Forgive my ignorance, but I'm wiring a dimmer switch on a lamp, so I have three pieces: the light socket, the power wire and plug, and the switch itself. I bought the parts very carefully, and according to the specs, they should all work together. The power wire and the socket came with clearly marked wires. I connected them and tried them out, and I got light. My question is where do I put the switch/how do I arrange the wiring to get the switch to work? Part of the problem is that the switch came with two identical black wires on it. I tried wiring all three together (socket, switch, and power), and when I connected, I got a spark and a pop from the light socket. I thought maybe I'd shorted it out, but when I removed the switch and tested the light again, it still works fine with just the socket on the power wire.
That is a halogen lamp, what voltage and wattage is it? What is the rating of that dimmer?
You have chosen the 2nd worst combination you can have.
In short plain English.
Halogen lamps must get very hot to work properly, using a dimmer on them stops them getting up to temperature. (You will shorten their life)
Also as you turn them on they have a huge inrush of current (The easiest similarity I can think of is flushing the toilet, first no water, flush, loads of water) This inrush can fry a dimmer switch. (Not too bad with one lamp but it can and does happen)
As halogen lamps do get very hot this makes them dangerous, you have no fitting for that lamp, you can't just "hang it" or "let it lie down" as even when being dimmed they still get very hot. (Not as hot as they should be)
You will also need suitable connectors and a plugtop and suitable cable to connect everything. (Not to mention a fitting for that lamp)
What exactly is it you are trying to achieve?
1) The "bulb" of the lamp you have is NOT ordinary glass, it is quartz, unlike glass, quartz will not melt at the high temperature that lamp needs to get to.
2) Halogen lamps are used enclosed so that when they explode it is contained within the fitting. It does not happen often, but when it does, you don't want to be standing next to one.
Okay, so it sounds like I need to scrap my plans or make some big changes. I was trying to build a simple lamp like I did once when I was a kid years ago. It seemed so simple back then. I got a very interesting piece of wood that I wanted to use as a base, and I was trying to find parts that would fit with the shape of it. I did read the specs, and everything seemed to match up. The info on the light socket said it was dimmable, and the dimmer switch specs said it would work with a range well beyond the wattage of the light, but certainly I missed/was unaware of some crucial info. Thanks for the responses.
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