Dimmer switches and possible noise.

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Carson E, Aug 7, 2001.

  1. Carson E

    Carson E Agent

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    Hello to all:
    I was wondering if someone could confirm a solution to using "dimmer type switches"
    In my new HT room I want a couple wall lights on each of the long walls. 15X27. And maybe in ceiling. These will use a dimmer switch, but I have been told that noise leaks will probable be a problem. (Spk. buzzing etc.)
    The solution ( other than using as high quality switch that my budget will allow) is to split the electrical panel box by using one side for a separate 20amp breaker for all wall plugs in the room that components will use. And use the other side of panel for the lights especially wall light switch using the dimmer.
    If anyone could offer an opinion on this and one on a dimmer (reasonable cost) to use I would most appreciate it.
    Thanks
    Carson E
     
  2. Brett Loomis

    Brett Loomis Stunt Coordinator

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    Carson, I just built a new home last year and installed dimmers in just about every room with recessed can lighting. Here is my advice:
    1) I've found Lutron makes excellent products that are affordable and are built to resist or prevent RF or electrical interfernce/NOISE/whining. Each dimmer I purchased was the decora type and cost about $18-20 each at Home Depot.
    2) After installing several dimmers I noticed noise or whining from the lights themselves at low or high settings. Electrician friend suggested throwing away all builders cheap-ass light bulbs to eliminate noise. I was extremely skeptical this would work but, by God, absolutely no noise or whine with just an "upscale" light bulb. Same wattage and everything just bought the GE or Sylvania good stuff instead of the 6 for $1.99 crap.
    Also, if you want to go large, go for the the Lutron Grafik Eye system. This controls multiple lights and can be programmed to fade up and down for "movie theater effect"
    Good luck.
    ------------------
    My system:
    Klipsch KLF-30's Mains
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  3. Carson E

    Carson E Agent

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    Brett. Thanks for the tips. Never thought about the bulbs as a problem. I always used the 4 for a buck ones. So I will deffinately use the better brands.
    Also I take it you are satisfied with the "Lutron Decora" dimmers. So I'll check the Depot this week and check them out. Not a bad price.
    Just cant afford to go large. Building prices have skyrocketed here in the last several months and ate up most of my budget. Thanks again .
    If anyone can confirm the dividing the breaker box as a "to do" or "not gonna make a difference", thanks.
    Carson
     
  4. ChrisB

    ChrisB Stunt Coordinator

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    Carson-
    It wouldnt be a bad ideal to seperate the circuits. If you have the ability to do it yourself go for it. Brett was right about the bulbs, they are the number one reason for "humming" of lights, also Lutron is a very good maker of dimmers, we use them all the time(I am a master electrican). Just be sure to turn the power off to the lights before working on the dimmer, if not you will fry it.
     
  5. Leo Kerr

    Leo Kerr Screenwriter

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    With respect to dimmers, I have these comments to make:
    Some dimmers do not start coming on until they reach between 25 and 50%. Once you pass that point, you can back track and go down smoothly to the off-point, but there's a sudden ON point in the middle of the range.
    I have not had the chance to work with the Decora line of dimmers. The $10 or less/dimmer tend to be (a) noisy and (b) come on at 50%. The Lutron NOVA dimmers I've used have been infinitly superior. They also have a much better "feel" in operation.
    Frankly, I have not been impressed by the Graphix Eye system. We've got 'em where I work, and their interface is... yucky. If you want something fancy like it, I'd recommend skipping over to ETC's UNISON system (see them at www.etcconnect.com.)
    As for splitting boxes, realistically, I don't know how much that it'd actually do to clean up the power to the rest of your equipment. If you're playing fancy power games, consider going to "technical" or "balanced" power. Furman power conditioners sometimes do this. I'm sure there are others.
    Leo Kerr
    Lkerr1@alumni.umbc.edu
     
  6. Carson E

    Carson E Agent

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    Thank you all very much. I will heed your suggestions and warnings. The house is being built at this time so "I" won't be messing around with the box. (bad idea). But I will be with the Electrician as he wires.
    The panel box , I was told, was two separate L/R 110's equaling 220. And that anything on the same side would (slightly ) effect everything on that side. Hence, the water pump or dryer comes on and the lights dim for a second. Thats what I want to try to prevent by placing the dimmer circuits on the opposite side of the HT/ computer wall plugs.
    Again, I appreciate the helpful info.
    Carson
     
  7. David Rip

    David Rip Auditioning

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    "Frankly, I have not been impressed by the Graphix Eye system. We've got 'em where I work, and their interface is... yucky. If you want something fancy like it, I'd recommend skipping over to ETC's UNISON system (see them at http://www.etcconnect.com.)
     

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