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shbussey

10:29AM | 09/05/00
Member Since: 06/27/00
3 lifetime posts
Bvelectrical
We are installing some track lights with 50watt halogen bulbs. The bulb packages say that they "must" be used with a "low wattage" dimmer if a dimmer is installed. Is this really true? Does it depend on where they lie on the circuit? We have gotten different answers from different people. Another problem: such a dimmer is not stocked and must be ordered, and it isn't cheap: 50-75$. Does anyone know the real story about dimming halogen?

ElectrcBil

07:04AM | 09/06/00
Member Since: 07/21/00
76 lifetime posts
If the Lights instructions indicate a special dimmer than it is best to use that type of dimmer. I have installed low voltage halogens which have a magnetic transformer to reduce the voltage and they reguired a magnetic dimmer. That dimmer cost 175 dollars, ouch! I am not quite sure of the type of lights you are installing, does each have its own transformer? Are they operated off of a 12v system?

shbussey

12:24PM | 09/06/00
Member Since: 06/27/00
3 lifetime posts
Thanks so much for trying to help. Each light does have its own transformer, and it is a 12v system.... The bulbs required are 50wattMR-16. The package says to use an "electronic low voltage transformer dimmer". Nothing about magnetic.
any ideas? -Susan

ElectrcBil

07:02AM | 09/10/00
Member Since: 07/21/00
76 lifetime posts
The best bet is to stick with what the instructions say. If you do not you may void warranties or cause strange electrical problems elsewhere in the circuit. The magnetic dimmer i spoke of earlier was used for the same type of lamps that you track lights use. However it only had one transformer for all the lamps. The dimmer required that a neutral wire be installed in the switchbox to the dimmer. This is not a usual type of installation. My only guess is that somehow the dimmer controlled possible harmonic or feedback problems which may develope from the electromagnetic forces that occur when changing the primary voltage of the transformer. It may be very possible to use a regular dimmer with these lights and they may function properly without any other problems. But my suggestion is to find the right dimmer and install it properly. Good luck.
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