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Old 08-22-2011, 12:36 PM   #1
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Turn amperage down on a Light switch


I am converting a regular chandelier into one wired with flashlights. I will have the wiring completed this week and it will have 20 flashlights hanging from it. I know the lights in the flashlights cannot handle 15 or 20 amps from the lightswitch so I need to dial it all down so I don't blow the bulbs out. What can I use to do this and do I just need to dial the amps down? I am not sure if I want to use just regualr flashlights or LED's. Any help on wht to buy would be outstanding. Thank you.

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Old 08-22-2011, 12:39 PM   #2
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Back where I come from, flashlights come with batteries. Exactly what kind of flashlights are you planning to use that can be run off household current? And just for curiosity, why on earth are you doing this project?

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Old 08-22-2011, 12:42 PM   #3
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Turn amperage down on a Light switch


A switch only lets the amount of electric through that the bulbs use. A 100 w bulb will only pull 100 watts thru the switch, not the entire ampacity of the circuit.
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Old 08-22-2011, 12:43 PM   #4
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Turn amperage down on a Light switch


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I am converting a regular chandelier into one wired with flashlights. I will have the wiring completed this week and it will have 20 flashlights hanging from it. I know the lights in the flashlights cannot handle 15 or 20 amps from the lightswitch so I need to dial it all down so I don't blow the bulbs out. What can I use to do this and do I just need to dial the amps down? I am not sure if I want to use just regualr flashlights or LED's. Any help on wht to buy would be outstanding. Thank you.
Are you saying you altered a light fixture, because if so : it isn't legal.

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Old 08-22-2011, 12:44 PM   #5
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Turn amperage down on a Light switch


Hello and welcome eriknox, to the best darn DIY'r site on the web.

A chandelier made of flash lights? unique idea.

So you either have to change out the actual sockets and bulds in the flash lights to run off of a 120 V circuit (if you are in north america - not legal) or buy and install a transformer to reduce the voltage from line voltage to the voltage required for the bulbs.

Don't look at amps look at voltage, once you know the total resistance of the lighting array you are thinking about and what voltage will be required then you can figure out your amp requirements. (Look up Ohm's Law)

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Old 08-22-2011, 12:49 PM   #6
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Turn amperage down on a Light switch


I just want something different. I do all kinds of projects to include tearing down old electronics and making random wall art to suping up my kids powerwheels with more voltage.

I will be using regular AA battery flashlights.

Jim so what you are saying is that if I hook up 20 flashlights wire them straight to the switch and click it on it wont blow the bulbs? I am attempting to not burn down my house...
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Old 08-22-2011, 12:51 PM   #7
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Turn amperage down on a Light switch


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I just want something different. I do all kinds of projects to include tearing down old electronics and making random wall art to suping up my kids powerwheels with more voltage.

I will be using regular AA battery flashlights.

Jim so what you are saying is that if I hook up 20 flashlights wire them straight to the switch and click it on it wont blow the bulbs? I am attempting to not burn down my house...
You can't run a 3 volt buld from a 120 v circuit....without a transformer......period!!!!
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Old 08-22-2011, 12:54 PM   #8
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So I am breaking the insuarance agreement if this burns down the house. Point taken and understood.

I need to turn down the voltage. I will search around for a tutorial to see if I can figure this out.
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Old 08-22-2011, 12:56 PM   #9
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Old 08-22-2011, 01:13 PM   #10
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I can find tons of 12v 150W transformers but cannot find anything with lower voltage that will be simple installation. Will something like this work with a bunch of flashlights? http://www.lightingfx.com/item--150W-Transformer--45
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Old 08-22-2011, 01:18 PM   #11
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Turn amperage down on a Light switch


You actually have several options to make this work.

First, look at the bulb...most likely a PR something. Next, taking into account the base type...do a search on the internet for a higher voltage bulb but with a similar wattage and base. Once you have that....you can size the transfomer. Lets assume you find bulbs good for 12 Vdc. Then you just need a 12vac transformer of the right voltage.

Lets assume your bulb uses 1 W at 12 Vdc....that will be 20w total at 12 Vdc....so you want a transformer that is good for at least 25w so that you have some buffer.

You don't need any other modification....and incandescent bulb does not care if the voltage is AC or DC.

The best part....use a standard dimmer on the input to the transformer and you will be able to dim the lights.

One last note....I would highly suggest using a fast blow fuse on the input to the transformer. If your pulling 25W...then you want about a .2A or maybe .25A fuse. Make sure you see the decimal point....that is point two five Amps....or, 1/4A.
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Old 08-22-2011, 01:21 PM   #12
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Awsome. Thanks for the help! Thanks for the sugestion on the fuse. That will hopefully save the house if something bad happens. I will post the completed project when done.
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Old 08-22-2011, 01:21 PM   #13
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I can find tons of 12v 150W transformers but cannot find anything with lower voltage that will be simple installation. Will something like this work with a bunch of flashlights? http://www.lightingfx.com/item--150W-Transformer--45
As there are a plethera of variations of flash light bulbs and their related voltage requirements, I am sure you could find a bulb to match the selected transformer.

Search flash light bulb voltage.....many styles to choose from, was just using 3V as an example. There is 3V, 6V, 12V, 18V, 4.5V, 13V, then you get into LED's and there voltage requirements.

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Old 08-22-2011, 01:47 PM   #14
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You can't run a 3 volt buld from a 120 v circuit....without a transformer......period!!!!
Actually you could.

How about 40 of them in series? No transformer required. Good luck if/when one burns out though.
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Old 08-22-2011, 02:18 PM   #15
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Actually you could.

How about 40 of them in series? No transformer required. Good luck if/when one burns out though.
Yep....you sure could.....just think of a train of Christmas lights.....

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