3 way dimmer question

Discussion in 'Electrical Forum discussion & Blog' started by Master Brian, Mar 3, 2009.

  1. Master Brian

    Master Brian DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    368
    Location:
    Kansas
    I am wanting to add dimmer switches to a couple of my 3-way lighting circuits.

    Is it ever permissable to add 2 dimmer switches to the circuits? I bought a Levitron or Lutron, forget which one, at H.D. and it's literature states only one dimmer in the circuit.

    I also ordered a set of "old style" 3-way pushbutton dimmers from an online retailer. Their tech dept didn't say I couldn't install 2 dimmers in that circuit, but that doesn't mean they know or don't know. Those switches came yesterday, but don't have much paperwork and nothing mentioning multiple dimmers in the circuit. I forget the manufacturer of those switches, but can look if it matters.
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2009
  2. Speedy Petey

    Speedy Petey Licensed Electrical Contractor

    Messages:
    999
    Location:
    NY State, USA
    Electronic "smart" dimmers can, and must, be placed at each switch location. The box with the feed gets a "master" unit and the rest get "slave" units.
  3. Master Brian

    Master Brian DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    368
    Location:
    Kansas
    I obviously don't have the "smart" dimmers. I see that some of these come with remotes, but other than that, what are the main "pros" of the smart dimmers?

    I found a "cached" link to another site selling my 3-way with dimmer and it looks like they also say "only 1 dimmer in a 3-way circuit", so I guess I'll be ordering a standard 3-way. Glad I'm not ready to switch this out yet!
  4. Speedy Petey

    Speedy Petey Licensed Electrical Contractor

    Messages:
    999
    Location:
    NY State, USA
    The pro of using smart dimmers is that you can dim from all locations. The only con is price.
  5. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,313
    Location:
    New England
    I'm not absolutely sure of the model, but I think it is Lutron Maestro. You can have up to 8 on/off/dimmers on a single circuit to control a fixture (such as a hall light from outside numerous rooms along a long hallway). I have a bunch in my kitchen/dining room - one set by the sink and another near the dining room. They also do a 'theater' on/off so it is really easy on filaments so bulbs last longer (especially if you don't run them at full brightness). They make them for low-voltage situations for both magnetic and electronic transformers (although they cost a bunch more). Nice thing is you only need x/3 between the switches, regardless of how many you need in the circuit.

    Bought most of mine at HD, although I ordered the low-voltage versions on-line.
  6. beekerc

    beekerc IT Consultant / Network Engineer

    Messages:
    94
    Location:
    Seattle
    jadnashua is correct, it is the Lutron Maestro line. Leviton also makes a similar product, the Acenti, however style and feature wise I prefer Lutron. Lutron also makes I/R and R/F remotes for their multi-location dimmers as well.

    I just laid 6 multi-location dimmer sets in my basement remodel using Lutron Maestro and they're great. HD is carrying a smaller selection of products these days so you may not find all the choices you want/need. I believe that either Platt or Graybar sell to the public as well as to the trade, so if you have access to them, you can probably find the entire line available. Platt usually has a good supply of Lutron products on display in their showroom.
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