String lights on a dimmer


  #1  
Old 06-07-17, 05:47 PM
C
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: USA
Posts: 27
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
Question String lights on a dimmer

I put up a 100' set of string lights with incandescent bulbs on my patio.

I used a screw-in outlet adapter to plug them into a porch light socket, which connects to a light switch in the house.

I added the wattage of the bulbs and at 11W each, it's 550 watts. Seems like kind of a lot maybe?. The porch light is on a 15A circuit with several other lights and a couple computers on it, but breaker hasn't popped yet.

I thought about swapping the switch controlling the lights with a dimmer, but the ones at lowes are 600W rated. I'm concerned I'm too close to that at 550W, and I understand incandescents also spike when first turned on.

Just need advice regarding whether the dimmer is OK, heat issues, etc. Thanks
 
  #2  
Old 06-07-17, 06:11 PM
C
Member
Join Date: May 2015
Location: USA
Posts: 3,178
Received 173 Upvotes on 141 Posts
I think a 600 watt dimmer will work. The initial surge isn't a problem with dimmers because most of them ramp the voltage to the lamps rather than step it to full output right away. That gives the lamp filaments time to heat up without a big current surge.

Lutron (and others) make 1000 watt dimmers (MA1000), but I'd be inclined to try a less expensive 600 watt first and go to the 1000 watt if the 600 watt fails.
 
  #3  
Old 06-07-17, 09:58 PM
PJmax's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Jersey
Posts: 65,100
Received 3,982 Upvotes on 3,574 Posts
I added the wattage of the bulbs and at 11W each
That's an odd wattage bulb. Almost sounds to large for a string set.

100' long and 50) 11 watt bulbs ?
 
  #4  
Old 06-08-17, 03:34 PM
C
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: USA
Posts: 27
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
That's an odd wattage bulb. Almost sounds to large for a string set.

100' long and 50) 11 watt bulbs ?
Yeah. The bulbs don't have the wattage printed on them, but they came 25 in a box that says 11W. They look like a smaller ordinary incandescent bulb.
 
  #5  
Old 06-10-17, 04:42 PM
Andrew's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: USA
Posts: 952
Received 14 Upvotes on 10 Posts
11 watts is common group replacement sign lamp. These were commonly used in big marquees. There are LED versions now that use far less power.
 
  #6  
Old 06-11-17, 05:16 AM
ray2047's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 29,711
Upvotes: 0
Received 15 Upvotes on 13 Posts
Standard receptacles by code can not be with dimmer. You would have to use dimable receptacles and change the plugs on the lights to fit a dimmer receptacle. https://lightingcontrolsassociation....le-receptacle/

However problem is the receptacles probably aren't rated for outside use.
 

Last edited by ray2047; 06-11-17 at 04:41 PM.
  #7  
Old 06-11-17, 02:33 PM
C
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: USA
Posts: 27
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
11 watts is common group replacement sign lamp. These were commonly used in big marquees. There are LED versions now that use far less power.
You're right they do. It's interesting how well they can replicate that vintage feel with LEDs. Unfortunately those are way over my budget.
 
 

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
 
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: