03:21AM | 12/18/02
Member Since: 12/17/02
3 lifetime posts
Hi all - first post, so thanks in advance.

We've been in the process of having our basement redone, during which I've begun to doubt the sanity of our contractor.

He installed two dimmer switches, both of which control 480 watts worth of lighting (2 fixtures each, each of those with four 60-watt bulbs). He assures me the dimmer switch is up to the load, but when the lights are on, the metal conductor plates at the top and bottom of the switch are hot to the touch - not so much that it will burn you immediately, but if you hold a finger on it for 10 seconds, you'll have to pull it away.

This strikes me as a problem; him, less so. Anyone know for sure?

Tom O

11:18AM | 12/18/02
Member Since: 09/17/02
477 lifetime posts
Dimmers will get hot, no doubt about it. If these are 600 watt or larger dimmers, this should not be a problem.

If you're really concerned, get a contact thermometer & take a reading. We might be able to find some info on the maximum allowable surface temperature to compare your readings with.



02:24AM | 12/19/02
Member Since: 03/13/00
1675 lifetime posts
Tom O is right. Dimmers get hot.
If you're concerned, you could replace those 60-watt bulbs with 40-watt just to be safe.


06:25AM | 12/19/02
Member Since: 12/17/02
3 lifetime posts
Thanks for the notes; I will replace the 60-watters with 40-watt bulbs just for my piece of mind. Appreciate the help.


04:49PM | 12/19/02
Member Since: 11/05/01
98 lifetime posts
The metal on the dimmer is supposed to get hot. The metal is a heat sink which is used to dissipate the heat generated by the dimmers operation. Dimmers are 98% efficient. The other 2% is dissipated as heat. The higher the load the more heat. You may be better off with the 60's dimmed 20%. This will extend the life of the lamp four times. Is there a reason you think the contractor (electrican I hope) is not being honest with you?

[This message has been edited by electricmanscott (edited December 19, 2002).]

harold endean

04:37PM | 12/23/02
Member Since: 08/30/02
23 lifetime posts
Just my 2 cents, but is this dimmer located next to another dimmer? If so you might have to derate the dimmer. That means if you instal a 600 watt dimmer next to another 600 watt dimmer, then each dimmer is now only good for 500 watt. This is a manufactures requirement. Plus if you have 3 dimmers in a row, the middle dimmer might only be good for 400 watt and the 2 outer dimmers good for 500 watt. Check the manufactures instruction.


Click to reply button
Inspiration banner


Post a reply as Anonymous

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

Reply choose button


Post new button or Login button

To test the boundaries of small-footprint living, interior designer Jessica Helgerson moved her family to a 540-square-foo... Filling an underutilized area beneath the stairs is a smart way to save space. Doing so with a stash of wood, however, is ... The Audubon Society inspired wallpaper in this Adirondack-styled mudroom will get you in the outdoor mood. Grab your coat ... Chalkboard paint opens up endless possibilities for customizing your dresser time and time again. Use chalk to label the c... A fireplace in the bathroom creates the ultimate setting for relaxation. Homeowners often choose electric or gas over wood... This roomy boot tray made from punched metal stands up to all the elements. Station it in your mudroom or at your back doo... There’s nothing like a new set of cabinet hardware to refresh a room. The possibilities are endless: Go modern, rustic, or... FLOR tiles are an affordable way to customize a carpeted floor covering for any space. Make anything from runners to wall-... Chalkboard paint features prominently in this elegant yet unpretentious headboard design. Add a new message daily to reflec... Salvaged boards in varying widths and colors make up the dramatic accent wall in this attic space. The high-gloss white of... The indecisive homeowner need not fret over choosing one (or even two) cabinet colors. The kitchen cabinets in this artist... Incorporate nature into your lighting scheme by securing a dead tree in a concrete mold and draping your pendant lamp from... Simple and striking, a couple of pieces of "lovingly used" furniture creates a special kind of charm. A weathered chair fo... First dress up your metal shelves with a coat of paint in an accent color that complements your kitchen decor. Then arrang... Dark wood shelving and a matching upholstered bench keep this closet sleek and refined. The large window brightens the sub...
Follow banner a
Newsletter icon Flipboard glossy Facebook Twitter Pinterest Youtube Rss icon