Dimmer Switches

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sport
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Dimmer Switches

Post by sport »

I have LED bulbs in both my dining room (9 bulbs) and dinette (4 bulbs) fixtures. Both fixtures have older dimmer switches that are not meant for LED bulbs. Either fixture works fine by itself. However, when both are turned on at the same time, the dinette fixture flickers badly. My question is: Do I need to replace both switches, or just one, and if just one, which one?
livesoft
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Re: Dimmer Switches

Post by livesoft »

Not all LED bulbs are supposedly dimmable in the first place. It may be that [some of] your bulbs fortuitously worked.
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Re: Dimmer Switches

Post by Jack FFR1846 »

I'd recommend replacing one of the dimmers with just a switch. Dimmers work various ways and dimmable LED bulbs work very differently from each other. Trying to get 2 dimmer switches to work is going to have you buying dozens of LED bulbs of different companies hoping to find one that works. Even with a single dimmer, some of the dimmable LED bulbs don't work. We've got a set in our kitchen that work fine with the dimmer. Upstairs, we have a set and they're either on or they're off. The dimmer doesn't control them any more than that. 2 different brand bulbs.
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sport
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Re: Dimmer Switches

Post by sport »

The bulbs are dimmable.
NYCaviator
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Re: Dimmer Switches

Post by NYCaviator »

sport wrote: Mon Jun 10, 2024 6:30 pm The bulbs are dimmable.
Are you set on having dimmer switches? If not, I'd ditch them for a regular switch. That would likely solve your problem. LEDs never seem to play well with dimmer switches.
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sport
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Re: Dimmer Switches

Post by sport »

NYCaviator wrote: Mon Jun 10, 2024 6:45 pm
sport wrote: Mon Jun 10, 2024 6:30 pm The bulbs are dimmable.
Are you set on having dimmer switches? If not, I'd ditch them for a regular switch. That would likely solve your problem. LEDs never seem to play well with dimmer switches.
We really like the dimmer switches. I took out regular switches to install the dimmers when we bought the house.
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Kenkat
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Re: Dimmer Switches

Post by Kenkat »

I’d just get two dimmer switches that are rated for LED bulbs. They are about $20/ea. last time I looked. It sounds like something you are comfortable doing so it will just be the cost of the new dimmers.
rgs92
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Re: Dimmer Switches

Post by rgs92 »

These get very good reviews. I had a Lutron switch once. But carefully read the reviews on Amazon to make sure you know what you are getting. I am no familiar with this particular switch.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B00A92MQ ... 71cb0&th=1

More on Lutron:

https://www.lutron.com/en-US/Company-In ... Story.aspx
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sport
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Re: Dimmer Switches

Post by sport »

The switches I presently have are Lutron. However, they are 2006 vintage and not made for LED bulbs.
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bd7
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Re: Dimmer Switches

Post by bd7 »

Sometimes you can make chandeliers, etc work with LEDs by replacing one bulb with a standard incandescent.
BuddyJet
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Re: Dimmer Switches

Post by BuddyJet »

sport wrote: Mon Jun 10, 2024 8:35 pm The switches I presently have are Lutron. However, they are 2006 vintage and not made for LED bulbs.
I agree with replacing one led bulb with incandescent as a test. If all works well with the single incandescent, install this Lutron part and reinstall the led bulb so all bulbs match.

https://www.amazon.com/Lutron-LUT-MLC/d ... 084E&psc=1

Even with this, your bulbs might flicker when dimmed very low.

Replacing the dimmer with a led rated one is another way and may be easier than the lut-mlc to wire in. My favorite is this one.

https://www.homedepot.com/pep/Lutron-Ma ... lsrc=aw.ds
Last edited by BuddyJet on Mon Jun 10, 2024 9:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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nisiprius
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Re: Dimmer Switches

Post by nisiprius »

sport wrote: Mon Jun 10, 2024 5:28 pm I have LED bulbs in both my dining room (9 bulbs) and dinette (4 bulbs) fixtures. Both fixtures have older dimmer switches that are not meant for LED bulbs. Either fixture works fine by itself. However, when both are turned on at the same time, the dinette fixture flickers badly.
This is really weird to me. You are saying that

--each fixture has its own dimmer switch;

--if you turn on just the dinette fixture you can adjust over a reasonable range without flickering;

--Now, with the dinette fixture on, you turn on the dining room lights with their own dimmer, and the dinette lights, which were steady, start to flicker?

Something is very weird here. You wouldn't expect the two circuits to affect each other, and I wonder what can possibly be happening. I'm assuming that the actual wattage of each dining room lamp is 10 watts or less, so the whole fixture is only drawing perhaps 90 watts--and can't be drawing so much current that it is creating enough voltage drop to affect the dinette lamps.
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sport
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Re: Dimmer Switches

Post by sport »

nisiprius wrote: Mon Jun 10, 2024 9:07 pm --Now, with the dinette fixture on, you turn on the dining room lights with their own dimmer, and the dinette lights, which were steady, start to flicker?
Yes, that is what happens. :confused
cyclist
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Re: Dimmer Switches

Post by cyclist »

Truncating an alternating current source for dimming can be an electrically messy business - especially when you are running the dimmers with a different kind of load than the sort they were designed for.

