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Old 11-19-2006, 08:59 PM   #1
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Why Not Two 2-Way dimmers ?


Greetings--

I have a two-way light (operated by either of two switches). I assumed that I could replace the switches with two dimmers, thus allowing me to operate the lights and dim them from either switch.

Apparently not so. The instructions said only one dimmer per circuit.

Why so ?

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Old 11-19-2006, 09:00 PM   #2
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Why Not Two 2-Way dimmers ?


There's no such thing as a "two way switch" of any sort. They're called "3 way switches"

No, you cannot dim from two locations with ordinary 3 way dimmers. There are specialized "master/slave" dimmers that you can do this, however.

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Old 11-24-2006, 10:25 PM   #3
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Why Not Two 2-Way dimmers ?


[quote=mdshunk;24184]There's no such thing as a "two way switch" of any sort. They're called "3 way switches"

No, you cannot dim from two locations with ordinary 3 way dimmers. There are specialized "master/slave" dimmers that you can do this, however.[/quote

I was interested to see your comment about the master/slave dimmers. I have never heard of this, but will definately look into it. It is alway hard to get customers to understand that you cannot control with two dimmers on a 3 point set up. They always look like they believe I'm just telling them a story to cover for a mistake by the electrician.
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Old 11-24-2006, 10:52 PM   #4
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Why Not Two 2-Way dimmers ?


Quote:
Originally Posted by troubleseeker View Post
I was interested to see your comment about the master/slave dimmers..
The Lutron 'Maestro' dimmers are what I use in that case. You use one smart dimmer, and up to 9 remote dimmers. With that system, you cannot use any mechanical 3-way or 4-way switches for that switching arrangement. They all have to be part of the Maestro system. I think about 100 bucks, wholesale, gets you a master dimmer and a couple remotes. Nice upsell, if they have their heart set on multiple location dimming.
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Old 11-25-2006, 06:55 AM   #5
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Why Not Two 2-Way dimmers ?


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Originally Posted by mdshunk View Post
There's no such thing as a "two way switch" of any sort. They're called "3 way switches"
That is true in the USA, but in many other countries they say two way when there are two switches, three way when there are three swithches, four way when there are four, etc...
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Old 11-25-2006, 08:36 AM   #6
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Why Not Two 2-Way dimmers ?


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That is true in the USA, but in many other countries they say two way when there are two switches, three way when there are three swithches, four way when there are four, etc...
Horsehockey. What country would that be? Post some sort of official link. I've got a UK book right here on my shelf explaining why three way swiches are so called, as they call conductors "ways" sometimes.
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Old 11-25-2006, 09:36 AM   #7
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Why Not Two 2-Way dimmers ?


I only know from posters from many coutries and what they say on message boards.
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Old 11-25-2006, 09:42 AM   #8
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Why Not Two 2-Way dimmers ?


a quick google did produce some results.

http://www.ultimatehandyman.co.uk/two_way_lighting.htm

http://www.diynot.com/pages/el/el031.php

http://qingtai.en.alibaba.com/produc...luminated.html
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Old 11-25-2006, 06:12 PM   #9
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Why Not Two 2-Way dimmers ?


That is a very interesting way to switch a light from two places. I have never seen a setup like that with the commons connected together.
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Old 12-31-2008, 06:47 AM   #10
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Why Not Two 2-Way dimmers ?


Quote:
Originally Posted by mdshunk View Post
There's no such thing as a "two way switch" of any sort. They're called "3 way switches"

No, you cannot dim from two locations with ordinary 3 way dimmers. There are specialized "master/slave" dimmers that you can do this, however.
depends where you are located, over the past 20 years i have worked in the uk scandanavia and europe. we call two switches on one circuit "2 way" and any more than two "intermediate switches" which you may call 4 way.

2 way (or 3 way depending on terminology) dimmer switching is common, I use the "mk" dimmers in europe.
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Old 12-31-2008, 10:33 AM   #11
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Why Not Two 2-Way dimmers ?


In the 70's we had an entirely different meaning for 3 ways.



Quote:
The instructions said only one dimmer per circuit.

Why so ?
The 3way circuit goes from point A, the power, thru the switches to point B, the light. Once the power is dimmed it can't be undimmed.

The master slave thing needs a bit of rewire and you will need a voltage tester. If I remember correctly, both switches need power, the master needs the switch leg and there is one wire connecting them.
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Old 12-31-2008, 12:48 PM   #12
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Why Not Two 2-Way dimmers ?


If you have a correctly wired 3 way switch setup, you should be able to convert that to a master-slave 3 way dimmer setup without adding wires.

For a switch loop the 3 conductors: switched-traveler-traveler become neutral-hot-control. For in-line switches you already have neutral and the travelers become hot and control. The dimmer dial goes where the feed to the lights branches off and the remote dial goes in the other location.

If you install non-master-slave dimmers in a 3 way switch setup you may find that a location can vary the light between dim and bright but not off, or between dim and off but not bright.
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Last edited by AllanJ; 12-31-2008 at 12:56 PM.
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Old 12-31-2008, 01:43 PM   #13
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Why Not Two 2-Way dimmers ?


Quote:
Originally Posted by mdshunk View Post
Horsehockey. What country would that be? Post some sort of official link. I've got a UK book right here on my shelf explaining why three way swiches are so called, as they call conductors "ways" sometimes.
Are you the same Shunk that sued his high school?

BTW, on paper at least,
if one conventional dimmer is on full, the other will have full control.
If one is on at half intensity, the other will have control from zero to half.
It's kind of an "analog AND gate".

It might have application somewhere, but probably not here.

Last edited by Yoyizit; 12-31-2008 at 02:23 PM.
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Old 12-31-2008, 03:11 PM   #14
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Why Not Two 2-Way dimmers ?


Another instance of someone replying to a thread that's over 2 years old
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Old 12-31-2008, 04:33 PM   #15
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Why Not Two 2-Way dimmers ?


See bandwagon, jump on. . .

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