Q: Will the new light bulbs work with touch lamps?
— Mary Ann Engy
A: There are several relatively new types of light bulbs on the market, but I suspect you’re referring to either compact fluorescent or LED bulbs. Either kind might pose a problem with some touch lamps.
Lighting consultant Terry McGowan said that if a touch lamp has a mechanical switch, it will work with any CFL or LED bulb. However, if the lamp has an electronic switch, you’ll need to use a CFL or LED bulb that’s specially marked as dimmable. Even then you may have some problems, he said.
McGowan said you can tell what kind of switch the lamp has by putting a standard incandescent bulb of 40 to 60 watts in the socket and then trying the switch while listening carefully. If you hear a click when the lamp is turned on and off, then the switch is mechanical. If you don’t hear a click, it’s electronic.
Have a question about home maintenance, decorating or gardening? Akron Beacon Journal home writer Mary Beth Breckenridge will find answers for the queries that are chosen to appear in the paper. To submit a question, call her at 330-996-3756, or send email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Be sure to include your full name, your town and your phone number or email address.