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Old 04-15-2014, 12:43 PM   #1
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Dummy load for LED dimming


Hello,

I bought Cooper Wiring SI06P Dimmers to work with Costco's 6w dimmable GU10 leds (3 on that dimmer switch).

I've noticed some small flickering when dimmed (not fully turned on) and I've read that it can be corrected by putting a dummy load in the circuit.

Since I try to maintain the devices I've bought instead of buying other stuff, my question: what is a dummy load and where/how to put it on the circuit? Finally, is it safe?

Thanks.
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Old 04-15-2014, 01:19 PM   #2
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You are attempting to use an incandescent dimmer on LED's. Why are you not using a CFL/LED rated dimmer ?
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Old 04-15-2014, 01:28 PM   #3
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Cooper wiring told that even if it isn't written on the packaging, those "work" with LED and I already had them. Do you know about that trick?
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Old 04-15-2014, 01:35 PM   #4
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The problem is more likely with the LED's driver than with the dimmer. Adding a small incandescent lamp in parallel with the LEDs would provide a dummy load which may stabilize the dimmer's output, but I doubt it will solve the problem.
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Old 04-15-2014, 01:40 PM   #5
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If I buy a LED rated, the LED driver will have no problem dimming, even at "cinema level dimming" (about 5% ON)?
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Old 04-15-2014, 01:52 PM   #6
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The easiest dummy load is to take out one of the LED's and put an incandescent in. It will often help with flashing or flickering at the upper end of the dimming range. I would give that a try before attempting to install something like a Lutron LBX.

But, it sounds like yours may be occurring at the bottom of the range. That will happen eventually, even with a dummy load.

LED's will not dim down as far as incandescents.

It "works", but not well enough to put it on the package. Right???

Most LED's that I have used won't get anywhere near 5%. But it has been a while, so maybe some ofthe other guys will chime in on that

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Old 04-15-2014, 01:57 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oso954 View Post
But, it sounds like yours may be occurring at the bottom of the range. That will happen eventually, even with a dummy load.

LED's will not dim down as far as incandescents.
So my understanding is that it will flicker at the bottom of the range even if I buy a LED rated dimmer like the SLC03p from Cooper. Am I right?
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Old 04-15-2014, 02:10 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ericthibeault View Post
So my understanding is that it will flicker at the bottom of the range even if I buy a LED rated dimmer like the SLC03p from Cooper. Am I right?
I'm guessing the dimming range will improve with a LED dimmer, but you may still experience flickering at very low dims.

In my experience (I'm not a lighting/electical expert, but I've tried a bunch of stuff! ), having good LED bulbs and LED dimmers is a very good start, but the fixture plays a role too... My retrofittted LED can lights dim beautifully down to just barely on. On the other hand, some of my floor lamps still have flicker issues, regardless of what combination of bulbs or dimmers (or circuits, for that matter) are used.

If it's easy to try out a LED dimmer, give it a shot - it's worth at least trying out.

Cheers, Chris
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Old 04-15-2014, 02:11 PM   #9
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The LED dimmer might dim a little lower than an incandescent dimmer, but the flickering will happen. LED dimmers have an adjustment to stop dimming that you can set just above the point where flickering begins.

That way you are not annoyed by it.

The other thing that might be worth a try is buying LED's at someplace other than Costco. Not sure what you have, but a lot of the LED's I've seen there are not the highest quality.
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Old 04-15-2014, 02:13 PM   #10
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Good info guys, I'll give all that a try and let you know.

Thanks for your help.
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Old 04-15-2014, 02:18 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oso954 View Post
The LED dimmer might dim a little lower than an incandescent dimmer, but the flickering will happen. LED dimmers have an adjustment to stop dimming that you can set just above the point where flickering begins.

That way you are not annoyed by it.

The other thing that might be worth a try is buying LED's at someplace other than Costco. Not sure what you have, but a lot of the LED's I've seen there are not the highest quality.
Good call on the quality of LED bulbs - I haven't tried Costco's, but I can vouch for Philips and Cree bulbs - Home Depot sells both brands (in a good selection of styles) at pretty reasonable prices, and I've found both to be higher overall quality than other brands. Again, just my own experience.

Cheers, Chris
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