Problems with Helvar Digidim 4 system - should I replace it?

cindycchan

Standard Member
I had a Helvar Digidim 4 sytem installed (3 circuits) almost ten years ago and one by one the dimmer on each circuit has decided to fail. I had one replaced a few years ago at great expense (by Helvar) but now the other two have stopped working. Helvar have been very unhelpful this time saying that I should get in an electrician. So I'm not sure what to do. Should I just ditch the system and look for something else that is more robust? Is it possible to re-use the control panels? Does anyone have any ideas as to what I can do please? Grateful for any advice as two of my circuits haven't been working for almost a year now!
 

neilball

Well-known Member
Repair is potentially possible if you find the "right" person or you could ditch the dimmer pack and replace it with separate individual din-rail dimmers from the Helvar range. Cost could be an issue and you also need a suitable programming interface and Digidim Toolbox to set everything up.

My experience is that Helvar is close to being fit and forget with many installs well over 10 years old that have suffered no hardware failures to date.

I have to say you are somewhat unlucky, I've found Helvar to be very reliable providing you don't overload the dimmers or use really cheap, unfused incandescent lamps (that can pull a massive current when the filament fails). I would not expect that other dimmers would be any more reliable in this respect.

If you want a DIY option then you might be better changing to something else though, both for lower cost and being easier to configure.
 

cindycchan

Standard Member
Thank you for your reply. I should add that the dimmers have been installed in the boiler cupboard which gets very very warm (it was the only space available to install them out of sight) and may be the reason why all 3 of the original ones have failed - that said the Helvar engineer who came to replace the first one said he didn't think it was down to the very hot environment. All the bulbs are the low voltage halogen type so probably not the cause either?
I will look into your suggestion of individual din-rail dimmers but either way I think I'll have to find someone to look at this for me because I'm not technical enough to go with a DIY option.
 

neilball

Well-known Member
I'd stick with branded 12v halogens from one of the major lamp companies as cheap models can be unfused, and could be a factor in the dimmer damage. Setting the max output of the dimmer channels to 90% with a slow ramp on & off will also extend the life of the lamps too. These settings are easily changed via the Digidim Toolbox software.

I'd suggest going back to Helvar and asking for details of any installers in your area who might be able to help.
 

cindycchan

Standard Member
I'd never thought to check ebay for Helvar. Thank you for the tip. Thanks also Neil for suggestions on the lamps - the dimmers have a slow ramp on/off but I'll check the lamps themselves.
 

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