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Old 03-26-2010, 02:55 PM   #1
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re: pendant lights on dimmer switch


I've installed two dimmer switches in the bar area of my basement. It's the dial type, where you can push the dial in to turn the light on or off, or turn the dial to dim the light. One dimmer operates the recessed lights in the ceiling, and the other dimmer switch works a pendant light that I have over my bar. The dimmer for the recessed lights works totally fine. They turn on, off and dim. The pendant lights, on the other hand, only turn on and off. They for some reason will not dim. I checked the voltage on the pendants to see if maybe it was an issue of the switch being a high voltage dimmer operating low voltage pendants, and the pendants are 120V with 75 max wattage. I'm at a stand still. I have no idea what I'm doing wrong. Do any of you have suggestions? I took a couple pictures, not sure what good they'll do. The best I can do for a camera is my iPhone, so they're not the best quality.



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Old 03-26-2010, 03:10 PM   #2
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re: pendant lights on dimmer switch


I suspect a bad dimmer. To rule this out swap the dimmers and see if the problem moves with it. Always make all wiring changes with the power off.
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Old 03-26-2010, 03:14 PM   #3
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re: pendant lights on dimmer switch


Thanks! I didn't think of swapping the two dimmers. I'll try that out. Hopefully that's the issue
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Old 03-26-2010, 03:16 PM   #4
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re: pendant lights on dimmer switch


My guess would be those pendants need a magnetic or electronic dimmer. Check the pendant instructions for dimming recommedations. Are those combination single-pole, 3-way dimmers?

Last edited by brric; 03-26-2010 at 03:19 PM.
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Old 03-26-2010, 03:19 PM   #5
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re: pendant lights on dimmer switch


Thanks a lot Jim! That was it. I just switched them around real quick, and the dimmer is now working for the pendant lights but not for the recessed lights. Awesome! I'm glad that's the issue, I was beginning to think I'd have to hire someone to come take a look. Thanks again!

They're 3 way dimmers, but I left the 3-way wire out of the equation when I hooked them up.

The problem is fixed. I just need to pick up another switch from the Home Depot. Hopefully they're understanding of the fact that I threw the box out for that switch already when I attempt to return it
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Old 03-26-2010, 03:26 PM   #6
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re: pendant lights on dimmer switch


Pick up some ground screws as well to bond that metallic box.
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Old 03-26-2010, 04:05 PM   #7
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re: pendant lights on dimmer switch


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Pick up some ground screws as well to bond that metallic box.
Is that recommended, or is it code?
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Old 03-26-2010, 04:13 PM   #8
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re: pendant lights on dimmer switch


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Is that recommended, or is it code?

It is code.
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Old 03-26-2010, 04:14 PM   #9
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re: pendant lights on dimmer switch


alright thank you. They're the little green screws, right?
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Old 03-26-2010, 05:15 PM   #10
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re: pendant lights on dimmer switch


The ground screws are typically green.
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Old 03-26-2010, 09:30 PM   #11
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re: pendant lights on dimmer switch


You said 3 way dimmers? Did the two come in a single package to be used together in one 3 way circuit?

They were probably master and slave and not intended to be used on two separate circuits. One would work as a normal dimmer; the other (a remote control) won't,
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Old 03-26-2010, 10:14 PM   #12
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I'm sorry, I meant that they're single and 3-way. There's an extra wire to be used for 3-way, but I didn't need it in this application
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