2 gang varilight r/c dimmer

Discussion in 'Home Cinema Buying & Building' started by 5teve, Aug 23, 2004.

  1. 5teve

    5teve
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    hi there

    i have just bought a 2 gang r/c dimmer from TLC. on TLC's site it says these can be used with torroidal transformers, however on the instructions it says they cant. i bought it as i want to get some wire mounted spots from Ikea that run 5 x 20w bulbs, and i think that they are torroidal transformers in them.

    has anyone succesfully used torroidal transformers with this dimmer?

    Thanks in advance people

    Steve
     
  2. hornydragon

    hornydragon
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    have used it with standard low voltage spots and standard transformers. Perhaps look at some different types of spots.
     
  3. 5teve

    5teve
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    when you say standard transformer.... do you mean wire wound or electronic?

    Thanks

    Steve
     
  4. hornydragon

    hornydragon
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    wire wound asked sparky as he happened to be onsite!
     
  5. 5teve

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    thanks.... i'll give it a shot if it doesnt work i will buy a teeny transformer from tlc they are only a tenner!
     
  6. doink

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    I've used many of the TLC dimmers recantly, be ready for them to go pop after a few months use!

    They are well known for failing after a very short time, It's not really that much of a problem if you buy about three of them!!! (it still works out a damn site cheaper than a Lutron or Futronix system... plus you don't need any rewiring to get them working properly!)
     
  7. ReTrO

    ReTrO
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    I've had a 2 gang TLC dimmer in my bedroom since October last year and not had a problem with it. I have been running 5 x 35w halogens on one channel and 8m of 240v rope light on the other. Works fine.

    It uses TE (Trailing Edge) dimming technology which menas you will need TE transformers if you are going to use low votlage lighting.

    I'm personally going to pop a Polaron Modulo4 into my room when they become available and add a couple more channels of dmming.

    I'm changing to LED lighting now too.
     
  8. ReTrO

    ReTrO
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    Following on from this I managed to burn out one channel of my dimmer last night by wiring 5 LED lights (10w total load).

    Due to the capactive nature of the lamps used.

    Warning, do not do it too!

    I'm going to wire in a normal switch until I can get something proper dimming wise sorted out.
     
  9. MrSafety

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    Don't do it!!!!

    I posted some months ago about exactly the same thing - TLC dimmer with Ikea 5x20w LV halogens (forget the name/model now but the transformer is housed in a silver ball) and the dimmer ran hot for a while and then finally blew.

    I've looked around and can't find an alternative for me that doesn't end up being an overblown solution or cost a fortune. I'm afraid you might have to do what I did and just use a normal light switch until you can drum up the enthusiasm to de-install your lights, make good the holes in the ceiling, and put some non-toroidal halogens in.
     
  10. vulkan75

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    I recently bought 2 600 watt chrome remote control dimmers from TLC.
    In the ceiling I have 16, 50watt, mains powered spots from B&Q.(thats 800watts of power giving off nearly the same heat as a one bar electric fire :D )

    They handle the load just fine.

    I dont know if the reliabilaty issues with TLC stuff only affect low voltage systems, but my mains Gu10 system has no such problems.

    may be an option for someone.

    :hiya:
     
  11. John

    John
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    In light ( pun intended :D ) of the 800 :eek: watts , do dimmer swithces actually reduce the power consumtion , ie ,keeping bills lower ?
     
  12. vulkan75

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    Sure.....reducing the dimmer will save money...not sure if its a major saving but reducing any demand on the electric meter will surley slow that disc down.
    I believe mains power into a transformer is merely send around in circles in a copper coil so it eventually loses some of its original voltage.
    I'm not a sparky by any means, but it seems to me that low voltage systems using transformers actually waste power rather than save it.

    Maybe someone with more in depth knowledge, may be able to dispense, a more accurate deliberation of the pro's & cons of low voltage and mains systems.....but I for one am happy with my 800w tanning salon. :rotfl: :D :laugh:
     
  13. John

    John
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    I thought it would , just wanted in confirming
     
  14. ReTrO

    ReTrO
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    On enquiring with our resident lighting engineer, I have just been told this.

    A low voltage 30W halogen will give out more light than a 30W 240v mains halogen. The low voltage unit will use more power than the mains, but it will be very minimal.
     
  15. rhinoman

    rhinoman
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    Hi Rick
    Do you know if this dimmer can have a channel do full-on/full-off as opposed to using a dim cycle to get from on to off and then back? If so I can use it to replace my 4 channel dimmer (with 1 replaced with a switch module) which controls my lights and my screen.

    Cheers
     
  16. ReTrO

    ReTrO
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    JohnS: That I am aware of yes. I asked our lighting engineer, Tony, yesterday and he said that there are dim/non-dim swtiches that can be set so no dimming is possible is required, and you can just do basic on/off control.

    I think the dimmer is due for December time this year, gives me time to save for a bit. :)
     
  17. rhinoman

    rhinoman
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    Thanks for that Rick, if you could be so kind as too let me know when its available, I'm guessing that it is likly to be at least Futronix kind of money?
     
  18. ReTrO

    ReTrO
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    Sure thing John.

    Pricing wise it's aimed at being under Grafikeye prices, while also being much more flexible/powerful.
     
  19. windfall

    windfall
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    Hi chaps

    Can someone let me know what the web address for TLC is?

    Cheers

    Tone
     
  20. John

    John
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  21. C h a z II

    C h a z II
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    What price are the TLC dimmers?

    You say they are more powerfull that Lutron, how so?
     
  22. C h a z II

    C h a z II
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    Also what dimming technology do they use?
     
  23. ReTrO

    ReTrO
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    They claim to use (TE) Trailing Edge technology. I will be bale to check this enxt week as mine is coming into work to be taken apart to look at.

    Thye are not as flexable as a proper dimming system, thats for sure, but in a typical house are happy dimming a room full of lights without being over loaded.

    I think the basic Lutron kit is rated @ 3A channel (720W, have to check), larger install dimmers (Polaron, iLight etc,) are typically 5A channel (1200W).
     
  24. 5teve

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    thanks for the replys guys. it is the silver balled version of the ikea lights but i have decided to swap out the internal transformer in the ball for one of TLC's teeny tiny transformers i should be able to shoehorn it in the ball i would of thought. if not i'll install the transformer in my loft and run low voltage in the wall.

    the lights are not installed yet so i'm ok... although i have just had to fill stacks of holes in from previous stuff!

    again thanks for the info!
     
  25. C h a z II

    C h a z II
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    ReTrO,
    Let me know how you get on.
     
  26. ReTrO

    ReTrO
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    Sorry, I've not got round to taking the dimmer out of the wall yet. I am currently living with very dull lighting until I get a switch back in.

    Must do it this week, it's getting very dark now.
     
  27. digisocialist

    digisocialist
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    Hi people.. Just embarking on this stage of my operation (conversion) also. Was about to go down to B&Q and try to pick up a pack of halogen spot downlighters with a transformer and a dimmer switch..until reading this I would have opted for a set of 9 250v / 50 w lights to run off the mains...now I' not sure what to do. asically I want 9 spotlights in my cinema room, running off the mains, operated from an off the shelf dimmer.... any suggestions?
     
  28. MrSafety

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    Hey 5teve

    Do let me know how you get on. I'd thought of swapping transformers but have no idea what's compatible with what and didn't want to risk setting my house on fire (again) and thought any sensible electrician would have given me a funny look and run away if I'd asked him about it.

    If you're successful with this, I'm IN!
     
  29. C h a z II

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    If you are going for downlighters make sure they are the type with the lamp recessed into the fitting. This gets rid of the glare.

    Try and be imaginative with the design too. Rows are pretty boring. Try an elipse of circle etc. If you can split the ceiling lights into two circuits.
    For example if you were to do a circle make the lights that pass over the seating area a separate circuit. The when you pause the film you can just bring on the lights of the seats.

    Don't forget about lamps or wall lights. All you lamps should be on a 5A (or multiple) circuit. Back to your dimmer.

    I would look to using either a Lutron Graffik Eye of one of the iLight dimmers. (neither of these are as expensive as you may think if you know where to buy from)

    Hope this helps.
     

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