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Old 06-29-2010, 02:22 PM   #1
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Dual light switch dimmer?


My basement has 2 light switches, one at the top of the stairs and another switch at the bottom for the same 2 flush mounted ceiling lights in the basement. I want to know if there is such a way as to replace one of the switches with a dimmer to dim the light? We have 60w bulbs in but when we are watching a movie we want a soft light as the room is pitch black when we turn the lights off. For now we put a table lamp at the back end of the room, but since we have to walk all the way to the end of the room, turn the lamp on, then back to the stairs and turn off the overhead lights its tedious. A dimmer for the built in overheads would solve things, but not sure if u can put in one dimmer on a switch that controls 2 lights?

Does such a thing exists or is this possible?
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Old 06-29-2010, 03:28 PM   #2
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Dual light switch dimmer?


yes, it is possible. You need a 3 way switch and a 3 way dimmer. The only drawback to the system is that if you dim the lights and leave them dimmed, the 3 way switch at the top of the stairs will not do anything other than turn the dimmed lights on or off. So, if you dim the lights and leave them dim, go up the stairs and use the switch there to turn off the lights, when you turn them back on using the switch at the top of the stairs, the lights will be at the same brightness as when you turned them off.

One thing I did not ask: are these incandescent, fluorescent or some other type of light?

incandescent; just a regular dimmer is fine. If fluorescent, you need a fluorescent dimmer and the ballasts in the lights must be dimmable ballasts. Any other type of light will present it's own problems.

Last edited by nap; 06-29-2010 at 03:31 PM.
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Old 06-29-2010, 08:26 PM   #3
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Dual light switch dimmer?


Thanks for the response Nap. Yes these are incandescent light fixtures. Right now there are already (what seems to be) two 3 way switches there. When one is flipped up, the other is flipped down and vice versa, I can turn on the basement light from both. They wouldnt work if they werent 3 way switches would they?

So in essence I would only need to buy a 3 way dimmer to replace one of the 3 way switches (preferably the one at the bottom of the stairs). I'm fine with the other switch (at the top of the stairs) only turning the dimmed lights on and off.
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Old 06-29-2010, 09:15 PM   #4
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Dual light switch dimmer?


yes, that is what you need; a 3 way dimmer.
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Old 06-30-2010, 02:15 AM   #5
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Dual light switch dimmer?


Some case you can have what we called multi location dimmer basically the first dimmer is master while second dimmer is slave unit and you can able turn it on or off or dim at either location but they cost more than standard three way dimmers are.

But they worth it if you going to use both locations.

But let me put a link one brand have this one


http://www.lutron.com/PRODUCTS/STAND.../Overview.aspx

There is couple verison you can use for both locations dimming set up.

Merci.
Marc
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Old 06-30-2010, 11:45 AM   #6
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Dual light switch dimmer?


I guess I'm getting old. I know of commercial level systems that would do this but was not familiar with a simpler level of system such as this one that was practical for home use.

Thanks for tossing that in Marc. Even I learn from this site.
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Old 07-01-2010, 02:39 AM   #7
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Dual light switch dimmer?


Nap.,

Pas de Problme { Not a problem }

I am glad to help ya.

Merci.
Marc
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Old 07-02-2010, 06:45 AM   #8
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Dual light switch dimmer?


Okay right after Naps first comment I went out and bought this item at Lowes: http://www.lowes.com/pd_6422-539-DVW...dimmer$y=0$x=0

Havent installed it yet, cause I am having siding put in and the siding guys broke a bedroom window yesterday, so alot of action here! I will install it sometime this weekend after it dies down and post back. Thanks guys!
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Old 07-02-2010, 04:29 PM   #9
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Dual light switch dimmer?


just to be forewarned; dimmers often make heat. Sometimes more than one might expect.
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Old 07-02-2010, 11:40 PM   #10
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Dual light switch dimmer?


There is one nice tip I done pretty often if you feel the dimmer feel very warm.,

Change the switch plate cover from plastique to metal one the reason why I say that due the metal switch plate will act like heat sink so it should help a bit to keep the dimmer little more cooler that way.

Make sure you do not excessed the dimmer wattage rating like you have one now that is 600 watt max that for single gang box but if you have two switches in two gang box it will drop down to 500 watts so just give you a head up with that.

Merci.
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