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Old 09-17-2013, 02:15 PM   #1
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dimmer on a 3-way switch circuit?


I have a large room that has a switch at each of 3 doors that contol the overhead lights. Is it possible to put a dimmer on this circuit, say by replacing one of the switches with a dimmer switch, and still have the other switches work for on/off? If so, do I need a special type of dimmer?

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Old 09-17-2013, 02:37 PM   #2
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dimmer on a 3-way switch circuit?


can you presently turn the lights on/off at any of the three doors?

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Old 09-17-2013, 02:48 PM   #3
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dimmer on a 3-way switch circuit?


Yes...

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can you presently turn the lights on/off at any of the three doors?
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Old 09-17-2013, 02:56 PM   #4
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dimmer on a 3-way switch circuit?


you have a four-way switch and two three-way switches. electrically, the four-way switch will be 'between' the two three-way switches. you can replace either of the three-way switches with a dimmer and on/off will work at the remaining switches. only catch is that if someone sends the dimmer to zero, the on/off function won't work at the other locations.

depending on your wiring, you may be able to replace all three switches with multi-location dimmers. these let you do on/off AND dimming at all three locations.
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Old 09-17-2013, 02:57 PM   #5
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dimmer on a 3-way switch circuit?


Good question. I was thinking about doing this in my kitchen. I have a three way though because I have two switches.
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Old 09-17-2013, 03:00 PM   #6
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dimmer on a 3-way switch circuit?


Sounds good. I guess I'll have to pull the switches to see which one is the 4-way and which are the 3-ways. I already know which one I'd like to have the dimmer on so that probably means it'll turn out to be the 4-way. :-/

Thanks for the help!
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Old 09-17-2013, 06:26 PM   #7
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dimmer on a 3-way switch circuit?


If you don't mind Decora size devices, look at the Lutron Maestro line. You get the main dimmer and then use slaves at the other locations, but all locations can dim. Only the main one has the LED indicators though.
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Old 09-17-2013, 07:56 PM   #8
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dimmer on a 3-way switch circuit?


Just a small tip----do not ever install a dimmer with the power ON---one little mistake and you can fry the switch--the new ones don't take shorting out and survive. (don't ask me how I learned that,please.)
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Old 09-18-2013, 09:34 AM   #9
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dimmer on a 3-way switch circuit?


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If you don't mind Decora size devices, look at the Lutron Maestro line. You get the main dimmer and then use slaves at the other locations, but all locations can dim. Only the main one has the LED indicators though.
this is exactly what i used in my basement. it is a large, open room and i wanted to be able to dim at both ends. saw the 3-way 'dimmers' at the big box store and realized it was simply a dimmer switch with a separate on-off switch for the other location. after some digging, came across the meastro stuff. perfect!
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Old 09-18-2013, 09:43 AM   #10
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dimmer on a 3-way switch circuit?


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Just a small tip----do not ever install a dimmer with the power ON---one little mistake and you can fry the switch--the new ones don't take shorting out and survive. (don't ask me how I learned that,please.)
Yup,yup. My cousin fried his new three way dimmer. Even if you are careful and don't make a mistake a little arc that happens when the last wire is nutted will fricassee the electronics.
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Old 09-18-2013, 07:16 PM   #11
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dimmer on a 3-way switch circuit?


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If you don't mind Decora size devices, look at the Lutron Maestro line. You get the main dimmer and then use slaves at the other locations, but all locations can dim. Only the main one has the LED indicators though.


You need to be aware that these will not work with LED bulbs.
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Old 09-18-2013, 07:28 PM   #12
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dimmer on a 3-way switch circuit?


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You need to be aware that these will not work with LED bulbs.
Sure they do. You just need to get the models with the CL in the model #.

It is probably best if you use the bulbs on this list.
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Old 09-27-2013, 06:13 PM   #13
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dimmer on a 3-way switch circuit?


Got my dimmer installed today... it is a Lutron with a big on-off rocker and a slide dimmer. No cfls or leds yet to test but works great with my regular can lights with incandescent bulbs. Thanks for the tips guys.
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Old 09-27-2013, 06:35 PM   #14
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dimmer on a 3-way switch circuit?


Got my dimmer installed today... it is a Lutron with a big on-off rocker and a slide dimmer. No cfls or leds yet to test but works great with my regular can lights with incandescent bulbs. Thanks for the tips guys.

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