Wall dimmer switch is warm to the touch after leaving the light on - cause for concern?


Dimmer Switch TIPS

DEAR TIM: I would like to install several dimmer switches to control light output. Do I need special wiring to accomplish this?

Older dimmers I have used scared me because the switch is very warm to the touch when they operate. Are these things a fire hazard?

Are there specialty dimmers for individual lamps or fixtures?

Are there some lights that do NOT WORK with dimmers? Jo Anne C., Edison, NJ

DEAR JO ANNE: Light dimming switches are not only very safe, but the variety of sleek and efficient dimmers you can purchase today is outstanding.

Fire Hazard Is Real

In my opinion, the only fire hazard you might introduce to your home while installing one would be failure, on your part, of reading and following any enclosed instructions. I have installed dimmer switches for years and not one has ever caused an electrical fire.

The most common fire caused by dimmer switches is putting too much power through them....

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Turn a switch on and it completes the circuit, letting electricity flow through it. Turn it off and the circuit is broken; the switch creates a gap that stops the flow.

Essential switches The most common household switch, a single-pole, has two terminals and simply turns power on or off.

A three-way switch has three terminals; a four-way has four. These control a light from two or three locations, such as in a stairwell, at either end of a hallway, or in a large room with more than one entrance.

A dimmer switch controls a light's intensity. Usually you can replace any single-pole switch with a dimmer. However, for a fan or fluorescent light, buy a special switch rated to control those devices.

Special switches In addition to the familiar toggle and rotary switches, specialty switches can do everything from turning on when you walk into a room to varying the speed of whole-house fans. Other special-duty switches can be time-programmed or let you know...

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Q 1: Are LED bulbs dimmable?

A: Yes, LED lights can be dimmed. However, we must consider leading edge dimmer switches vs a trailing edge dimmer switches. A leading edge switch is designed for filament bulbs. The high minimum load will work to an extent with LED bulbs. Trailing edge switches are designed for LED bulbs. The low minimum load gives a range of 0.5% – 100%.

On each product page on the LED Hut site, you can choose from a normal or dimmable option:

Or call and our sales advisors will help you make the right choice for your needs.

Q 2: Do I need to change my fittings, drivers or anything else to install dimmable LEDs?

A: Fittings should not have to be changed. Our bulbs have the same or very similar dimensions to the incandescent or halogen bulbs you may be replacing and have the same base such as GU10.

In the case of low voltage lamps such as MR16 spotlights, it is unfortunately necessary to change the transformer for a...

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Do you have a wall/light switch that is causing you some problems, or that you suspect might be faulty? Problems with a light switch is something most homeowners experience at one time or another. The problems can present themselves in a number of different ways, and resolving the problem is obviously very specific to each situation. In this post I review three common light switch wiring problems, how to troubleshoot the actual cause of the wiring problem, and how to resolve it.

I recently received the following questions regarding problems with light switches in the home:

From website visitor Dave, Tampa Bay, Florida:

Why do I have to tap on my switch to make it work?

From my Niece Kari, in Sherwood Park, Alberta:

Uncle Terry, why is one of my switches getting warm to the touch?

And finally, from Terry (me), temporarily residing in Tamarindo, Costa Rica:

What is wrong inside the switch box in the bathroom of the condo I’m living in...

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Have you ever walked into someone's home or a venue and thought, "I love the lighting in here?" There is a good chance that it might not have been designed that way just because of a personal preference: the person in charge of that lighting is probably aware of the science behind how certain lighting affects the way we feel. Studies on how lighting affects productivity in an office found that cool lights, like those that appear bluish-white or cool-white, are the best for an office space. This type of light typically comes from the sun, but you can recreate it with artificial lights if your workspace is devoid of windows.

Lighting also affects your sleep. Research has found that exposure to bright lights late in the day can interrupt your circadian rhythm and make it difficult to fall asleep at bedtime. Dimming the lights in your bedroom, and even throughout your home, in the late afternoon and early evening can help prepare your brain for sleep. You essentially want to use...

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Last week I described how an outlet should be wired for switch control when the voltage enters the circuit at the outlet. This setup is how our master bedroom was wired before I installed an overhead ceiling fan. As promised, I detail below how to modify this wiring setup with minimal effort so that the switch can instead control an overhead fixture. Later this week, I’ll post some before and after pics from our ceiling fan installation. Before we get started, let’s briefly review last week’s diagram:

Review of Switched Outlet Wiring (Power Enters at the Outlet)

In this diagram, voltage enters the circuit at location (A) in a standard 2-wire (+ground) Romex. The white neutral wire from this Romex is connected directly to the silver terminals on the receptacle (E), and the black hot wire is connected to the white wire running to the switch (B). The white and black wires from this Romex are connected to the switch (C). The black wire at the switch is now...

