electrical - new dimmer switch - old switch has 4, new switch has 2 wires, (w/ images)?

Discussion in 'Electrical Forum discussion & Blog' started by Billy Smith, Mar 12, 2021.

  1. Billy Smith

    Billy Smith New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2020
    Location:
    Sewell, New Jersey
    Hello, everyone, i got the power off, and i tested it, i want to put in a dimmer switch and (i know what ground is, copper to green) but i read a lot of posts where some people have a red wire and some people have 3 wires... well. i have 4... 2 are black and 2 are brown. on the old one on the left the top 2 are input and the bottom 2 are output... so, i wanted to know.. can i use my dimmer switch? my thoughts are either twist both browns together and twist both blacks together and then connect those 2 twisted ones to one of black ones on the new switch and same with the other.... or, should i twist a black and brown together and connect to a black wire on the new switch or is that wrong? anyway, just would like someone of knowledge to let me know... anyway, thank you for your help
     

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  2. wwhitney

    wwhitney Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2019
    Location:
    Berkeley, CA
    The old switch is just a switch, not a dimmer? And is it one of 3 or more switches that all control the same lights?

    Then it's what's called a 4-way switch (because of the 4 connections), and you can't put a dimmer there. Look up 4-way switch wiring diagrams to understand what you have. You may be able to find a 3 way dimmer with companion 4 way unit that would let you replace one of the other switches controlling those lights with the 3-way dimmer, and then put the companion 4 way unit at the location pictured. Not sure if that product exists; it does for when there are only 2 switches (which would called 3-way switch, as they have 3 connections, and would the same as the first and and last switch in your case).

    If it's not one of 3 or more switches that all control the same light (or set of lights), then that's surprising. What is the make/model number of the existing switch? Also, what other wires are present in the box and how are they connected (don't open up any connections)?

    Cheers, Wayne
     
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  4. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2004
    Occupation:
    Retired Systems engineer for defense industry.
    Location:
    New England
    Lurton makes a multi location dimmer switch system that can control lights from as many as 8 locations with one master, and whatever number of slaves you desire. One of them is their Maestro series.
     
  5. wwhitney

    wwhitney Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2019
    Location:
    Berkeley, CA
    But is it a drop in replacement for conventional 3/4 way switching, using the existing travelers? Or is it just a wireless solution?

    Cheers, Wayne
     
  6. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2004
    Occupation:
    Retired Systems engineer for defense industry.
    Location:
    New England
    It isn’t a wireless installation, but it does require reallocating some of the wires. It only needs a single traveler control line between the switches and each gets hot/neutral regardless of the number of ‘remotes’. The lights are dimmable at any location, but there’s only an LED indication at the master of the intensity. Tapping any one twice, turns the lights on at full. When on, pressing and holding for a few seconds starts a theater dim to off function.
     
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