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Thread: Dimmers on 3-way

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  1. #1
    DIY Member JMingrone's Avatar
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    Default Dimmers on 3-way

    Question:

    I just wired my kitchen for two new 3 way circuits. Definitely want both to be on dimmers. I know they make 3-way dimmer switches, but what I don't know is if you can put the dimmer on both ends of the 3-way, or must one end have just a regular 3-way switch?

    Thanks,

    Jay

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    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
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    Get the diagram for any unit you are thinking about. But YES....there are dimmers which can be used on both ends of a three-way. Remember that MOST dimmers can NOT be used for fluorescents or LED's. If the dimmer switch does not cost >$100, just assume it is not compatible with fluorescents.

  3. #3
    DIY Member JMingrone's Avatar
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    No flourescents. Using Xenon under cabinet lights for ease of dimming and warm light. 4" Recessed cans in ceiling use CREE LEDs which I tested with an el-cheapo dimmer and they work fine. BTW, the CREES have a negligible turn-on delay compared to HALO's (which have a 1/4 to 1/2 sec delay) and are only $30 compared to $50 for the HALOs.

    I know they have fancy master/slave/remote setups nowadays, but I ran standard 3-conductor cable for the new 3-ways and was hoping to get a plain-vanilla type switch that cam be dimmed from either end. Do they make simple ones?

    Also, if you do have dimmers on each end does the dimming "add", i.e., if each was set for 50%, do you get 25% light?

    Thanks,

    Jay

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    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JMingrone View Post
    .


    Also, if you do have dimmers on each end does the dimming "add", i.e., if each was set for 50%, do you get 25% light?

    Thanks,

    Jay
    No, just as with a conventional switch, on end or the other will be placing the light on and dimming it

  5. #5
    DIYer, not in the trades LLigetfa's Avatar
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    One problem with 3-way dimmers is that if you dim one side all the way down but don't click it to off, it cannot be controlled from the other side.

  6. #6
    DIY Member JMingrone's Avatar
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    Hmmmm... Didn't realize that 3-way dimmers had an "off" as well. So i guess I'm still unclear how two 3-way dimmers interact. Guess I'll have to pick a few up and try them.

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