Switches Wiring Problem - Dimmers and Regular

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  #1  
Old 08-12-14, 09:09 AM
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Switches Wiring Problem - Dimmers and Regular

Hi everyone, first time post but I've read the forums a lot to overcome other obstacles.


I had an old dimmer switch that has two switches in a single gang(Leviton skylark S2-L) that is not rated for dimming LED bulbs. I'm trying to upgrade to a two seperate switches (Leviton Skylark SCL-153PH). There is also another switch that has no name or labels but looks similiar to this: Cooper Wiring Devices 15 Amp Two Single Pole Combination Decorator Light Switch - White-7728W-SP at The Home Depot

I hooked up everything how it was before but light 4 has to be on for light 1 and light 2 to work? I'm not sure what's wrong here. The extra wire is throwing me off. All the lights have only one switch (none are controlled from two locations).


Thank you in advance!
 
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Old 08-12-14, 09:59 AM
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Welcome to the forums!


Do you know where each of the 5 wires (cables) go?

From your drawing, wire 5 is your line coming from your main panel. It should be always on.

Then wire 1, 3, and 4 go to the light fixtures.

It looks like wire 2 is probably wired wrong. And if you're having problems with power to lights 1 and 2, it could be your 'main' feed is actually wire 4?

You probably need to disconnect everything and confirm where your live wires are, and where each one actually goes.
 
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Old 08-12-14, 10:28 AM
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Thanks for fixing the text color on the cables. I couldn't read it before. To avoid confusion it is best not to call cables wires. A cable is two or more wires in a metallic or non metallic sheath. A wire is a single conductor.

I think Zorfdt is correct about cable 5. Disconnect cable 5's black and measure between black and white with a multimeter, preferably analog. (A non contact tester won't work.)
 
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Old 08-12-14, 11:57 AM
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Thanks for the tip ray! Learn something new everyday. I tested all the blacks and cable 4 is the hot (house it old and has some oddball wiring). Cable 5 was not hot. I guessing I mislabeled something when taking it all apart.

All the switches work properly but I'm having an issue with the dimmers.

Symptoms:
- When the lights are on full during the first few minutes they flash.
- When the lights are on low (dimmed) they work great all the time.
- When the lights warm up 5 minutes later, I turned them up to full and they don't flash. \\


I'll try to upload a video. It's flashing in an orderly manner and not flickering.
 
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Old 08-12-14, 12:27 PM
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Your problems sound like either the bulb or dimmer. LEDs can be difficult to dim.
 
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Old 08-12-14, 12:39 PM
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Here is video:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B_n...it?usp=sharing

The closest lights are dimmable CFL's and the back lights are dimmable LED's. Just purchased both and the dimmers yesterday. At a about 4 seconds in I turned up the dimmer all the way the closest set started flashing, about 9 seconds in I turned them down and the flashing stops immediately.

In my drawing dimmer light 1 is the furthest set (LED) in the video and dimmer light 2 is the closest set (CFL).
 
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Old 08-12-14, 01:48 PM
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Have you tried incandescent bulbs in the fixtures just as a test. If you have two lights on the same dimmer try just one incandescent bulb.
 
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Old 08-12-14, 02:20 PM
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Light 1 - has three can lights (LED). I replaced one of the LED's with an incandescent and the lights work great. No more flashing.

What's the deal with that?
 
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Old 08-12-14, 02:24 PM
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I replaced one of the LED's with an incandescent and the lights work great. No more flashing.

What's the deal with that?
The LEDs are not drawing enough watts for the dimmer to work correctly.
 
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Old 08-12-14, 02:39 PM
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Odd. I asked Leviton before buying the dimmer and they said it would work fine with the 36 watt total load of the LEDs (12 watts per bulb). I read about another dimmer that wouldn't work well unless there was at least 40 watts.

Do you think I should look for another dimmer, or exchange these bulbs for some 16 or 20 watt bulbs?
 
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Old 08-12-14, 03:52 PM
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Whichever is cheaper. Hard to say without testing what would work. Maybe try one 16w or 20w and see if that helps. If it doesn't add another. Just me, no scientific rational I'd put a 20w in the center to start. (Might look better if it works then a 20w on one side ... or not. Maybe just use the one 20w if it works.)

Just a thought, maybe the bulbs draw less watts till they warm up and that's why they stop blinking.
 
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Old 08-12-14, 05:46 PM
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My neighbor stopped by after seeing the lights flickering last night and today. He said he went through the same thing and had the same problem. He fixed it by buying a few different bulbs until he found one that worked, he has the same dimmer switch too! I bought some Utilitech Pro LED's from Lowes ($35 for three is cheaper than my original Philips bulbs too!). I installed them and they work great. No more flashing, they are bright and can dim to very low levels. I'm happy.


Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gYIt...ature=youtu.be
 
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Old 08-12-14, 05:56 PM
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There are people that would kill for a light show like that.

Dimmable CFL's..... I haven't found CFL's to ever dim well.
 
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