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Old 01-23-2008, 07:36 AM   #1
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Dimmer switch buzzing


I plan to install Lutron dimmer switches in the kitchen, dining, and hallways.
I've been reading about the "buzzing" these switches can cause...How much of an issue is this?--Is the "buzzing" really that obvious?
Also, when a dimmer is rated at 600W, does that mean that the total wattage of all the bulbs controlled by that dimmer cannot exceed 600W?
Thanks.

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Old 01-23-2008, 07:52 AM   #2
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Dimmer switch buzzing


the humming can be a problem but if it is rated for 600w that means that it will handle up to 600w you dont have to use that much
allso you want to make sure that none of the switches are three way that means you can turn the light of from more than one location

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Old 01-23-2008, 07:55 AM   #3
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Also, when a dimmer is rated at 600W, does that mean that the total wattage of all the bulbs controlled by that dimmer cannot exceed 600W?
Exactly the purpose of the rating. You can get dimmers that are higher than 600w rated though. The buzzing may be an issue or may be nothing at all. If you were going to be close to 600w in load, I would definitely look for dimmers with higher ratings.
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Old 01-23-2008, 11:33 AM   #4
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Dimmer switch buzzing


you can put dimmers onthree way switches they just need to rated for it they do have at the bigger box stores that will allow diiming at either switch.These are usally electronic and should not hum. You can also find electronic dimmers for single switch applications. also no flourecents unless rated (very rare) on dimmer switches.
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Old 01-23-2008, 11:53 AM   #5
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Dimmer switch buzzing


To the OP...

Did you try the internet? It took me 5 seconds to find this site;

http://www.lutron.com/technical_info/
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Old 01-23-2008, 07:41 PM   #6
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Dimmer switch buzzing


Are you saying that the dimmer is buzzing or the lamps?
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Old 01-24-2008, 12:30 PM   #7
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Are you saying that the dimmer is buzzing or the lamps?
Goose asks an excellent question here.

The usual complaint is that the lights themselves buzz or ring, the noise being amplified as the lamp is made dimmer. As the dimmer is adjusted to provide less than full brightness, a triac inside is chopping portions of the AC cycles (for ease of understanding, you can think of the triac as an electrically-controlled switch). Essentially, a portion of each 1/2 cycle is removed which effectively changes the amount of power delivered to the bulb; the greater the amount removed from each, the dimmer the bulb. Unfortunately, chopping the cycle can cause the filament to vibrate.

That being said, better dimmers typically have chokes to smooth out the current during each partial half-cycle and minimize the buzzing/ringing of the filaments. If your noise is coming from the bulb, I'd recommend replacement of the dimmer. On the other hand, all incandescent bulbs are not equal. Subtle differences in the physical construction/support of the filaments (quality) among even standard-duty bulbs can be a factor. However, I would simply vote for replacement of the dimmer itself.

Now, understanding that there is a choke in the dimmer, it can be possible for the coil to vibrate and generate noise. Usually the wires of the choke are covered in a shellac which prevents movement and the choke itself is often potted in the switch to prevent this. This isn't nearly as common as the filament in the bulb creating the noise but I have seen at least two instances where the switch was actually making all the racket. Again, if this is the problem, replace the switch.

I have had great success over the years with Lutron dimmers. I find them to be reasonably priced and readily available. 2-cents, for whatever it's worth!

Good luck,
Jimmy
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Old 01-24-2008, 12:59 PM   #8
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Dimmer switch buzzing


In reading your initial post, I realize that you are not having this problem but are merely concerned about it. That being said, it is more of an issue with older dimmers. As long as you go with a reputable brand, you probably won't have an issue.
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Old 01-24-2008, 08:02 PM   #9
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Dimmer switch buzzing


Jim is right. Lutron dimmers are (IMHO) one of the best. I have installed scores of these dimmers and have about 10 in my home. The only product of theirs that I cannot stand is the Momentum dimmer. Diva is typically my choice.

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