There’s probably lots of electrical noise (high-frequency transients) generated by those dimmers. It sounds like one of them can’t handle the noise generated by the other. (There’s a good chance that the power for one of those circuits runs through the same electrical box as the other dimmer; that would provide an easy path for the noise on one circuit to be transferred to the other via induction.)

Replace them with appropriate dimmers and everything will probably work much better.

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sport
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Re: Dimmer Switches

Post by sport »

cyclist wrote: Mon Jun 10, 2024 9:31 pm Truncating an alternating current source for dimming can be an electrically messy business - especially when you are running the dimmers with a different kind of load than the sort they were designed for.

There’s probably lots of electrical noise (high-frequency transients) generated by those dimmers. It sounds like one of them can’t handle the noise generated by the other. (There’s a good chance that the power for one of those circuits runs through the same electrical box as the other dimmer; that would provide an easy path for the noise on one circuit to be transferred to the other via induction.)

Replace them with appropriate dimmers and everything will probably work much better.

Cyclist
There is only one electrical box for the whole house. So, you are suggesting that I replace both dimmers?
cmr79
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Re: Dimmer Switches

Post by cmr79 »

We had issues like this with old non-LED compatible dimmer switches. No issues since changing to new LED compatible dimmer switches.
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Re: Dimmer Switches

Post by toast0 »

I'd guess you can get away with only replacing one. You could make an argument for trying either one first; I'd try the 4-bulb first, on the theory that the low load is causing trouble with the dimmer. OTOH, the 9-bulb one might be causing trouble because there's too much electronic load. If you replace them both, they should both work well.

I've got lots of ceiling lights and lots of dimmers, and haven't found much rhyme or reason with respect to which dimmers work well with which leds; mostly all my leds are rated for dimming, and dimmers rated for led or compact fluorescent almost always work, but sometimes things work fine with the incandescent rated dimmers; or work fine most of the time anyway. When we're on generator, I get lots of flickering, and sometimes utility power gets a bit like that too.
NYGiantsFan
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Re: Dimmer Switches

Post by NYGiantsFan »

We have Lutron Caseta https://www.amazon.com/Lutron-Wireless- ... 00KLAXFQA/ which offers support for dimming Led lamps. They were installed 6 years ago and working as expected. It has support for Google Home and will require hub.
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like2read
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Re: Dimmer Switches

Post by like2read »

Are all of the LED bulbs currently used the same brand? I resolved some flickering issues on a single dimmable switch by replacing the old brand bulbs with the more recently purchased GE brand. Repurposed the old bulbs in another area of the house that does not use a dimmer.
valleyrock
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Re: Dimmer Switches

Post by valleyrock »

Just unscrew a few bulbs whenever you want to dim the lights.
Problem solved!
cyclist
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Re: Dimmer Switches

Post by cyclist »

sport wrote: Mon Jun 10, 2024 9:44 pm There is only one electrical box for the whole house. So, you are suggesting that I replace both dimmers?
Sorry, junction boxes or utility boxes are the enclosures that every dimmer, switch, and receptacle in your house reside in. They’re an essential part of protecting your home from fire. All electrical connections should be inside of those boxes.

Yes, I’d replace both dimmers. In addition to resolving the flickering issue, you’re likely to be able to dim the lights to low levels more reliably. Of course you could do one first and then decide what to do if you deem the problem solved then and there.

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sport
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Re: Dimmer Switches

Post by sport »

like2read wrote: Tue Jun 11, 2024 2:38 pm Are all of the LED bulbs currently used the same brand? I resolved some flickering issues on a single dimmable switch by replacing the old brand bulbs with the more recently purchased GE brand. Repurposed the old bulbs in another area of the house that does not use a dimmer.
All 13 bulbs are the same brand and model.
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sport
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Re: Dimmer Switches

Post by sport »

cyclist wrote: Tue Jun 11, 2024 3:54 pm
sport wrote: Mon Jun 10, 2024 9:44 pm There is only one electrical box for the whole house. So, you are suggesting that I replace both dimmers?
Sorry, junction boxes or utility boxes are the enclosures that every dimmer, switch, and receptacle in your house reside in. They’re an essential part of protecting your home from fire. All electrical connections should be inside of those boxes.

Yes, I’d replace both dimmers. In addition to resolving the flickering issue, you’re likely to be able to dim the lights to low levels more reliably. Of course you could do one first and then decide what to do if you deem the problem solved then and there.

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I understand what you are saying. Thank you.
BIGal
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Re: Dimmer Switches

Post by BIGal »

Why even ask, just replace both and be done with it?
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