Warm Dimmer Switch


Old 11-17-07, 11:33 PM
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Warm Dimmer Switch

I have recessed kitchen lighting on a sliding dimmer switch, although the dimmer is set to maximum brightness. The switch feels warm, although not uncomfortable, to the touch. Do I need to be concerned?
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Old 11-17-07, 11:47 PM
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Warm is normal, hot is abnormal.
Old 11-18-07, 04:47 PM
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Make sure you aren't approaching the max watt rating for the dimmer with the light bulbs you have installed as well.
Old 11-18-07, 05:47 PM
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The reason dimmer switches get hot is fairly simple. Some dimmers get hotter than others because of their design. Old dimmer switches typically were rheostats that varied the amount of voltage going to the light. As the rheostat was turn down to lower the voltage, the electricity was changed into heat.

Modern dimmer switches use internal electronics to dim the lights. These components can turn the light on and off 120 times per second. This is too fast for you to see. By altering the amount of time the switch is off rather than on, you see a lower amount of light out of the bulb. The heat that you feel in modern dimmers simply is a result of the ordinary friction of the electricity flowing through the device.
Old 11-18-07, 06:16 PM
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I've probably said a hundred times that warm is okay but hot is not. I'm now coming to the realization that hot is sometimes okay too. But it it melts the switch plate, then that's not okay.

So warm is definitely okay.
Old 11-18-07, 08:17 PM
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Lutron allows up to 130 degrees for standard wallbox dimmer switches.

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