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Old 01-14-2013, 10:53 AM   #1
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Relay wiring for fluorescents to normal dimmer


Here is my original post regarding using Lutron dimmers with a circuit that is all fluorescent lights on it.

Can someone point me in the direction of wiring one of these? Also, will it be to code? Also, will it handle about 7 fluorescent tube ballasts?

Dimmer on Fluorescents

"If you want to control the fluorescent lights with this dimmer, I'd suggest using a relay to control the power to the lights from the lutron dimmer. You can take the output from the dimmer to the relay coil input, then a constant power source to be switched for the lights. This would ensure a clean on/off for the fluorescent lights.

If you need help figuring out how to wire up this relay, just ask. Many of us around here have wired these up and can help you out.

http://www.functionaldevices.com/bui...p?model=RIBU1C"


Last edited by mginster; 01-14-2013 at 10:57 AM.
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Old 01-14-2013, 09:41 PM   #2
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Relay wiring for fluorescents to normal dimmer


Quote:
Originally Posted by mginster View Post
Here is my original post regarding using Lutron dimmers with a circuit that is all fluorescent lights on it.

Can someone point me in the direction of wiring one of these? Also, will it be to code? Also, will it handle about 7 fluorescent tube ballasts?

Dimmer on Fluorescents

"If you want to control the fluorescent lights with this dimmer, I'd suggest using a relay to control the power to the lights from the lutron dimmer. You can take the output from the dimmer to the relay coil input, then a constant power source to be switched for the lights. This would ensure a clean on/off for the fluorescent lights.

If you need help figuring out how to wire up this relay, just ask. Many of us around here have wired these up and can help you out.

http://www.functionaldevices.com/bui...p?model=RIBU1C"
I really don't know why you would want to control fluorescent lights with a dimmer controlling a relay. It is a convoluted way of replacing a single pole switch.

The above is what you are asking to do.

A dimmer and fluorescent lights do no work together very well unless you have dimmable ballasts. Adding a relay in the mix does not solve anything.

The link provided is to a relay that is rated for controlling ballasts totaling up to 450VA. I don't know the ratings of your ballasts to even begin to say if it's compatible. The relay is NOT rated for electronic ballasts. The relay will accept either (10-30 volts either AC or DC) or (120V AC) to control the switching of the relay and the relay has a normally open and a normally closed set of contacts to supply your load.

If you don't understand relays, the basic principle is to use one source of power to switch another source of power. Typically used as 24V source switching 120V or 240V loads. Or also typically used as 24V or 120V source switching 480V loads.

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Old 01-14-2013, 10:18 PM   #3
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Relay wiring for fluorescents to normal dimmer


Quote:
Originally Posted by parman View Post
I really don't know why you would want to control fluorescent lights with a dimmer controlling a relay. It is a convoluted way of replacing a single pole switch.

The above is what you are asking to do.

A dimmer and fluorescent lights do no work together very well unless you have dimmable ballasts. Adding a relay in the mix does not solve anything.

The link provided is to a relay that is rated for controlling ballasts totaling up to 450VA. I don't know the ratings of your ballasts to even begin to say if it's compatible. The relay is NOT rated for electronic ballasts. The relay will accept either (10-30 volts either AC or DC) or (120V AC) to control the switching of the relay and the relay has a normally open and a normally closed set of contacts to supply your load.

If you don't understand relays, the basic principle is to use one source of power to switch another source of power. Typically used as 24V source switching 120V or 240V loads. Or also typically used as 24V or 120V source switching 480V loads.
I had recommended he use a relay to control the fluorescent lights, and linked to the relay as an example; it's one I've used in the past for controlling small loads. The idea behind the relay was that the dimmer could still be used to control the fluorescent light to simply turn the light on and off. He mentioned in another thread that he has a master controller that will control 4 or 5 dimmers where most of them will be dimmable, but one would be controlling these fluorescent lights.

Using the relay linked to above as an example for wiring, the dimmer would be connected to the coil side, 120 volt connection using the White/Yellow and White/Black wires. The hot for the flourscent light would connect to the relay's C (common) which is the solid Yellow wire, and the constant source hot would connect to the N/O (normally open) or the Orange wire. Connect the neutral of the light to the source neutral. This configuration would require a constant source of power at the junction box to feed the fluorescent lights and a source of power from the dimmer to control the relay. You can feed the constant source of power from the same feed as the dimmer, so long as its connected before the dimmer. It all depends on the current wiring configuration and where you can place the relay.

