Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Dimming after incandescents go away

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Pete
    replied
    I'm not an electrician but I used multiple toroidal, multizone, multivoltage landscaping AC transformers before going to LEDs. I believe these would work with dimmers.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transformer

    These are not inexpensive; rather typically sell for greater than $200 USD each. What's nice is that you can up the voltage say to 15VAC for longer runs of 12-14 guage landscaping wire. The zone also typically has a circuit breaker. Initially I put these 1000 watt transformers on their own breakers. Today the footprint of the smaller 12VDC LCD transformers is less than one of these (I had four) and work fine from one UPB relay switch.
    Attached Files
    Last edited by Pete; June 28, 2012, 09:52 AM.

    Leave a comment:


  • mmn
    replied
    I was wondering if you can use a regular X10 or Zwave lamp dimmer on the AC side of the 12 volt xformer as long as you didn't exceed the wattage limits.

    I'd try this on my pool light but I'm afraid I'll blow something up!

    Regards
    Michael

    Leave a comment:


  • Pete
    replied
    I've only found 12VDC side of the transformer dimmers. Its looks to be popular with the automotive folks / LED 12 lighting effects even using wireless remotes to dim or change LED colors.

    Leave a comment:


  • mmn
    replied
    Can you dim 12v LEDs or other bulbs on the 120/240 VAC side or does it have to be on the 12 VDC side of the xformer?

    Regards
    Michael

    Leave a comment:


  • Pete
    replied
    Eventually they will and factories are retooling. Bulbs are much more efficient; but still very expensive and early adoptees are paying for the privilege of testing the new technology. Really though not much different than paying $100 for one light switch.

    I dim the outside 120VAC lamps to 20% and utilize halogen 60 watt bulbs. They are somewhat unique looking and they are all the same. (8 of them). I have not seen the type of lamps yet replicated in the non incandescent world.

    I have migrated all of the landscaping lighting to LED's and its working just fine. The color/brightness is almost the same as the older halogen lighting was. I can dim the landscaping lighting at the 12VDC side. I'm using multiple small 12VDC power supplies and they are configured via one UPB relay switch. The neighbor took it to another step by installing two small solar panels charging 2 12VDC car batteries and its working fine for him. I was able to purchase these lamps at a reasonable cost. I'm amazed still at the micro miniature circuits built into these lamps and how easily they have been replicated in the low voltage world. You can even DIY your own LED low voltage lamps at a reasonable cost.

    Leave a comment:


  • mmn
    replied
    Yeah, but I don't want to spend money on new gadgets to make dimming work. I want something that works with my existing gadgets.

    Looks like the best insurance is to stock up on incandescents as I think they are going to go away no matter what happens legal-wise.

    Regards
    Michael

    Leave a comment:


  • Wadenut
    replied
    We've covered this so many times, in so many threads.

    There are two ways a dimmer might work.
    1. Chop the sinewave, which is what most electronic dimmers do.

    2. Vary the voltage or the current (rheostat type dimmers) to the bulb. To do this in the electronic dimmer you'd likely need a neutral in the switch box so that the variable output still allows the circuitry in the dimmer to work at near zero current to the bulb. At any rate, something now has to eat the excess power. This would require a heat sink which likely won't fit in the switch box. Even if it did, where is the heat to go? So you'll not likely see the dimmers redesigned.
    Another method would be to convert that chopped waveform to a variable voltage at the bulb (maintains the two wire series circuit). The easiest way to do this is to use what we in the field call a B.F.C. (stands for Big F'n Capacitor [use your own adverb]). This can also be done with more elaborate electronics inside the bulb (usually the case). This is why dimmable LED's (and CFL's) are so much more expensive. No doubt the dimmable LED will improve as they are more widely adopted and the required electronics are mass produced. The problem is squeezing all that into an acceptably sized device.

    Leave a comment:


  • Gogs
    replied
    Originally posted by drozwood90 View Post
    Gogs,

    Following your threads is like a soap opera. I hope against it, but I suspect you are right. Better stop at the store and pickup two new bulbs.

    --Dan
    A soap opera, hmm, like that because it's life, some clown comes out with a new standard and we all get screwed.

    Try the GLS Halogens, they are good and Low wattage equivalent.

    Leave a comment:


  • Rupp
    replied
    Originally posted by Uncle Michael View Post
    I hope to see LED dimming protocols standardized in the next few years to allow dimmer manufacturers to design reliable dimmers.
    I wouldn't hold my breath on this.

    Leave a comment:


  • drozwood90
    replied
    Gogs,

    Following your threads is like a soap opera. I hope against it, but I suspect you are right. Better stop at the store and pickup two new bulbs.

    --Dan

    Leave a comment:


  • Gogs
    replied
    GLS Halogen bulbs work very well, also Philips and others make dimmable LED bulbs although they are expencive, but so far I have had 3 100W equivilent LED bulbs in the drive for over a year now without replacing them.

    Of course having said that they will blow tonight.

    Leave a comment:


  • Uncle Michael
    replied
    I hope to see LED dimming protocols standardized in the next few years to allow dimmer manufacturers to design reliable dimmers.

    In the mean time, halogen bulbs will continue to be sold. So incandescent bulbs are not going to disappear. It's just the really cheap, most inefficient ones that might not be available much longer. (I suspect the manufacturers have largely stopped making them and are just selling off inventory in anticipation that they will eventually be banned.)

    Leave a comment:


  • drozwood90
    replied
    Pretty sure that legislation went away. So, I do not think you are going to have to switch IMMEDIATELY.

    I've been using the Utilitech bulbs from Lowes. I found the "equivalent" bulb at Homedepot would actually translate the UPB signals to LIGHT-flickering.

    This is the one I have deployed in specific areas around the house:
    http://www.lowes.com/pd_338802-75774...RL=&facetInfo=

    I have the 60W version, have not been as happy with it. That 40W, is about 90% of a 60W incandescent. It seems to dim pretty smoothly using UPB. Nightwalker, maybe the bulbs you have tried do not like the technology of your automation interfaces?

    --Dan

    Leave a comment:


  • Kevin L
    replied
    Like Marty, I dim, and HS dims, my lights all time. I have considerable stock for all my incandescents (3 spares for every bulb) that should last at least ten years, especially since the bulbs last a lot longer when dimmed. By that time, I expect there will be suitable replacements.

    Kevin

    Leave a comment:


  • macromark
    replied
    We're testing some Philips LED bulbs with various switches here. We'll post the results when we've finished testing. It's encouraging. The newest bulbs are bright and do dim, although dimming permormance is not yet on par with incandescent bulbs.

    Leave a comment:

Working...
X