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Old 11-27-2013, 08:07 AM   #1
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LED Dimmer


Recently installed a small 3 bulb LED fixture in a hallway. Wired it up to a Lutron Contour dimmer. Followed the directions for installation and no go. Put the original switch back in and all is well. I guess I'll need to get accustomed to the slight delay there is between the switch and the light. Is that normal for LEDs?

This is a single pole installation BTW.

As suggested in this thread, http://www.diychatroom.com/f18/leds-...series-191067/, I will try the Lutron Maestro series to see if it works better. The fixture, a HD special, states it is dimmable (MADF330030LRB).

Anybody have any thoughts? This is an older home and no ground wire to the switch box. I grounded to the box. Maybe that has something to do with it. Not sure. When I wire it up, the switch appears to be working as I get voltage on the hot leg going to the fixture.
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Old 11-27-2013, 10:14 AM   #2
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Disregard. I replaced the switch and all is well. Not flickering at low levels either. I guess the switch was bad. Funny story. When I went to return the switch at the big box store with the orange aprons, a store at which I have spent a few thousand, in my haste out the door, I forgot the wire nuts and the screws. When I get to the return counter, the young woman says, "we need everything, the plastic thingies aren't here." I said, "you mean the wire nuts?" She says, "yeah I guess, is that what they're called?" I told her I would gladly take the ones out of the box in the one I'm exchanging for. She says, "Oh I can't do that, only the manager can." Okay fine. I'm not going to engage in a conversation with her. Go to the shelf, get another switch, take the little hardware baggie out of the new one, put it in the old one, buy the new one, return to the counter and say "Okay, look, they mysteriously appeared." She gives me some crazy look and rings up the return without saying a word while I say "thanks for doing this, it's the right thing to do."

I know the manager at this store by name and she knows me. I wasn't going to play that card as it wasn't worth it. I understand that lots of people try to pinch the store for lots of little things like this so understand their diligence.
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Old 11-27-2013, 11:39 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CosmicMiami View Post
Disregard. I replaced the switch and all is well. Not flickering at low levels either. I guess the switch was bad. Funny story. When I went to return the switch at the big box store with the orange aprons, a store at which I have spent a few thousand, in my haste out the door, I forgot the wire nuts and the screws. When I get to the return counter, the young woman says, "we need everything, the plastic thingies aren't here." I said, "you mean the wire nuts?" She says, "yeah I guess, is that what they're called?" I told her I would gladly take the ones out of the box in the one I'm exchanging for. She says, "Oh I can't do that, only the manager can." Okay fine. I'm not going to engage in a conversation with her. Go to the shelf, get another switch, take the little hardware baggie out of the new one, put it in the old one, buy the new one, return to the counter and say "Okay, look, they mysteriously appeared." She gives me some crazy look and rings up the return without saying a word while I say "thanks for doing this, it's the right thing to do."

I know the manager at this store by name and she knows me. I wasn't going to play that card as it wasn't worth it. I understand that lots of people try to pinch the store for lots of little things like this so understand their diligence.
Now the next person is not going to have the stuff that should have come with it, great thinking... haha
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Old 11-27-2013, 11:46 AM   #4
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No. I put all they needed back into the package. Took just the switch. The return clerk was confused until I explained to her that whether I drove home to retrieve the parts our just swapped with the exchanged item the outcome would be the same. Logic doesn't always prevail these days.
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Old 11-27-2013, 12:27 PM   #5
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You asked about the slight delay between the switch and the LED light. This is normal.
There is a big capacitor across the DC line inside the LED module. When you turn on the switch, this capacitor does not charge up instantly. In addition, the nature of LED devices is that they require a minimum (threshold) voltage before they turn on. When you flip the switch, nothing happens until the capacitor voltage reaches the LED threshold voltage. This takes somewhere between a quarter and a half second.
It would be possible to design the electronics to have "instant" turn on but that would add to the cost so generally manufacturers don't.
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Old 11-27-2013, 06:28 PM   #6
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It's called "soft start"

1 - it increases the life of the lamps and electronic components.

2 - people are used to a slow start.
because we are used to incandesant lamps,
and thats how they respond.
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Old 11-27-2013, 07:31 PM   #7
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FYI, Incandescent and CFL do benefit from soft start but LED lamps don't need soft start to extend life.
Factoid:
LEDs age based on the time they are on. Industry standard is to rate lifespan in terms of loss in brightness. An LED light is considered "end of life" when it only puts out 50% brightness compared to when it was new. Most LEDs are rated for 50,000 hours which means that after being on for 50,000 hours they will only put out half the brightness they did when new.
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