Grounded (outdoor) inline dimmer switch

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  #1  
Old 03-01-12, 05:55 AM
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Grounded (outdoor) inline dimmer switch

I purchased some patio lights to use with our new travel trailer recently. When reading the reviews for the lights I saw someone had installed an inline dimmer switch. I have been looking for an inline dimmer that might work and I'm not sure I've found anything that will work safely in my situation.

The outdoor outlets are grounded (can't remember if they are GFI), the lights have a three prong plug and I intend to use an outdoor three prong extension cord. I plan on installing the dimmer switch in the extension cord so as to not ruin the patio lights if I do something wrong, but I can't find anything that looks like it might work. Every item I find is either intended to be mounted in a box in the wall or is a two prong plug in type.

Does anyone have any suggestions for me?
 
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Old 03-01-12, 06:24 AM
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I'd mount a standard dimmer switch in a die-cast aluminum "bell box" and put on a rain-rated cover.
 
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Old 03-01-12, 08:58 AM
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the lights have a three prong plug and I intend to use an outdoor three prong extension cord.
An extension cord ie for temporary use only. It can't be used instead of permanent wiring

I plan on installing the dimmer switch in the extension cord
It is a code violation to modify a UL device such as an extension cord. You can not use a dimmer on a receptacle.

I purchased some patio lights to use with our new travel trailer recently.
Can you explain what you mean. Are they 120v lights?
 
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Old 03-01-12, 01:45 PM
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Can you explain what you mean. Are they 120v lights?
They are 110v lights. Made for use with campers.
 
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Old 03-01-12, 01:59 PM
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I doubt they are 110 volt lights. AC in campers is the same as in your home, 120 volts.

Could you provide an on line link to these lights?
 
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Old 03-01-12, 02:04 PM
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I doubt they are 110 volt lights. AC in campers is the same as in your home, 120 volts.

Could you provide an on line link to these lights?
You're probably right. I was just going off of the description on the website. Below is the link to the lights I have.

Polymer Products - Etched Bronze Globe Lights with Black Cord - Set of 6 - 1632-77404-PRE - Patio Lights - Camping World
 
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Old 03-01-12, 02:08 PM
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Some additional info...


An extension cord ie for temporary use only. It can't be used instead of permanent wiring
This is something we would set up and use for only a few days then take down and store. We do not permanently park our camper...so it would always be temporary.
 
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Old 03-01-12, 03:50 PM
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Thank you for the link. I now have a better understanding. As stated modifying the extension cord would be a code violation because you would be violating the UL rating. You could make an extension cord from scratch and use a weather proof box for the dimmer as Jason suggested but you would end up with a dimmer controlled receptacle which is a code violation. Really I see no good way to use these except as intended. The policy of DIY is to limit advice to what is code permissible and safe.

If you have found in-line dimmers post links and perhaps we can go there.
 
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Old 03-01-12, 04:21 PM
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Could you maybe use something like this?
American DJ UNI-PAK II 1 Channel DMX Dimmer Switch
 
  #10  
Old 05-15-12, 09:05 PM
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Google Leviton White Plug-In Lamp Dimmer Switch 200W TBI03-W or 2856D2B ICON Dimmer - INSTEON Plug-In Dimmer Module for a three prong dimmer
 
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Old 05-16-12, 08:46 AM
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Leviton White Plug-In Lamp Dimmer Switch 200W TBI03-W or 2856D2B ICON Dimmer - INSTEON Plug-In Dimmer Module for a three prong dimmer
This does not appear to be designed for outdoor use.

This is a plug-in timer designed to be used outdoors: Intermatic P1131 Portable 20 Amp Outdoor Timer & Heavy-Duty Outdoor TimerThere are many similar timers available. They are commonly in stock at hardware and big-box stores, especially during the run-up to the holidays.
 

Last edited by Nashkat1; 05-16-12 at 08:55 AM. Reason: to add the link.
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