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Old 02-27-2012, 08:43 PM   #1
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dimmer load

I've installed a few dimmer switches, slide style control on the side of the normal looking up and down toggle switch, but always for a one light-bulb fixture. I want to install one that will control a bathroom vanity light with four light-bulbs. In it I'm using four CFL bulbs with lighting output of 60 watts per bulb, and so even less actual wattage use. The dimmer switch IS CFL dimmer approved. My question is: Is there a load maximum for the dimmer? Can I use it to dim the four bulbs in the one fixture? On the package it says 150 W for CFL, is that the total load or the maximum per bulb? Thanks!! (I could not find this info on the package/instructions.)


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Old 02-27-2012, 08:46 PM   #2
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Dimmers range from 600 watts up, so you should be fine.
What is the model # of the dimmer?


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Old 02-27-2012, 09:00 PM   #3
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dimmer load to jbfan

Lutron C.L Dimmer, TGCL-153PH-LA. It says 600w on front package which I thought by the way the print is laid out referred only to the incandescent specs, and then 150w written after the CFL. But yeah, I guess it's load is 600w which as you say sounds fine?
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Old 02-28-2012, 11:02 AM   #4
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Do your CFLs actually consume 60W each, or are the "60W equivalent" (typically 13W consumption)? If the latter, you should be fine.

The dimmer may have a lower rating for CFLs, because most CFLs have a very poor power factor, meaning the current they draw is somewhat time-shifted from the 60Hz sinusoidal voltage. They are not a resistive load like incandescents, and actually draw their current in short spikes.

If the load is too much, you'll probably hear the dimmer buzz or "ring" slightly.
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Old 02-28-2012, 11:56 AM   #5
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Many dimmers also have a minimum wattage. For instance, the lutron 600 watt dimmers I recently installed clearly warn not to use them for loads less than 45 watts.
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