regular dimmers with low voltage lights

Old 10-02-02, 07:56 PM
Berry Mutton
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regular dimmers with low voltage lights


I have installed halogen light fixtures in an extension. These have their own transformers in each fixture. In the past (and in my ignorance) I have used regular dimmers on track lights (aren't these low voltage halogen with their own transformers?) and they worked ok. I was told that you need special dimmers for low voltage lighting. They are a lot more expensive. And what do you do if the circuit has both full and low voltage lights on it?

What is the problem? IF you can use regular dimmers but shouldn't. Why? Is it a safety/fire issue?


Old 10-06-02, 12:53 AM
Master Electrician
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This one slipped through the cracks from about four days ago, anyone have any ideals?
Old 10-06-02, 04:06 PM
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The only sure answer is to read the lighting manufacturer's directions or call their tech support. Some companies claim that their products work with regular dimmers and others require either magnetic or electronic low voltage dimmers. Electronic low voltage dimmers tend to require a neutral at the dimmer and have lower wattage ratings. For mixing loads, here you should read the directions but Lutron's stuff usually says you can have regular incadenscent on with low voltage but not to mix types of low voltage.

Using the wrong dimmer can cause a failure of the dimmer and/or transformer. The transformers tend to melt down so yes this is a fire/life safety issue.

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