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Discussion Starter #1
Hello hello!

First time poster here, happy to join the community!
I'm having a little bit of a electrical situation, and would love your lights on the matter.

I have a very beautiful fixture hanging from the ceiling, which currently has 2 T5 HO tubes in it. These are fluorescent, yet dimmable tubes, with relevant ballast in the fixture.
The only cables getting to the fixture from the ceiling are the line cables: no dimming cable present.
The dimmable feature of the fixture would require a separate dimming cable (it's a 0-10v dimming system), which isn't in the ceiling, so that option will prove complicated.

I see a few ways to approach this, and would like your opinion:

1) find some sort of remote controlled 0-10v dimming system which I could attach to that dimming cable from the fixture and control remotely (bluetooth or something else) either on a switch or with my phone. Unsure these are practical though. Other issue, it would most likely require me to detach the fixture from the ceiling.

2) replace the T5 tube with LED tubes, bypass the ballast and replace the switch with a regular dimming switch. Unsure that would actually work (is LED dimming that simple?). Also, how easy/hard is it to bypass the ballast (as I understand that would be required to replace the T5 fluorescent tubes with LEDs, correct?)

3) go into the fixture, cut the line cables and plug them into a smart light strip (I have the C by GE one, but I guess any would do). Have the light strip run around the light fixture, mimicking the T5 light and have that controlled through Google Home. Cons here would be that I'm essentially creating another lamp inside my fixture, which could prove awkward. Big pro is that it can change to any color and is on the Google Home system.

If you see any other options, I would be most honored to hear your thoughts.
Thanks for your kind help, and stay safe in your DIY magic!

Lucas
 

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Soooo, the you want to use the dimming feature of the fixture?
 

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Is there a wall switch for the fixture?
Post a link to the fixture so we can see exactly what you have. There could be options you are not thinking about.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Soooo, the you want to use the dimming feature of the fixture?
I would want it to be dimmable, but don't care whether it's using the current fixture's dimming (0-10v) or some other type of dimming (either through a switch on the power line, or through an app). But I understand the 2 latter solutions would require a change in the fixture as you can't do power-line dimming on fluorescent lights with a ballast (BTW, my apologies, I am very poorly versed in the lingo here, so hope my choice of words allows you to at least understand what I'm referring to...).
 

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Discussion Starter #5

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For option 2 bypassing a ballast is fairly simple. All you are doing is taking the positive and neutral skipping over the ballast and right into the tombstones. Be careful what type of LED ballast bypass bulbs you get though because some of them need positive and neutral on the same end and some require them on opposite ends.
 

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I tried an LED in a dimmable wall fixture we use all the time. No luck.
I guess I don't know why a simple dimming switch wouldn't work.
But I have no idea what a dimming cable is or does.
 

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+1 for the led tube conversion using the type with line feeds on opposite ends. It's the wave to ditch fluorescents if you have any reason whatsoever.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
For option 2 bypassing a ballast is fairly simple. All you are doing is taking the positive and neutral skipping over the ballast and right into the tombstones. Be careful what type of LED ballast bypass bulbs you get though because some of them need positive and neutral on the same end and some require them on opposite ends.
Thanks a lot for that, well noted. I'll make sure I check what type we're talking about. And then the dimming is done using in-switch regular dimming?
 

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I tried an LED in a dimmable wall fixture we use all the time. No luck.
I guess I don't know why a simple dimming switch wouldn't work.
But I have no idea what a dimming cable is or does.
Good to know, I'll need to figure that out too as the main purpose here is dimming not changing the technology.
 

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I tried an LED in a dimmable wall fixture we use all the time. No luck.
I guess I don't know why a simple dimming switch wouldn't work.
But I have no idea what a dimming cable is or does.
Not all LED bulbs are dimmable. And not all dimmable LEDs are compatible with all types of dimmers. If you pick a dimmable bulb, and use a dimmer that the manufacturer recommends, then it should work ok.

Lutron has a helpful web site for matching bulbs with their dimmers.

http://www.lutron.com/en-US/Pages/LEDCompatibilityTool/Compatibility.aspx
 

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Discussion Starter #12
+1 for the led tube conversion using the type with line feeds on opposite ends. It's the wave to ditch fluorescents if you have any reason whatsoever.
Thank you for this!
And that will make dimming straightforward, as in having it at the level of the switch directly on the power line?
 

