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Old 03-15-2009, 02:56 AM   #1
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2 lights one switch, power to the switch . . .


. . . but no wire between the lights.

This is the existing rough in. Will it work?

Just to clarify, power is coming into the switch. From there, two two-wire cables run to each light. I want the switch to control both lights simultaneously.

Is there a way to make this work, or does there have to be a wire b/w the lights?

Thanks,

Greg

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Old 03-15-2009, 05:42 AM   #2
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2 lights one switch, power to the switch . . .


To clarify: You have power at the switch. From the switch, a (2) conductor cable goes to light #1, and from the switch, a (2) conductor cable goes to light#2.

If that is what you have, than you are good to go. At the switch, connect all the whites together. Connect all the bare/green wires together,with a short length of wire to connect to the green screw on the switch.

The incoming power black goes to one screw of the switch, the 2 blacks from the lights go to the other screw (you will need to splice them together with a short length of conductor so there is only 1 wire on the screw.)

And, of course, turn off the power before you start.

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Old 03-15-2009, 10:58 AM   #3
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2 lights one switch, power to the switch . . .


That's what I thought, but I couldn't get it to work yesterday. I'll try again, double checking all my connections. Thank you very much.

How about this one:

A three gang box w/ power to the box and power to no devices. Three switches inside the box, and 2-wire to all the devices from the box. This is OK as well, correct? Is there going to be a volume problem?

Thanks again.

Last edited by gregoryc; 03-15-2009 at 11:01 AM.
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Old 03-15-2009, 07:38 PM   #4
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2 lights one switch, power to the switch . . .


Regarding my first problem (two lights, one switch):

I installed a regular switch per your suggestion and everything worked great. I then switched (pun intended ) to the dimmer I was planning on using the whole time, and it didn't work. The wires out to the light stayed hot whether the switch was on or off, and the LEDs on the dimmer (it's one of those fancy, turns-on-and-off-gradually dimmers) would not come on. The lights are not actually installed, if that makes a difference. The switch is brand new out of the box. I used a regular, cheaper switch first because when I was trying things on my own yesterday, I think I shorted out one of the expensive dimmer switches.

Any ideas?
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Old 03-15-2009, 07:48 PM   #5
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2 lights one switch, power to the switch . . .


Here's a link to the installations instructions of the dimmer I'm using:

http://www.lutron.com/cms400/assets/...47D8EE6044.pdf
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Old 03-15-2009, 09:41 PM   #6
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2 lights one switch, power to the switch . . .


I
Quote:
think I shorted out one of the expensive dimmer switches.
You wouldn't be the first one to do it.

Remember, if you put it back in the box and return it, you will go to hell. You don't want to go to hell now do you?
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Old 03-16-2009, 02:14 PM   #7
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2 lights one switch, power to the switch . . .


Anyone, anyone . . . .

Quote:
Originally Posted by gregoryc View Post
Regarding my first problem (two lights, one switch):

I installed a regular switch per your suggestion and everything worked great. I then switched (pun intended ) to the dimmer I was planning on using the whole time, and it didn't work. The wires out to the light stayed hot whether the switch was on or off, and the LEDs on the dimmer (it's one of those fancy, turns-on-and-off-gradually dimmers) would not come on. The lights are not actually installed, if that makes a difference. The switch is brand new out of the box. I used a regular, cheaper switch first because when I was trying things on my own yesterday, I think I shorted out one of the expensive dimmer switches.

Any ideas?
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Old 03-16-2009, 09:59 PM   #8
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2 lights one switch, power to the switch . . .


Get a lutron one way dimmer (they are pretty good quality) tie your incoming hot to one black, the other black goes to the two blacks to the lights. Ground appropriately, attach the whites together.

How many watts are being put on the dimmer?
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Old 03-17-2009, 02:53 AM   #9
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2 lights one switch, power to the switch . . .


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Originally Posted by 220/221 View Post
I

You wouldn't be the first one to do it.

Remember, if you put it back in the box and return it, you will go to hell. You don't want to go to hell now do you?
But Jesus forgives if you just even-exchange it as defective.
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Old 03-17-2009, 07:53 AM   #10
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2 lights one switch, power to the switch . . .


Ok, I figured it out last night. Once the fixtures and bulbs were in, everything was fine. I guess those smart dimmers know if there's a bulb installed, and do not send current to the fixture if there is not. That's all I can think of.

Thanks for everyone's help!

Btw/ I guess I'm going to hell. At least under 220/221's theory, but not thegonagle's. I've only exchanged one of two "defective" switches so far, so I guess I'm just on the highway to hell. I'll make all the way eventually.
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Old 03-17-2009, 08:41 AM   #11
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2 lights one switch, power to the switch . . .


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Originally Posted by gregoryc View Post
Ok, I figured it out last night. Once the fixtures and bulbs were in, everything was fine. I guess those smart dimmers know if there's a bulb installed, and do not send current to the fixture if there is not. That's all I can think of.

Thanks for everyone's help!

Btw/ I guess I'm going to hell. At least under 220/221's theory, but not thegonagle's. I've only exchanged one of two "defective" switches so far, so I guess I'm just on the highway to hell. I'll make all the way eventually.
Some dimmers require there to be a minimum load in order to work properly (I think on most its about 40 watts is the minimum). There isn't a closed circuit until there is a load connected. This is kinda the same thing with the "pilot" light switches that have a neon indicator in them that light up when the load is off (to see the switch in the dark). If you remove all the bulbs it controls, that indicator light goes out.
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Old 03-17-2009, 09:45 AM   #12
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2 lights one switch, power to the switch . . .


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Originally Posted by theatretch85 View Post
Some dimmers require there to be a minimum load in order to work properly (I think on most its about 40 watts is the minimum). There isn't a closed circuit until there is a load connected. This is kinda the same thing with the "pilot" light switches that have a neon indicator in them that light up when the load is off (to see the switch in the dark). If you remove all the bulbs it controls, that indicator light goes out.
So why, when I had a regular, nondimming switch installed, was I able to detect current running to the lights when the switch was on, but not when it was switched off, even though no lights were installed, so the circuit was open?? Sorry for the rediculously long run on sentence.
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Old 03-17-2009, 09:57 AM   #13
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2 lights one switch, power to the switch . . .


Or are you just saying that the smart dimmer can detect a closed circuit and stops power to the lights, bit a regular switch can't, and so it doesn't? I think I get it now.
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Old 03-17-2009, 11:35 AM   #14
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2 lights one switch, power to the switch . . .


The only question I have is, why are you testing this thing with no bulbs and a meter? Put the darn bulbs in and turn it on. See what happens. If the lights don't come on then start looking for problems.
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Old 03-17-2009, 01:16 PM   #15
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2 lights one switch, power to the switch . . .


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Originally Posted by gregoryc View Post
So why, when I had a regular, nondimming switch installed, was I able to detect current running to the lights when the switch was on, but not when it was switched off, even though no lights were installed, so the circuit was open?? Sorry for the rediculously long run on sentence.
A "regular / non-dimming" switch is "stupid" (in that it has no special function), it just simply turns the power on or off depending on the position the switch is in. Its a mechanical connection when you flip the switch on and off, it doesn't rely on an electronic circuit to make the power pass through. Older dimmers (thinking the old rotary style dimmers) would still work to pass power through with out a load. The newer ones have an electronic circuit in them and rely on the closed circuit to power the electronic portion of the switch up.

See the below info on Dimmers, this may help some:

Rheostats:

In the early 1900's, a large variable resistor called a rheostat was used to shunt the energy away from the lightbulb. This resulted in high power dissipation in the 'dimmer' and no energy savings.

Modern Dimmers:

Modern dimmers use solid-state devices such as triacs to turn the power applied to the load on and off 120 times per second. By varying the time the power is off, the light gets brighter and dimmer. Modern dimmers using triacs are >99% efficient, however there is still some small dissipation in the triac. This causes the dimmer to become slightly warm to the touch.

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