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Old 09-18-2006, 02:29 AM   #1
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Cable track lighting


hi. i'm wondering if i could use a dimmer on a low voltage cable track lighting. i ask home depot and they said i could, but i'm still not sure. the kit has 6 12v halogen light bulbs, 20watts each. theres the cables and the transformer. the dimmer i'm planning to use a lutron maestro ir. please help me out. and one more question. i have some uf-b wires left from a previous project. could i use it inside a wall? if not i would go get some nm-b wires. thanks.

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Old 09-18-2006, 05:56 AM   #2
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Yes, you can, but it's a special dimmer. You need to use what's called a "magnetic rated" or "transformer duty" (same thing) dimmer. It may or may not be available at the home center, but it is available at an electrical supply house. A regular dimmer will give the appearance of working, but it will be the wrong product.

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Old 09-18-2006, 11:22 AM   #3
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Lutron makes the Maestro in low voltage dimmers. Dont know who stocks them or if they would be special order.
I think bog box stores carry regular evryday dimmers in low-voltage...look in the dimmer section I am pretty sure I have seen them.
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Old 09-18-2006, 03:45 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by dougrus View Post
Lutron makes the Maestro in low voltage dimmers.
Lutron is my normal dimmer brand. You're not stuck with the Maestro style if that doesn't suit you. Almost all their dimmer styles are available in the magnetic rated version, albeit likely by special order.
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Old 09-18-2006, 03:46 PM   #5
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Be VERY carful in your selection of a dimmer.

-Some low voltage lights can use a standard line volt dimmer. But not many.
- Check the instructions to see if it is a magnetic or electronic transformer. it should spec which dimmer you should use.
- If this is not clear call the manufacturer. They will tell you which dimmer to use.
- Most Lutron dimmers do come in line volt, mag. lo-vol and electronic lo-vol varieties.

Most cable systems I have seen and installed used magnetic lo-voltage dimmers as MD explained.

*edit- see, I told ya. :D )
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Old 09-18-2006, 04:50 PM   #6
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Lutron is my normal dimmer brand. You're not stuck with the Maestro style if that doesn't suit you. Almost all their dimmer styles are available in the magnetic rated version, albeit likely by special order.
Isnt the maestro the one he was asking about?
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Old 09-18-2006, 04:56 PM   #7
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Isnt the maestro the one he was asking about?
Yes, it was indeed. I was simply expanding on your thought for the benefit of others. These posts live on for eternity, so they have benefit beyond the original poster. I just didn't want a future reader to think that they're tied to a certain style or brand.
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Old 09-18-2006, 05:10 PM   #8
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i'll try the lutron dimmer with the low voltage light track later.(i bought both of them yesterday) i asked homedepot and they said that it would work so if it don't its their fault for misguiding me in the first place. anyways thanks everyone.
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Old 09-18-2006, 05:13 PM   #9
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See, the thing that troubles me about that response is somewhat typical of many DIY attitudes. Yes, a normal dimmer will "work" so-to-speak. That is to say, the lights will go dim and bright with the dimmer. But... it's the wrong dimmer entirely for that application.
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Old 09-18-2006, 05:36 PM   #10
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Quote:
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i asked homedepot and they said that it would work so if it don't its their fault for misguiding me in the first place.
Good luck with that!
Actually, considering how lax these places are towards returns, you could probably use it for a year or so and then return it.

The problem is less about damage to the dimmer and more about damage to the transformer.

USE THE CORRECT DIMMER FOR THE APPLICATION!
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Old 09-23-2006, 12:53 AM   #11
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thank you everyone that replied. i contact the light manufacturer and they said their lights can't be used with a dimmer. so i'm planning to use a switch instead. and i search around online for the maestro ir electronic low voltage dimmer and it is like 100 something $.

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