Halogen Light Dimmer Switch?


Old 04-25-01, 07:57 AM
Jeff Placzek
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I installed track lighting, halogen style- each with it's own transformer at the base.
A standard dimmer switch creates buzzing in the switch itself.
Is there a solution for dimming this style of halogen lighting correctly?
Can you point me to it?
Thank You.


Since posting the above, I have talked with a guy at "Home Depot" and he tells me that the one they carry, simply called a "600 watt multi-function, slide, wall dimmer" is the correct one to use and will work with halogen lamps that are on transformers.

I guess I will have to make the trip, get one, and give it a shot... I'll let you know how it goes....

[Edited by Jeff Placzek on 04-25-01 at 02:44]
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Old 04-25-01, 01:46 PM
Jeff Placzek
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Dimming transformer based halogen track lighting

I just found the following at:
now I just need to find out how this applis to my situation and where to purchase...

All low-voltage lighting systems are dimmable. Dimming is almost always done on the primary (120- or 277-volt) side of the transformer. When choosing a system, consider the following recommendations.

Autotransformer dimmers (variable transformers) work best: they do not cause noise, flicker, or other problems. Unfortunately, they usually are large and not easily controlled by modern dimming systems, such as four-scene presets.

Solid-state dimmers rated for low-voltage (inductive) loads work fairly well on low-voltage systems that use conventional magnetic transformers. Debuzzing coils are generally recommended, especially for PAR 36 incandescent lamps. Universal dimmers -- capable of dimming standard incandescent or low-voltage lighting -- are used in wall-box preset dimming systems.

The solid-state "transformers" supplied with many track fixtures are not really transformers, but solid-state switching power supplies. Because solid-state dimmers are also switching devices, interference and interaction between dimmer and transformer are likely if they are used together. That can result in strobing, buzzing, and possibly device failures. Most manufacturers of solid-state transformers or dimmers recommend against using them together, and will not warrant equipment that is so used.

Dimming increases lamp life for low-voltage lighting, as it does for regular incandescent lamp lighting. Remember that MR16s and other halogen lamps still require periodic near-full-light operation to activate the halogen cycle and thus achieve expected lamp life.

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