(206) 949-5683, Top Rated Plumber, Seattle
Page 2 of 2 FirstFirst 12
Results 16 to 25 of 25

Thread: Dimmers on 3-way

  1. #16
    DIY Member JMingrone's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Connecticut
    Posts
    49

    Default

    I think the restriction about one end being in the off position to dim from either end would be a nuisance, but just for grins, do you have a make/model for the type you describe?

  2. #17
    DIYer, not in the trades LLigetfa's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    NW Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    3,677

    Default

    I don't recall the brands. I replaced all of the original ones with a different brand because they were noisy. Because of the limitation, I ended up putting the dimmer on just one end and replaced the less used end with just a regular 3-way toggle. Still to this day, I will sometimes go to flick on the toggle but the far end dimmer was set to dim and not clicked all the way to off. If it annoys enough, I might try some of those master/remote versions that Jim mentioned. First though, I will mention to the wife, the high price in the hopes it can somehow dissuade her from leaving the far end on dim instead of off.

    Meh... that'll never happen. Now, if only I could get her to leave the toilet seat up for me. Oh, and never, ever opt for one of those double wide garage doors... the wife will always park right in the middle, taking up both spaces.

  3. #18
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    New England
    Posts
    21,390

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by LLigetfa View Post
    Now, if only I could get her to leave the toilet seat up for me. Oh, and never, ever opt for one of those double wide garage doors... the wife will always park right in the middle, taking up both spaces.
    Put a support pole or something in the middle...
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  4. #19
    DIY Member JMingrone's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Connecticut
    Posts
    49

    Default

    Coincidentally, I just put a double wide garage door in. Won't know how it works out until I get my new kitchen cabinets and appliances out of there......

  5. #20
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    Posts
    25,632

    Default

    The idea behind a 3way switch is that you can turn it on at one location and turn it off at the other. If you have to turn one "off" before the other will work, that pretty much negates the reason for having it as a 3way. Logically, if one switch has dimmed the lights, you cannot go to the other end and expect to "undim" them since the power only comes from one end or the other, and once it is "reduced" you cannot increase it at the other end.
    Licensed residential and commercial plumber

  6. #21
    DIY Member JMingrone's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Connecticut
    Posts
    49

    Default

    Right hj. This whole issue caught me a bit off guard. A few weeks back I confirmed there were products available called "3-way dimmers", then proceeded to do the electrical rough in, running the 3-conductor cables in the standard way, intending to use "regular old dimmers" like i've used dozens of times before. Then I had a 2 AM moment...how the heck was THAT going to work? The Master/Remote scheme is the answer. Thankfully it only needs the 3-conductor cable I installed. Live and learn.

  7. #22
    DIYer, not in the trades LLigetfa's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    NW Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    3,677

    Default

    With the low-tech 3-way dimmers, when one end is dimmed, a toggle on the other end can do what it normally does, namely toggle on and off. With these same low-tech dimmers, whilst dimmed at one end, a dimmer at the other end can still toggle, just cannot control the dimness/brightness. It is not necessary to go back to the other dimmer to turn it off unless you have it dimmed to "almost off". The caveat is to not dim it to "almost off" but to click it to full off. It is a training issue.

    I have several locations where we want to pretty much set the level and may leave it there, then toggle it on/off from the other end.

    The lights over the bed is a good example. Whilst in bed, the dimmer near the bed controls how bright or dim it is. The toggle at the door simply toggles. There is more than just the one light switch at the door so if full light is needed in the bedroom, the other lights are available. If more light is needed above the bed, the dimmer there takes care of it.

    Another example is the foyer outside the bedroom. The dimmer is at the MBR door and the toggle is at the other end of the foyer. In the morning, I set the light on dim so as to disturb the wife and to be easy on my eyes. It is at my door for convenience. Infrequent guests don't have the convenience but they do have a dimmer in their bedroom and can simply let that light spill out into the foyer if'n they don't want harsh bright light.

    Yet another example is the stairway. I have toggles top and bottom and at a third location, a dimmer. The dimmer is pretty much set-and-forget, and the toggles are convenience.

  8. #23
    DIYer, not in the trades LLigetfa's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    NW Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    3,677

    Default

    It may come down to "managed expectations". When I installed the low-tech dimmers at both ends, it was my expectation that the wife understood how they worked. Obviously I mismanaged her expectations. Her expectation was that when one side was dimmed, the other side could still vary the brightness.

    When I replaced the noisy dimmers and opted to put toggles on the one end, it again was my expectation that by now, the wife understood the limitation of needing to set the dimmer to full off. Again, I mismanaged my expectation.

    Some problems like this one can be solved by throwing more money at them. Some things not easily so. {sigh}

  9. #24
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    New England
    Posts
    21,390

    Default

    At least with the Lutron Maestro, one of the switches (the master) has LED's to indicate the relative dimming level so (if I remember correctly) at least one LED would be lit, regardless of the setting as an indication it was still on. I'm not home now, so can't check. HD (in the states) usually has one setup as a demo, and you could check it out yourself.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  10. #25
    DIY Member JMingrone's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Connecticut
    Posts
    49

    Default

    LL: I suppose if I was on Gilligan's Island, me and the professor could probably rig up the 3-way the way you suggest (probably with a couple coconut shells thrown in for good measure). But Lutron and others have already solved the problem, and the price ain't too bad.

    Jim: Saw the Maestro at my local HD. I'll be picking up a couple sets soon

    Thanks,

    Jay

Similar Threads

  1. Standard 3W and 4W switches co-existing with master/remote dimmers
    By Ada in forum Electrical Forum discussion & Blog
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: 12-08-2010, 04:26 PM
  2. Code question on multi-location dimmers ( lutron / maestro )
    By atuel in forum Electrical Forum discussion & Blog
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 12-28-2009, 07:06 PM
  3. Humming Dimmers
    By ScottTENN in forum Electrical Forum discussion & Blog
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 12-11-2008, 07:56 AM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •