Looking for slow-warming CFL bulb
March 9, 2017 8:47 AM   Subscribe

I have a bedside lamp hooked up to a timer. I had an older CFL bulb that took about 20 minutes to become fully bright. I set the timer for about 20 minutes before my alarm, to gradually, slowly bring the room to brightness. Problem: The bulb burnt out, and I can't find a replacement! Please enlighten me!

It seems that all the bulbs on the market right now are "instant on" or "Quick warm" or something along those lines.

I've read that the bulbs with the glass domes take the longest to warm up. (Probably explains why I see so many silicone dome bulbs on the market).

Please help me find a 40-watt equivalent, medium base bulb that is not quick warm or instant on. Knowing they are so hard to find, I figure I should try to stock up while I can.
posted by rebent to Shopping (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Have you considered a daylight alarm clock? They do exactly this. I've seen price points from $50-$150.
posted by St. Peepsburg at 9:15 AM on March 9, 2017 [6 favorites]

Sorry I linked to a pricy one. Here is another.
posted by St. Peepsburg at 9:17 AM on March 9, 2017

I don't have any sources on a slow-warming CFL bulb -- the slow warm seems to be considered a problem that they're trying to engineer out (rather than a feature they're trying to sell), so it may be hard to find.

In case you're unable to find a bulb that works for you, I do have two alternate suggestions that I can personally vouch for:
1. Cheap imperfect fix: set up two (or more) lights on timers at different distances from your bed. Set the furthest away bulb to light up first, and the bedside bulb to light up last. This way, the light level at your bed intensifies in steps over time.
2. Pricier fix: get a wake-up lamp, which automatically brightens over a half-hour (and uses a daylight bulb). Once I got tired of faffing about with timers, I bought a version of this lamp and I've been using it daily for almost a decade. It's awesome. It looks like there are also cheaper alternatives available that might be worth a try.
posted by ourobouros at 9:20 AM on March 9, 2017 [1 favorite]

Many of the new smart bulbs do this too. It's a pricey option if this is all you want it for, but if you're thinking about going smart bulb anyway (e.g. to work with Alexa or to have many color options), get yourself a Hue "ambiance" kit (white only, or full color). Among all the other things the bulbs can do, they have a "wakeup" feature that slowly brightens them.

If all you want is the wakeup feature though, I'd definitely suggest you stick with the standalone wakeup light, just from a cost perspective.

Getting a light that does this as a bug instead of a feature is probably a non-starter at this point in our technology cycle.
posted by brainmouse at 9:34 AM on March 9, 2017 [1 favorite]

Yeah, I happen to have an older bulb in my bedside lamp that does this, but we also have Hue lights that I will likely program to do the same once this bulb kicks it.
posted by Lyn Never at 9:41 AM on March 9, 2017

I do the same thing. I should pull all the old cfl bulbs in the house to hoard that generation of them. Do you have some you can pull out of another fixture ?
posted by advicepig at 10:22 AM on March 9, 2017

If you're set on finding a slow light bulb, I'd try looking around at the dollar store for cheap CFLs with old dingy packaging.
posted by yeahlikethat at 11:19 AM on March 9, 2017

Your best option going forward (short of finding a cache and hoarding them) is likely the cheapest Hue bulb; I use Hue bulbs to turn my entire bedroom into one giant sunrise alarm, and it's awesome.
posted by oblique red at 1:36 PM on March 9, 2017

Response by poster: Oblique red, could you tell me more about your setup? I am hoping for a really inexpensive solution, and I want to avoid any type of internet-connected or cellphone controlled system.
posted by rebent at 6:47 PM on March 9, 2017

This gadget that claims to work with any lamp might suit your purposes.
posted by gennessee at 12:11 AM on March 13, 2017 [1 favorite]

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