ELECRTICAL Q:How do I balance an LED dimmer? - Router Forums
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post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-30-2018, 11:29 AM Thread Starter
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Default ELECRTICAL Q:How do I balance an LED dimmer?

Been doing a project at the church where my Sr. group meets. Installed theatrical lights using LED bulbs. Two circuits with an LED type dimmer and very light loads on each. 28 watts on one, 42 on the other. Dimmers rated for 600 watts incandescent, 150 LED.

When faded down fully, the lights still glow visibly.

What is the best way to get the dimmer to go to full blackout? They are leviton brand dimmers. Tried using a couple of 40 watt lights as a dummy load, but the lights are still on when I dim all the way to the bottom of the slider.

I guess I could put some high wattage lights on the circuit, but that would be ineligant and hot. Any other suggestions from you electricians out there?

The more I do, the less I accomplish.
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post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-30-2018, 11:38 AM
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Put a switch in line to kill the whole circuit?
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post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-30-2018, 11:46 AM Thread Starter
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Put a switch in line to kill the whole circuit?
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Got a switch on the dimmer that kills it, but I want it to fade to black. Got the houselights (LED track lights) to go to black and I want a nice cross fade for the shows.

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post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-30-2018, 11:54 AM
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What I was referring to was to dim it down as far as it will go,then switch it off. Maybe I am simplifying the situation too much, I know nothing about electrical/ wiring/ lighting.
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post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-30-2018, 11:55 AM
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Senior group? DRT, I didn't think you were that old. OK, jokes aside, will the dimmers work with LED lights? When I worked at Lowe's, I was surprised that fluorescent lights required a special dimmer. Every day is a learning experience.
Edit- Reread the thread and noted the dimmer is for LED. My mistake....and so early in the month.
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post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-30-2018, 03:09 PM
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Are you sure that those LED bulbs are dimmable? Lots aren't. According to what I've read about LEDs they work on 12-24 volt circuits, at least the house variety do. The drivers also convert the current to DC . The dimmer you are using must be compatible with the bulbs and drivers and there are a couple of different type dimmers but the most common one just momentarily turns the power off and on which in your case may not be having much effect on the conversion from AC to DC.

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post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-30-2018, 03:32 PM Thread Starter
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I am sure it is the bulb that converts the power down to DC. With a DC circuit, resistance is all that's required to reduce voltage. At 14 watts, it doesn't take much capacity to cut the voltage. Seems there is a point at which the reduced voltage reaches a point where some bulbs begin to flicker, so the dimmers are designed not to go down to zero and continuously leak about 10 percent of the total power. I ordered some commercial resistor devices that promise to prevent the flickering, probably by automatically cutting off all power at the flicker point. Hopefully that will solve the problem.

Otherwise, it seems there are two ways to handle this: 1) learn to slide the dimmers down and click the off switch at that point, or 2) replace the bulbs with incandescent models, which filaments stop glowing at a certain point.

Unless, of course, someone here has a solution.

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post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-30-2018, 05:02 PM
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Coal oil lamps. You can turn the wick down until the flame goes out. Does this help?
When I worked at Lowe's in 1999-2000, LED lighting wasn't in existence.

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post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-30-2018, 06:15 PM
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I am sure it is the bulb that converts the power down to DC. With a DC circuit, resistance is all that's required to reduce voltage.
If it's a screw in bulb that may always be correct. String lights have external drivers and the puck style over tub light I wired recently had an external. Here is a fairly good article about LEDs and dimmers are mentioned down a ways and in the last paragraph. It might "illuminate" your problem. https://www.1000bulbs.com/pdf/unders...ed-drivers.pdf
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post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-30-2018, 09:43 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Charles. I tried a larger load on the dimmers and it actually raised the low-light level when the slider was all the way down! I think dimming down to black isn't going to happen, and that I will either have to switch to incandescent bulbs or just live with it by shutting off the light with the rocker switch when the dimmer slider hits bottom. I may have to replace the dimmers if I go to incandescents, but I will be able to fade to black. I have a couple of gadgets coming to try, but I think they are nothing more than what I tried with the bulb experiment today. If they don't work I'll send them back to Amazon and use the refund to get the incandescent bulbs, which might also be a tad brighter.

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