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Not all LED bulbs are dimmable. And not all dimmable LEDs are compatible with all types of dimmers. If you pick a dimmable bulb, and use a dimmer that the manufacturer recommends, then it should work ok.

Lutron has a helpful web site for matching bulbs with their dimmers.

http://www.lutron.com/en-US/Pages/LEDCompatibilityTool/Compatibility.aspx
Thanks a lot for this, most useful. I'll dig around and see. Would you suggest picking the bulb or the dimmer first, and find its counterpart after? Or do they come in "packs"?
 

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Thanks a lot for this, most useful. I'll dig around and see. Would you suggest picking the bulb or the dimmer first, and find its counterpart after? Or do they come in "packs"?

I don't know of any combo packs. It might take a couple of iterations to find a dimmer and bulbs that are easily available at Lowes, HD or other local outlet.


I'd start with a dimmer on the Lutron list that you can find locally, and then see what bulbs they recommend and see if you can also find those locally. If no match, then try a different dimmer and see what bulbs go with that. You might end up having to order one or the other mail order.
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
I don't know of any combo packs. It might take a couple of iterations to find a dimmer and bulbs that are easily available at Lowes, HD or other local outlet.


I'd start with a dimmer on the Lutron list that you can find locally, and then see what bulbs they recommend and see if you can also find those locally. If no match, then try a different dimmer and see what bulbs go with that. You might end up having to order one or the other mail order.
Good advice, thank you for that. I went to HD asking for guidance but their response seemed a little off topic. I'll see if I can find a suitable, and obtainable combo locally. Thanks for your kind help!
 

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I went to HD asking for guidance!
There's your first mistake.
HD, LOWES, MENARDS employees are people just like you who happen to work at a home improvement store. I'm not knocking them...but they aren't experts, just people who help you find something.
 

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Hello hello!

First time poster here, happy to join the community!
I'm having a little bit of a electrical situation, and would love your lights on the matter.

I have a very beautiful fixture hanging from the ceiling, which currently has 2 T5 HO tubes in it. These are fluorescent, yet dimmable tubes, with relevant ballast in the fixture.
The only cables getting to the fixture from the ceiling are the line cables: no dimming cable present.
The dimmable feature of the fixture would require a separate dimming cable (it's a 0-10v dimming system), which isn't in the ceiling, so that option will prove complicated.

I see a few ways to approach this, and would like your opinion:

1) find some sort of remote controlled 0-10v dimming system which I could attach to that dimming cable from the fixture and control remotely (bluetooth or something else) either on a switch or with my phone. Unsure these are practical though. Other issue, it would most likely require me to detach the fixture from the ceiling.

2) replace the T5 tube with LED tubes, bypass the ballast and replace the switch with a regular dimming switch. Unsure that would actually work (is LED dimming that simple?). Also, how easy/hard is it to bypass the ballast (as I understand that would be required to replace the T5 fluorescent tubes with LEDs, correct?)

3) go into the fixture, cut the line cables and plug them into a smart light strip (I have the C by GE one, but I guess any would do). Have the light strip run around the light fixture, mimicking the T5 light and have that controlled through Google Home. Cons here would be that I'm essentially creating another lamp inside my fixture, which could prove awkward. Big pro is that it can change to any color and is on the Google Home system.

If you see any other options, I would be most honored to hear your thoughts.
Thanks for your kind help, and stay safe in your DIY magic!

Lucas
I have only recently glanced at the correspondence on this subject and am quite surprised that no one has (as yet) asked the question of what is meant by a "0-10v dimming system".
This has not been answered in any of the references to the manufacturer of this product which I have been able to access.

As it happens, I have an installation of a (nominal) 40 W fluorescent tube which is dimmable or increasable by the "touch of a button". the button concerned connects a Ground to a control lead and the electronics concerned then does the job.

I consider it highly probable that the device concerned is an electronic "ballest/control" system which is controllable in some way via a third wire.

While there are electronic controls to brighten and dim any LED tubes which might replace the fluorescent lamps concerned, good luck with what ever is chosen to be done. However, the OP (or someone) should determine what it is that the manufacturer intends to do to "dim" the existing fluorescent tubes concerned, via the "0 to 10 V" system.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
There's your first mistake.
HD, LOWES, MENARDS employees are people just like you who happen to work at a home improvement store. I'm not knocking them...but they aren't experts, just people who help you find something.
Fair enough, thank you for this. I'm therefore even more grateful to have found this forum and getting sound advice from you guys!
 
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