DIY Doctor

Lights controlled by touch dimmer switch turning out intermittently

Postby mtdnelson » Wed Sep 23, 2015 9:09 pm

We moved into our first home earlier this year.

There is an intermittent problem with the lights in the living room, where there is a pair of touch-sensitive dimmer switches. One controls a pair of flush-mounted halogen ceiling spots, and the other controls a 90w 12v fixture in the middle of the ceiling, with nine halogen lights, which I think are meant to look like flowers.

Occasionally the spots turn off by themselves, but it happens more often when another light is turned on - particularly when that light is the outside security light. It also happens occasionally to the central light fixture.

Any suggestions how to trouble-shoot it? Would it be worth replacing the dimmer switches with a more straight-forward switch?
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Postby ericmark » Fri Sep 25, 2015 12:35 am

In the 70's and 80's I also fitted dimming switches. Today all removed. Main problem is LED lamps that work from dimmers are far more expensive than those which will not dim and with tungsten lamps one is forever replacing bulbs.

The modern dimmer uses a slave/master dimmer switch and they send signals to each other. Any other item using the mains to transmit info can upset them. One real problem is the LAN units which send LAN over the mains and even your neighbours using them can affect items in your house.

I would consider changing your lights it's nothing to do with saving planet it's the hassle of swapping bulbs all the time.

Using filtered sockets may help they seem to kill the LAN over mains units and the dimmers don't actually send into over mains it's just the wire acts as an aerial and upsets the dimmers.

But I would ask is it worth the hassle? Is it easier to move to LED now rather than latter and kill two birds with one stone?
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