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Old 01-27-2007, 02:00 PM   #1
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double-checking wiring for basement lighs


Done lots of reading and think this is okay - but thought I'd post to get others thoughts:

I'm finishing a room in the basement by putting in 18 recessed potlights (large room). They are halogen bulbs and the lights are rated for 50 watts each. This is okay on one circuit? (If I did my watts/amps-math right...) Also, can I use a standard dimmer switch for the halogen bulbs?

Thanks for the input.

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Old 01-27-2007, 02:08 PM   #2
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double-checking wiring for basement lighs


50 watts x 18 lamps = 900 watts / 110 = 8.18 amps. They should be fine on one circuit. Don't know about the dimmer, I've never tried it, but I don't see why not as long as the dimmer is rated for at least 8.18 amps, which I would say all UL listed dimmers would be.

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Old 01-27-2007, 02:46 PM   #3
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double-checking wiring for basement lighs


Not a pro - but most of the dimmers i have seen are 600 or 1000 watts. The site below also seems to state that you need to rate 10 to 20 percent higher. This puts you on the edge for one dimmer. I would consider using two dimmers on the same circuit. I think it would get pretty warm.

There was also a recommendation to run halogen bulbs at full power for one minute every hour - (never heard of that).

http://www.lightingfacts.com/Dimmer%20Switches.html
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Old 01-28-2007, 09:40 AM   #4
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double-checking wiring for basement lighs


Thanks for the help - I'll put them on two separate dimmers, but on one circuit - just got to figure out how exactly to run that circuit...(more complicated than my one simple one
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Old 01-28-2007, 10:03 AM   #5
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double-checking wiring for basement lighs


1000 watt dimmers are large. Buy them before you nail up the switch box. You may need a three or four gang box for two dimmers.
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Old 01-28-2007, 03:00 PM   #6
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double-checking wiring for basement lighs


Quote:
Originally Posted by adilhoxha View Post
Done lots of reading and think this is okay - but thought I'd post to get others thoughts:

I'm finishing a room in the basement by putting in 18 recessed potlights (large room). They are halogen bulbs and the lights are rated for 50 watts each. This is okay on one circuit? (If I did my watts/amps-math right...) Also, can I use a standard dimmer switch for the halogen bulbs?

Thanks for the input.
Do not put 18 cans on a single switch. It is just not a practical thing.. you will only want some of these cans on most of the time. Set them up so that you can get all the perimeter cans with one switch, and all the interior cans with another, or just the four corners with one wsitch and then some combination of the rest on one or two more switches. Believe me, you WILL regret them all together. This will also give you small loads on the dimmers. Although most dimmers are rated for 6oo watts, they don't last a long time when they are maxed out. We try to stay no more than 75% of capacity. The 1000w dimmers are best left to commercial applications, they are very bulky and have large thick face plates which most homeowners object to, and when loaded, they give off an incredible amount of heat.

Last edited by troubleseeker; 01-28-2007 at 03:02 PM.
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Old 01-28-2007, 03:37 PM   #7
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double-checking wiring for basement lighs


Also be aware that when you gang dimmers in the same box the rating is lowered.
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Old 01-28-2007, 07:26 PM   #8
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double-checking wiring for basement lighs


They have 1000 watt dimmers that fit in a standard one gang box. No fins no external apparatus.
I would agree 18 lights dimmed or not seems a little excessive? I can't see wanting them all on at once unless you are delivering children?

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