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Main Features:

With touch function and remote control function, it can equipped with a remote controller.
With a gentle touch, it can easily control the light open and close.
Users touching keys can be issued the sound of "di", and the prompt to dial the code switch or cancel the prompt function.
Used as a night light at night, it can dial the code switch settings or cancel the function of background light.
The outer shell is made of fireproof plastic material, effectively preventing switch ignition.
Control by live wire, easy for installation, do not need rewiring and replacing the switch before directly.
Toughened glass panels, unique design and luxurious beauty.
Prevent the occurrence of leakage and electric shock danger.


This is a light switch of new generation. The switch with integrated design has waterproof, fireproof function and function of preventing electric shock.
It allows wet hand...
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Some dimmers and light bulbs are more prone to buzzing than others.

My dining room chandelier is operated by a dimmer switch, but every time we dim the lights, there’s an annoying buzzing or humming sound. What’s wrong and how can we fix it?

Talk about mood lighting! If you don’t like serving dinner with a nice buzz, the good news is that you can probably fix the problem either by replacing the bulbs or the dimmer switch itself.

Dimmer switches work by chopping up the AC current flowing between the switch and the light. Rather than literally “dimming” the light itself, these switches actually cause the current to undulate or flicker extremely rapidly, so that to our human eyes, it appears that there is less light. The interrupted current can produce a vibration in the electromagnetic field within the light bulb filament or within the switch itself, which can cause a humming or buzzing noise.

Here are some steps you can take to reduce or eliminate the...

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Living in a home filled with dimmer switches can make the lighting aisle seem more intimidating than it ought to be. Sure, plenty of today's LEDs are designed with dimmability in mind, but that doesn't guarantee satisfactory performance. We've heard plenty of complaints from readers, and also experienced first hand the annoyance of spending money on upgraded lighting, only to discover that these fancy new bulbs can buzz, flicker, and dim erratically.

In the interest of making your next trip to the lighting aisle a little less exasperating, we put today's LEDs to the test.

There are lots of things that can cause a light bulb to buzz or flicker when it dims, including things beyond the bulb's control like voltage irregularities, overloaded circuits, and outside interference. The most common issue, though, lies with the dimmer itself, and that's where we decided to start.

Modern dimmers (the kinds you'll find on the shelf at Lowe's or Home Depot) won't...

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Returned Goods/Short Orders

Except for those under warranty, no returned goods will be accepted after 90 days, or without approval and a Returned Materials Authorization (RMA) from Touch-Plate. To obtain a RMA, contact Touch-Plate with the order number and invoice number of the goods to be returned.

Returned goods must be in original container along with the RMA from Touch-Plate and must be packaged to prevent damage during shipment. The customer is responsible for freight & damage of parts.

Restocking Fee: If an incorrect item or quantity of item was ordered and needs to be returned, the minimum restocking fee due from purchaser is 25%. If the item has been opened, partially installed, scratched, dented, or in any way damaged, the restocking fee will be determined by Touch-Plate upon inspection.

Any missing or incorrectly shipped items must be reported within 5 days of receipt of shipment. You must contact Touch-Plate either by phone or email and...

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To answer this question, we first need to understand what wavelengths of radiation are emitted through a Solatube® Daylighting System. Solatube Daylighting Systems utilize two technologies to eliminate ultraviolet (UV) radiation and reduce heat from infrared (IR) wavelengths entering the building interior.

The first technology is related to the domes. Solatube acrylic outer domes have special UV inhibitors designed to block 100% of UVB (280 to 315 nanometers), 100% UVC (100 to 280 nanometers) and 98.5% UVA (315 to 400 nanometers) rays.

The second technology is related to the tubing. Spectralight® Infinity Tubing transmits the visible spectrum of light (400 to 760 nanometers). A minimal amount of the infrared spectrum of light (above 760 nanometers) is transmitted by the Spectralight Infinity Tubing.

With this information in mind, the following subjects can be addressed.

Plant Growth

In conjunction with the above information, there are a few...

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Careless troubleshooting of a microwave oven can result in death or worse. Experienced technicians have met their maker as a result of a momentary lapse of judgement while testing an oven with the cover removed. Microwave ovens are without a doubt, the most deadly type of consumer electronic equipment in wide spread use.

The power supplies for even the smallest microwave ovens operate at extremely lethal voltage and current levels. Do not attempt to troubleshoot, repair, or modify such equipment without understanding and following ALL of the relevant safety guidelines for high voltage and/or line connected electrical and electronic systems.

We will not be...

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