Adding dimmer to 4-way lights

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Old 07-23-16, 11:35 AM
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Adding dimmer to 4-way lights

I have a few hallway lights controlled by 3 switches. I converted them to LED cans and they are way too bright. I bought a 3-way dimmer. '

Not knowing how the electrical was done originally, I removed the first switch that had 2 orange and 1 black wire and wired in the dimmer. The dimmer worked, but only when the other 2 switches were in a certain configuration.

I replaced the original switch and moved on to the next one that had the same 2 orange, 1 black configuration and tried replacing that. Same outcome.

The last switch I pulled out of the 3 has 4 orange wires. I am not sure what to do to get this working.
 
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Old 07-23-16, 12:25 PM
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Going to need the make and model of the dimmer you're trying to install.

I have never had good results with the dimmers that use the existing switches. I use the Lutron Maestro dimmers where slave controls are used in place of the switches.
 
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Old 07-23-16, 12:32 PM
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[Edit: missed the part about LED!]
 
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Old 07-23-16, 12:54 PM
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I am trying to use a Lutron MACL-153.

The directions tell me to do something in another switch box. That strikes me as odd. I installed one of these in another 4 -way setup with no issue. I also don't know the layout of the wiring of the 3 switches.

I did set the dimmer as a master (step 9).
 
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Old 07-23-16, 12:58 PM
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I am trying to use a Lutron MACL-153.

The directions tell me to do something in another switch box. That strikes me as odd. I installed one of these in another 4 -way setup with no issue. I also don't know the layout of the wiring of the 3 switches.

I did set the dimmer as a master (step 9).
Let me correct that. The other one I installed is a non-electronic dimmer with a decora button and simple little slider next to the switch.

If this would work in this case, I am not against doing that.
 
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Old 07-23-16, 01:29 PM
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Did the original 3 way switches work correctly? It sounds like a common was transposed with a traveler.
 
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Old 07-23-16, 01:42 PM
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Yes. They worked fine.

Just to verify it, I put the original switches back in place and it works no matter where I turn the light on or off from.
 
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Old 07-23-16, 01:47 PM
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Make sure the common wire from the odd colored screw goes to the common on the new switch. The other two do not matter.
 
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Old 07-23-16, 02:39 PM
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I looked at my other 4-way situation that works and at the dimmer. I just went and bought the same one (Lutron DVCL-153PR) and it works fine.

I think that other dimmer is setup differently as it says it can be used in a 3-way situation, but all 3 screws are a different color. I'll save that one for a single pole application.

Thanks for the help
 
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Old 07-23-16, 03:18 PM
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The MACL is the perfect dimmer to use. That is exactly what I use. However Lutron shows several different diagrams using the existing/standard three way switch but I've found that they don't all work.

When I install the Maestro dimmers... I always use the Lutron MA-R-WH Maestro companion dimmer and never have any problems.
 
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Old 07-23-16, 03:35 PM
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When I install the Maestro dimmers... I always use the Lutron MA-R-WH Maestro companion dimmer and never have any problems.
Probably a good idea. I just wasn't familiar with them.

There is added cost, but it looks like you can dim from any switch. If a switch goes out, you need to replace it with the same though.

I just had another Lutron dimmer (single pole) go out and it is less than 2 years old and rarely used.
 
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