DIY Doctor

Main navigation

Advice on replacing three switches with two dimmer switches

Postby caveatgez » Wed Feb 09, 2011 9:03 am

I am looking for some advice on replacing a single (plastic) panel switch with three rocker switches. The switches control kitchen ceiling lights, living room lights and also kitchen under-cabinet lights. I think all light sets are halogen spot lights.

I'd like to put in dimmer switches for the living room. I'd need to do some platerboard reworking in order to get a double-sized switch in, for say two dimmers and a rocker for the under cabinets lights, which I am reluctant to do.

My question is could I 'cancel' the switch for the under-cabinet lights? they can be controlled by a switch on the light itself. then i could have just two dimmers on a single sized (chrome) plate? Would I need anything else?

Rank: Labourer
Progress to next rank:
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Feb 09, 2011 8:53 am


Simply Build It

Postby lazza » Thu Feb 10, 2011 10:33 pm

Should be no trouble, did you mean dimmers for L/R and Kit.
You may need a deeper back box as dimmers need more space.
Take wires off the undercabinet light switch and connect together in a block these will then work off the switch on the light.
You need to check how many lights will be on each dimmer and buy a dimmer with a higher rating than the total wattage of each circuit
Rank: Labourer
Progress to next rank:
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Feb 10, 2011 10:14 pm

Postby ericmark » Sat Feb 12, 2011 3:21 am

Halogen spot lights should normally not be put on dimmer switches. The whole idea of the quartz halogen tungsten lamp is that the very hot quartz will reflect the tungsten and it will re-deposit itself on the element. The running temperature is important and if run cool it will reduce the life of the unit.

So normal is to select how many lamps are used rather than dim the lamps. There are dimmers made but they have to match the inverters with leading and lagging types and also special lamps again to match are required. It is common where dimmers are fitted for incorrect matching to cause the lamps to flicker as the element is formed in a coil and so not pure resistive and the inverters produce a very high frequency output and if not matched can produce some very odd effects.

The low voltage GU10 and GZ10 lamps are better for use with dimmer switches than the extra low voltage types. Although as said non of the quartz halogen tungsten lamps should be dimmed and if you do use a dimmer expect to replace the lamps more often.
Rank: Project Manager
Posts: 2697
Joined: Fri Oct 02, 2009 8:49 pm
Location: Llanfair Caereinion, Mid Wales.

Display posts from previous
Sort by
Order by

  • DIY How to Project Guides
  • DIY how to tutorial projects and guides - Did you know we have a DIY Projects section? Well, if no, then we certainly do! Within this area of our site have literally hundreds of how-to guides and tutorials that cover a huge range of home improvement tasks. Each page also comes with pictures and a video to make completing those jobs even easier!

  • Related Topics