Simplest/cheapest way to run 4-way dimmer

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  #1  
Old 12-12-04, 10:30 PM
jsforrest
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Question Simplest/cheapest way to run 4-way dimmer

I am installing a ceiling fan w/ light kit in a living room with no pre-existing ceiling lighting. The room has three entrances, so I would like to put the light kit on three switches. I understand how to do this with a 4-way system.

But how can I add a dimmer to the mix? I don't care about being able to dim from all three switches, one dimmer control in the room is enough.

I want a rock solid, long lasting approach that doesn't rely on remotes, X10, etc.

Any ideas?
 
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  #2  
Old 12-13-04, 04:29 AM
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You can only use the dimmer on the light, as you can't dim the voltage for the fan or you will destroy the fan.

They make three way dimmer switches. Use a three way dimmer switch as either of the three way switches in your switch setup.
 
  #3  
Old 12-13-04, 04:03 PM
jsforrest
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What I want to do is have three switches that can turn on/off the light and I would also like to be able to dim the light from at least one location in the room.

Any ideas?
 
  #4  
Old 12-13-04, 04:38 PM
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Since they don't make 4-way dimmers, buy a 3-way dimmer and replace either one of the two 3-way switches with the 3-way dimmer. And has been mentioned, make sure you run a separate hot wire for the fan motor--use the hot controlled by the dimmer only for the light.
 
  #5  
Old 12-13-04, 06:22 PM
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To control a light from one location you need a 2 way switch. This switch has two connections for the wires (not counting the ground wires). The switch is on or off, closed or open.

To control a light from two locations you need two 3 way switches. These switches have three connections for the wires (again, not counting the ground wires). The switch makes an electrical connection between one common terminal and then one of the other two terminals.

To control a light from three locations you need two 3 way switches and one 4 way switch. The 3 way switches have connections as described above. The 4 way switch has connections for four wires (not counting ground wires). The four way switch makes 2 connections between the terminals in one position and then two different connections when in the other position. The first connections might be A to B and C to D, while the other connection would be A to D and B to C. The 4 way switch is placed electrically between the two 3 way switches.

To control a light from more than three locations requires additional 4 way switches, added electrically between three way switches.

In your case you need a 3 way dimmer switch, a regular 3 way switch and a regular 4 way switch.
 
  #6  
Old 12-13-04, 09:48 PM
jsforrest
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Thanks!

Thanks! Especially you raccraft, your "four way lighting primer" helped me see this is not such a big deal to set up. And it should be much longer lasting and less hassle than some of othe options out there.
 
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