You will have to determine the load of all the fluorescent lights combined and size a relay to control the load.
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Old 01-14-2013, 10:22 PM   #4
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Relay wiring for fluorescents to normal dimmer


I actually wired up a very similar situation in my basement for some 4ft shop lights on a Leviton Decora Home Controls relay. The Leviton DHC relay would not support the 4ft light's ballast, so I wired the RIB relay to the Leviton Relay to control the 4ft shop lights. It was a cheap easy fix and a quick solution to my problem (the relay was only about $10).
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Old 01-14-2013, 10:37 PM   #5
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Relay wiring for fluorescents to normal dimmer


What's with all the complicated stuff. A simple single pole switch will turn off any ballast. Why do we need all these relays? Fluorescent tube type lamps will only dim if their ballast is rated to be dimmed and matched with a corresponding fluorescent dimmer.

Unless you are using low voltage for some reason to switch the fixtures, a relay is useless.
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Old 01-15-2013, 10:21 AM   #6
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Relay wiring for fluorescents to normal dimmer


Because I purchased a Lutron Aurora with 5 dimmers. This light switch is in an un-relocatable location that is really inconvenient so I was going to make it wireless to the Lutron.
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Old 01-15-2013, 10:54 AM   #7
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Relay wiring for fluorescents to normal dimmer


You were asking about using a dimmer on fluorescent ballasts. This is completely different. What is the model of the device you have/are trying to use?
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Old 01-15-2013, 10:56 AM   #8
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Relay wiring for fluorescents to normal dimmer


Its not different, the only switches in my Aurora set are all dimmers and I want to use one on a circuit with fluorescent lighting.

Here is what I have:

http://www.lutron.com/en-US/Products.../Overview.aspx

In particular this is the model I have. AuroRa Entry Package (Includes 5 dimmers, 1 car visor control, 1 tabletop master control, 1 main repeater, and 5 designer inserts) AR-ENT-2. In further review I probably should have gotten the one with 2 switches and 3 dimmers, but I got such a good deal I am fine if I need to buy replacement Aurora switches. I just cant justify paying $60 for a replacement switch when I paid $100 for the entire setup.

Well I am almost willing to just buy the $60 switch and be done with it. But...it seems it can only handle a 5A load, yet typical switches are 15A right?

http://www.mrsupply.com/product.php?...FcxAMgodYn0ArQ

Will I be fine hooking this up to replace a 15A switch? It runs 2 (12 inch ballasts) and about 5 (36 inch ballasts). More specifically that is 2 12 inch tubes and 10 36 inch tubes. In my calculations that should be no more than 500W of light which is like 4.1A, just at the 80% limit for a 5A switch. Is this right?

Last edited by mginster; 01-15-2013 at 11:24 AM.
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Old 01-15-2013, 01:49 PM   #9
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Relay wiring for fluorescents to normal dimmer


Quote:
Originally Posted by mginster View Post
Its not different, the only switches in my Aurora set are all dimmers and I want to use one on a circuit with fluorescent lighting.

Here is what I have:

http://www.lutron.com/en-US/Products.../Overview.aspx

In particular this is the model I have. AuroRa Entry Package (Includes 5 dimmers, 1 car visor control, 1 tabletop master control, 1 main repeater, and 5 designer inserts) AR-ENT-2. In further review I probably should have gotten the one with 2 switches and 3 dimmers, but I got such a good deal I am fine if I need to buy replacement Aurora switches. I just cant justify paying $60 for a replacement switch when I paid $100 for the entire setup.

Well I am almost willing to just buy the $60 switch and be done with it. But...it seems it can only handle a 5A load, yet typical switches are 15A right?

http://www.mrsupply.com/product.php?...FcxAMgodYn0ArQ

Will I be fine hooking this up to replace a 15A switch? It runs 2 (12 inch ballasts) and about 5 (36 inch ballasts). More specifically that is 2 12 inch tubes and 10 36 inch tubes. In my calculations that should be no more than 500W of light which is like 4.1A, just at the 80% limit for a 5A switch. Is this right?
How are you doing your calculations? Based on the wattage of the lamps themselves? If so, you are doing it wrong. You need to find out the ratings of your ballasts, not your lamps.
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Old 01-17-2013, 01:04 PM   #10
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Relay wiring for fluorescents to normal dimmer


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Originally Posted by parman View Post
How are you doing your calculations? Based on the wattage of the lamps themselves? If so, you are doing it wrong. You need to find out the ratings of your ballasts, not your lamps.
Yeah that's what I am doing wrong...anyone have typical ratings for ballasts that drive these size tubes? I took off the cover and did not see any wattage ratings, only the typical 120v ac.

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