Safety of hard wiring cable lighting intended for halogen bulbs in a circuit with LED dimmer switch


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I installed compact-fluorescent and LED bulbs throughout my house. They work well everywhere but not with dimmer switches. The bulbs either dim insufficiently, flicker, or they don't light at all. It's driving me crazy. How do I correct this?

The complex circuitry in these new bulbs makes them difficult to dim. In many cases, a typical dimmer switch (now called a legacy dimmer in the electrical industry) won't work properly, if at all, with CFL or LED bulbs.

Legacy dimmers were designed to work with incandescents, and CFL and LED bulbs bear no electrical resemblance to these types of bulbs. Comparing them is like equating an electric heating element and a television set. Both use electricity and both give off light, but that's where the similarity ends.

The solution is to buy a dimmer switch rated for both CFL and LED bulbs. Two reputable manufacturers of CFL/LED dimmers are Leviton and Lutron; both provide...

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What you can use is a repeater connected to your original dimmer source and you can get them in various sizes. These are for RGB, Dimmers or just standard power supply.

Really, there is no such thing as dimmable or non dimmable LED's. The drivers are dimmable or not dimmable, like you mention with th the MR16. But that really depends how they are being dimmed.

LED dimmers work by PWM (Pulse Width MOdulation) instead of increasing or decreasing voltage. So the repeater listed above, recognised the frequencies, and applies them to the out put side with the wattage you need.This is why dimmers are expensive, because they are really micro circuits producing frequencies, instead of just limiting the voltage, which may damage some LED's (maybe this is the loosely coined 'non-dimmable' term we see) allot quicker than usual and causes uneven intensity shadows. But really, any LED can be "dimmed" using PWM.

But you can get something like this, which is...

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This symptom is impossible without silicon electronics being involved in the delivery of power. Passive wires and windings are not capable of causing this. Common problems are common, and my first take is usually correct - a series connected old-style smart device.

But Carl Witthoft has an interesting theory: these are probably low voltage bulbs. We know voltage is right because the LEDs do work properly when power is available. That's not surprising, since many LED products use constant current power supplies in switch mode, which can easily accommodate a range of voltage.

Most low voltage power supplies are passive, or at least well behaved. So I normally don't think about them. It would certainly explain everything if you had one that was "too smart for its own good". The five LEDs should draw power comparable to one halogen (at least on half the AC cycle... since the D stands for "diode"). So there's clearly something a little more sophisticated going on. I could...

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Choose Under-Cabinet Lighting

There are a number of light fixture types to choose from: puck lights, linear lights, and strip lights are the most common. Puck lights are small, round lights, linear lights are on a track with lights spaced along it and strip lights are rectangular fixtures with a long tube bulb. Bulb types vary as well, but fluorescents are probably the most common. There are also incandescent, halogen, LED and xenon bulbs. Halogen bulbs provide the purest light, but also put off more heat than other bulbs. Xenon bulbs provide similar levels of light as halogen with less heat output. LED lights provide less focused light but are more energy efficient.

When deciding on under-cabinet lighting, you should consider the layout of your kitchen cabinets. Measure the cabinets to see how much space is available to work with, so you know what kind of lights will work best. Decide how many fixtures you need. Concentrate on areas where you need the most light...

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