Replacement IR dimmer

M

MrSafety

Guest
I have one of these infrared dimmers

http://www.tlc-direct.co.uk/Products/VLIQ1402.html

and have been using it for quite a while. Before Xmas I installed 2 sets of Ikea low-voltage lights

http://www.ikea.co.uk/webapp/wcs/st...ats=10111*10448

and put 4 x 20w bulbs on each transformer. So, this gives me

gang1 - operates a single 60w bulb in a walk-in cupboatd
gang2 - operates 2 ikea transformers powering 4 x 20w bulbs each - a total of 160w.

The dimmer switch ran warm (but the dimmer switch instructions said it was normal so don't worry) and the switch buzzed when the lights were on or dim which was annoying but I lived with it.

Anyway, on Friday night while the lights were about half-dimmed for 10 minutes continuously, something went "crack", the lights were jacked up to full brightness and the dimmer control wouldn't turn the lights off. It also smelt of electrical burning so I turned off the circuit and took the switch off the wall.

The following day I refitted the switch to the wall but the other way around - I figured I had blown gang 2 but gang 1 was still working and only operating a walk-in cupboard so I swapped them over. The minute I turned on the power the wall switch started smoking and I ran downstairs and turned off the power.

I appear to have blown both gangs on the lightswitch and have reverted back to the normal (undimming) lightswitch.

After checking with the manufacturers I'm told that my LV halogens have a wire-wound transformer and don't work with this dimmer switch. (sigh)

So, what dimmer can I get that:-

(a) is operable via IR
(b) will support the LV halogens with the wattage I've mentioned on gang2
(c) will also allow me to keep the LVs separately operable from the bare bulb in the walk-in cupboard on gang1
(d) takes up the same space as a single light switch on the wall.

I posted this originally on the DIY thread but no recommendations have been forthcoming. Cost of dimmer replacement at this point is becoming a non-issue as life drags on with having to manually turn the lights on/off, so no recommendation will be refused!
 

KW1816

Novice Member
When using low voltage lights it's the transformer rating you need - not the bulbs.

Quote from the instructions:

When using electronic LV transformers add the VA ratings of the transformers, not the wattage of the bulbs
You also need to check the transformers are designed to be dimmable, most are but some are not.

Hope this helps :D

Cheers
Kevin.
 
M

MrSafety

Guest
Yeah, I see your point about the transformer ratings but that is really beside the point now, since the dimmer won't support the type of transformer (wire-wound) regardless of its ratings.

Unfortunately I had no idea that my lights were wire-wound transformed - it doesn't say this anywhere on the packaging or even on the instructions and I already had the dimmer installed before I bought the lights.

So, I think my original question and criteria still stand. Recommendations anyone?
 

richard plumb

Distinguished Member
get some different lights. I had the same problem, and nowhere did it say on the IKEA packaging. So I just cut my losses and bought some mains voltage halogens from B&Q. There are lots available now (weren't then)
 
B

bobgriffiths

Guest
I cant believe it worked ok for so long your a lucky chappy!
GU10 mains halogens work ok BUT you have to double the wattage of the bulb this gives you a rating for the dimmer so for eg if you use 3X50W GU10 bulbs thats 150w which you double thats 300w so thats safe to work on a 400w rated dimmer.

I use two single IR dimmers side by side 1for my over head spots 3x50w GU10 and the 2nd one for my table lamps i use a marantz RC5200 remote.
when i started this job i looked for a one gang switch that would work two circuits i could only find a futronix switch which are expensive and you need a neutral at the switch which most UK houses dont have

Low voltage spots can be a pain to dim and electronic transformers are available from screwfix direct

hope this helps
Bob
 
M

MrSafety

Guest
Bobgriffiths

I'm not too happy with the idea of replacing my lights as (a) it took me ages to install them (I'm not a natural DIYer or electrician) (b) it would leave unsightly holes in the ceiling where the transformers are and where the suspension cables for the lights are. I know I could fill 'em in (the holes) and repaint but that means repainting the whole ceiling (don't have an exact colour match for the current ceiling paint) and I REALLY don't want to do this.

It would be much easier if there was someway of leaving the existing light fittings in place and somehow using one of these screwfix transformers to bypass the current ones invisibly (to the observer). For instance, the IKEA transformers are big half-balls (about the size of a large grapefruit) which I have screwed to the ceiling over the pre-existing ceiling roses. Could I disconnect the transformer from the electrics, connect up one of these screwfix ones hidden in the ceiling cavity and thread the wires connecting to the lights out through the half-ball thing so it looked like nothing had changed?

Oooh, it's all sounding a bit too electrical for me :rolleyes:
 
M

MrSafety

Guest
Hi

The lights are termosfar. The link used to work! Try this onehttp://www.ikea.co.uk/webapp/wcs/st...ats=10111*10448. They're the lights shown in the large picture here also http://www.ikea.co.uk/webapp/wcs/st...ats=10111*10448

As for the tlc-direct dimmer link I'm not sure what you're getting at. The dimmer mentioned for wire-wound transformers - the only one mentioned for them - is a bog-standard dimmer model (ie, no remote control) :-(
 

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