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I recently purchased a Lutron remote dimmer setup that has 5 dimmers controllable from 1 master box. I plan to use 4 of them on dimmable incandescents and that should be just fine. However, I also plan to use 1 on a switch that runs about 6 fluorescent ballasts with 12-36 inch tubes. I am unsure if the ballasts are dimmable, but even if they aren't, can I still run a dimmer on them if I keep it at full power? Furthermore, would it be possible to dim them at all?
 

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Licensed Electrical Cont.
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NO and NO.

Unless you specifically got dimming ballasts they are not dimmable. Dimmable ballasts are very rare, and require a special dimmer.
 
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Electrician
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NO and NO.

Unless you specifically got dimming ballasts they are not dimmable. Dimmable ballasts are very rare, and require a special dimmer.
Exactly, dimmable ballasts have to be specifically matched to their compatible dimmer. You can not just pair up any old dimmable ballast with any dimmer.

DO NOT wire the ballasts you have to a dimmer even if you plan to keep it at full power, unless of course you have some kind of weird ballast changing fetish, then by all means go for it. You'll burn 'em all up and you'll be able to get lots of practice replacing ballasts.
 

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JOATMON
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A bit more info (and I'm keeping this simple)....there are two basic types of dimmers....resistive and switching. The resitive type just reduce the voltage...the switching type actually shut off (chop) the AC wave form going to the load. Not a problem for incandescent loads....but for fluorescent loads...no worky.

I believe Lutron has a new dimmer that works for all loads...but don't hold me to it....

Regardless, unless the FL tube and ballast are designed to be dimmed.....they won't work. The light will dim slightly as you go down...then flicker...then just go out.
 

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If you want to control the fluorescent lights with this dimmer, I'd suggest using a relay to control the power to the lights from the lutron dimmer. You can take the output from the dimmer to the relay coil input, then a constant power source to be switched for the lights. This would ensure a clean on/off for the fluorescent lights.

If you need help figuring out how to wire up this relay, just ask. Many of us around here have wired these up and can help you out.

http://www.functionaldevices.com/building-automation/display.php?model=RIBU1C
 
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