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Old 06-03-2015, 08:31 PM   #1
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Kitchen Fluorescent Dim - Maybe 3 Way?


Howdy all,

I appreciate all of you that provide us ignorant DIYrs help. You are a blessing.

Here is my situation:

I have a small, narrow kitchen in an old townhouse. The original lighting setup was a 4 tube 4x4 fluorescent recessed light. It has 2 switches that operate the light. House is 30 years old.

It is time to replace it. The light was at one end of the kitchen and gave out adequate light for that side, but the other end of the kitchen was too dark.

I can't spend much money on this project - to replace it with perhaps three individual lights would be more money than I want to spend right now. Besides, the ceiling was dropped to accommodate the recessed fluorescent fixture. The supports for the drywall are haphazard and there is a hvac run as well.

My wife is hammering me on having the light(s) to be dimmable.

Here is what I am looking into - but I don't know if it can be done. If someone has an alternate, not too expensive, approach, I would Love to hear it.

Use a new/different/more modern 4 tube t8 fluorescent box, and somehow make it dimmable. Can this be done? Takes a special fixture? Then where can I find one? Takes special ballasts that can be used on a 'standard' fixture? Takes ?????

I would really appreciate any help that anyone can provide.

Thanks to all,

Andy
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Old 06-03-2015, 08:45 PM   #2
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takes a special ballast and the proper dimmer.

a ballast is probably over $50. The last dimmer I purchased was about $35 But that wasn't a three way.
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Old 06-03-2015, 10:08 PM   #3
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You cannot make a standard floro fitting dimable
Easily or cheaply.
It can be done, but it involves special equipment
And rewiring the fitting.
Better off going for LED lights.
Or incandesants.
Maybe fit three smaller lights.
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Old 06-04-2015, 04:12 PM   #4
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I think LED downlights would be better, no need to be dimmable as LED is energy efficcient.
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Old 06-04-2015, 05:37 PM   #5
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Dimmable is not always about being efficient. It's about control of how bright the light is.
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Old 06-04-2015, 05:52 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmxtothemax View Post
You cannot make a standard floro fitting dimable
Easily or cheaply.
It can be done, but it involves special equipment
.
Huh? It requires a dimming ballast and a proper dimmer. Not sure I would call that special equipment.

since cheap is relative I cannot say what you would think is cheap but I just priced out a T8 4 lamp dimming ballast (online) $80. More than I recall them being but not crazy high. THen you have the dimmer. $20-$100 depending on what you like/

as to easily:

one nut holding the ballast. a few wires to the ballast. a couple screws on the dimmer and a couple wire joints.

Not seeing that as overly difficult.


I think we may be talking about different things though. I am addressing this:
Quote:
Use a new/different/more modern 4 tube t8 fluorescent box, and somehow make it dimmable.
but I suspect you got caught up with the OP's pondering multiple fixtures and I suspect you were thinking of CFL's or something of the sort.
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Old 06-04-2015, 09:06 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nap View Post
Huh? It requires a dimming ballast, Not sure I would call that special equipment.

It may not be so to an electrician ?
But to the average Joe on the street, it would be !

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