere on the switch (you'll likely have to remove the cover plate to access it), which allows you to adjust the lower end of the dimming range. Where exactly the adjustment dial is will depend on the switch you're using.

To make the adjustment:

  • Turn on the light
  • Turn the dimmer all the way down
  • Turn the adjustment dial clockwise (up) to lower the light level.

Models and manufacturers vary, so you'll have to determine which way to adjust the dial/slider by moving it one way then the other. Follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer.

Once you have the level set, install the cover plate and enjoy your romantic dinner.

  • That worked! Thanks! I didn't know that these new dimmers had an adjustable lower level.
    – Curt
    Feb 20, 2012 at 21:49
  • Cool Tester, I didn't know that. Never tried to dim CFLs, so now I got a new arrow in my quiver. Thanks Feb 20, 2012 at 22:16
  • @shirlockhomes - These are the same dimmers you use on LED's also. More manufacturers are getting on this band wagon and by summer they'll be all over the place.
    – lqlarry
    Feb 21, 2012 at 5:05

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