05:06AM | 07/26/05
Member Since: 07/25/05
2 lifetime posts
In my basement I have 4 zones of recessed lights on 2 separate 20 amp dedicated light circuits. Each zone has (9) Halo (H7T) recessed halogen flood lights with 75 watt bulbs for a total of 675 watts per zone. I installed (4) 1000 watt single pole dimmers to control each of the zones. I placed 2 dimmers in each 2 gang thermoplastic switch box (~4 & 3/4" deep) so the box wouldn't be overcrowed with wires.

I would like to know if it is normal for the metal face plates of the dimmers to get hot enough that you cannot touch them for more than a couple of seconds without having to remove your fingers from the metal facing of the dimmer (Note: The termoplastic boxes are not hot to the touch, just the dimmers). I know dimmers are supposed to get warm but

it makes me a little uncomfortable that they are so hot. I have used lower watt dimmers (600 watt) in other areas of the house in the past but I just don't remember those dimmers getting so hot. I realize that the higher watt dimmers are going to generate more heat but how much

heat is too much?

Does this seam right? Does anyone have any recommendations on how to dissipate some of the heat on the dimmer switch?


04:51PM | 07/26/05
Member Since: 05/03/05
79 lifetime posts
To answer part of your question: Your 1000 Watt dimmers are no longer 1000 Watt. Once you "gang" them together, you needed to break off some of the heat sink. This means the dimmers are probably only good for 700-800 Watts depending on manufacturer. Check your paperwork on the dimmer if you still have it or post the mfg and model #.

Some require metal boxes for added heat disipation.


01:22PM | 08/01/05
Member Since: 07/25/05
2 lifetime posts
Thanks for the response. This weekend I swapped out the thermoplastic boxes for metal ones. That helped to reduce the heat a bit. The dimmer switches are Lutron Skylark 1000 watt dimmers. The maximum wattage is 800 watts when you break off one side of the heat fins (600 when you break off 2 sides). I'm currently running 675 watts through each zone so I'm running at approximately 85% capacity. One thing that I did notice while experimenting with the dimmers is that they seem to get hotter when the lights are fully turned on. I was surprised by this as I thought dimmers were supposed to get hotter when they are dimmer.

I remember someone telling me that they make dimmers that click to the full on position and they act like a regular switch. Supposedly, they don't produce heat like a regular dimmer when they in the full "on" position. Has anyone heard of such a dimmer switch? If so, would you know where I can get my hands on one to test?


02:47PM | 08/01/05
Member Since: 04/25/05
1918 lifetime posts
Dimmers use electronic switches called tracs. When on they have a small, but constant voltage drop across them which produces the heat.

They turn off each 1/2 cycle and delay until they turn on for the next 1/2 cycle. The more that they delay the dimmer the light. When they are not on the don't have a voltage drop and don't generate heat. So the dimmer the less heat that they put out.

The type of dimmer that you are talking about is called a bypass dimmer. Pass and Seymour (sp?) make some.

I don't know how "sensitive" your fingers are, but they do get fairly hot.

Another option would be to go up in side, but they are double size and have heat sink fins on the surface.



Post a reply as Anonymous

Photo must be in JPG, GIF or PNG format and less than 5MB.


type the code from the image


Post_new_button or Login_button

Oversize windows let the outside in, even in a cozy cottage bathroom like this one. A roller screen and wraparound shower ... Built on a rocky island in the Drina River, near the town of Bajina Basta, Serbia, this wooden house was cobbled together ... Large steel-framed windows flood the interior of this remodeled Michigan barn with daylight. The owners hired Northworks A... Edging formed with upside-down wine bottles is a refreshing change. Cleverly and artistically involving recycled materials... A Washington State couple called on BC&J Architects to transform their 400-square-foot boathouse into a hub for family bea... Similar to the elevated utensil concept, hanging your pots and pans from a ceiling-mounted rack keeps them nearby and easy... Few projects are more fun than upcycling a vintage piece in a surprising way. Outfitted with a sink and a delicately tiled... The thyme growing between these stepping stones adds a heady fragrance to strolls along this lush, low-maintenance garden ... Decoupage is an easy way to add any paper design to your switch plate, whether it is wallpaper, scrapbook paper, book page... Twine lanterns add pops of crafty—but sophisticated—flair to any outdoor setting. Wrap glue-soaked twine around a balloon ... When securely fastened to a tree or the ceiling of a porch, a pallet and some cushioning make the ideal place to lounge. V... Reluctant to throw away any of those unidentified keys in your junk drawer? Hang them from a few chains attached to a simp... A stripped-down model, sans screened porch, starts out at $79,000. Add the porch, a heated floor for the bath, and all the... Salvaged boards in varying widths and colors make up the dramatic accent wall in this attic space. The high-gloss white of... This garden shed has been decked out to the nines. Designer Orla Kiely created the intimate home for a flower trade show, ...
Newsletter_icon Google_plus Facebook Twitter Pinterest Youtube Rss_icon