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Thread: Megaman GU10 Dimmable CFL Mini Review (plus X10)

  1. #1
    Automated Home Sr Member wywywywy's Avatar
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    Default Megaman GU10 Dimmable CFL Mini Review (plus X10)

    Hi all,

    In order to save the world, I bought 5 of these Megaman GU10 CFL dimmable bulbs from eBay to replace those 50W halogen bulbs in the kitchen diner. Plus of course in summer these halogen bulbs boil the top of my head!

    The Megaman bulbs are 230V, 11W each, and claim to be dimmable from ANY dimmer in a NORMAL manner - unlike their previous DoRs range where you had to flick the switch off and on to dim...

    I have six GU10 bulbs in the kitchen, and I plan to replace five of them, leaving a bit of load for the dimmer.

    The dimmer I have is an X10^2 wall switch from Kevin Lo, which works very well with the halogen bulbs and is very reliable compared to Marmitek's products. The min load is 40W for the 2-wire version as said on the spec sheet. I think the min load is 20W for the 3-wire version.

    Okay first thing, to any one planning to buy one of these, you MUST leave the Megaman bulbs on full brightness for at least a minute the first time you use it!! So resist the urge to try to dim it... It looks like the circuit "learns" what the maximum brightness should be.

    Upon fitting one of these, first impression is that the colour temperature is very nice (I have the warm white version). It is less yellowy than a halogen bulb, but still provides a warm glow - very good for people with SAD. And yes it is more of a glow than a "spot" like with a halogen bulb. And it is slightly dimmer than a 50W halogen bulb, so I guess it is more like a 35W halogen bulb in terms of light output. Bulb warm-up time is very quick.

    So after that, I put the other four on, and... nothing would switch on! :O Not even the remaining halogen bulb. Having a bit of messing about, I found that any more than 3 Megamans in the circuit, nothing would switch on. I guess it is to do with the inductive nature of the Megaman bulbs rather than not having enough load for the dimmer. So now I am using three halogens and three Megamans.

    And because of the way these Megamans work, "soft-on" feature from the dimmer no longer works. "Soft-off" is still okay, but it is not very "soft" with Megamans - it dims from 100% to 20% then suddenly cuts off.

    So all in all, it kind of works, but not brilliantly. I will probably buy a couple more for the living room to avoid skin burn on the top of my head, but I will only commit to fully replacing all my halogens once more advanced technologies are available. That and ideally I want LED not CFL!

    Price is quite expensive at 14 each. But buying from eBay means it is 8 each inc postage, so not TOO bad for a techno/enviro-sucker.

    For the physical fitment, it is slightly longer (about 1.5cm) than a normal GU10 bulb. My light fitting is open-back so it is not a problem for me, except I can't adjust the angle of the holder anymore.

    By the way, Rako has come up with a new module to specifically work with these bulbs, and I very likely will try it in the near future.
    http://www.onidserv.com/rako/product/565

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Moderator toscal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wywywywy View Post
    I found that any more than 3 Megamans in the circuit, nothing would switch on. I guess it is to do with the inductive nature of the Megaman bulbs rather than not having enough load for the dimmer. So now I am using three halogens and three Megamans.
    .
    I have seen something similar with normal CFLs. The circuit was controlled with an X10 appliance micro module (similar to X10-2). There are 6 CFls and 2 GU10 halogens on the circuit. When one of the CFLs failed all the other CFls refused to come on. Replaced the dead one through a process of elimination. Put in a new one and all the CFLs started to flicker. So through the same process took each one out and back in again until all the CFLs came on. Replaced this one. And all worked fine.
    Like many I won't use CFLs as I think they aren't that good and look at the problems you can have, plus their life span reduces to that of normal bulbs if they are on for only short periods of time. I have found that soft starting our lights has increased the life span of a normal and halogen bulbs.
    LED technology is the way to go so will wait for these to come down in price and up in brightness.
    IF YOU CAN'T FIX IT WITH A HAMMER, YOU'VE GOT AN ELECTRICAL PROBLEM.
    www.casatech.eu Renovation Spain Blog

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