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  1. #1
    Senior Member Flame*Angel's Avatar
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    Halogen lights dimmable?

    I had an old ceiling fan in my home office that I wanted to replace with light fixture. I bought a nice sleek halogen one at Home Depot and the guy told me it would be dimmable. I wired it up this morning and the wall switch works to turn it off and on but it doesn't dim. Anyone know if these really can be dimmed or not? Would I have to change the way it's wired in the box behind the dimmer switch? I did have to change the way it was wired from the ceiling.

    Ceiling has:
    2 black
    2 white
    1 red

    Lamp has:
    1 black
    1 white

    I wired:
    2 whites from ceiling to 1 white from lamp
    2 blacks from ceiling together
    1 red from ceiling to 1 black from lamp
    Susan

  2. #2
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    Yes they are, I used to have an ugly looking halogen floor lamp, it had a dimmer switch on it, and it worked.

  3. #3
    Senior Member scuba steve's Avatar
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    I think the wall switch has to be dimmable for it to work Flame...but the light itself will be able to do it if you have the switch.
    stephen
    Stephen

  4. #4
    Moderator cres's Avatar
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    The two sets of wires, two black, two white, and one red indicates a possible complication in your wiring.

    My guess is that you have either a two way switch system (the red wire makes me think this), or, the wiring proceeds to another box (light,outlet, etc.).

    You wired the two blacks together at the ceiling. Did you put the dimmer switch on the red wire at the wall switch? Is there a red wire at the wall switch? You might have the one set of black&white running to a second switch or another box.

    What wires are there at the wall switch. You said you can turn in on or off, but, what happens when you dim all the way down?

    Halogen are dimmable, but, you should know that they reach maximum lifespan at about 80% brightness and begin to suffer a shorter life at lower settings. (it has to do with the redepositing of the filament material back on the filament. This is what the halogen gas is for, it prevents the metal from depositing on the glass)

    Too much physics there, but, the short answer is "yes", but, you will have to sort out your wiring.
    Sarchasm: The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn't get it.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Flame*Angel's Avatar
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    There already is a dimmer switch on the wall, it did work with the light of the ceiling fan that was there before.

    One thing I noticed when "playing" was that at one point the switch was also turning off and on one of the plugs in the wall - which I don't want it to do.

    I knew something was funky with these wires. Basic wiring I'm ok with but this red wire is really confusing me. I took off the plate cover on the switch and put it right back on. Oodles of wires tangled up in there.

    Anyway, sounds like dimming might not be the best thing for this new light anyway. I bought halogen because the bulb doesn't have to be replaced as often.
    Susan

  6. #6
    Senior Member scuba steve's Avatar
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    You were to smart for my response you should have said yes steve you dumb ass I do have a dimmer switch. :lol:

    stephen:lol:
    Stephen

  7. #7
    Senior Member SloHand's Avatar
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    I just took possesion of a new (old) home and had wiring that sounds like what your describing. The light switch controlled a plug and I wanted to add a ceilling light and have the switch control that new light. I got help from a library book called "Wiring a House" Author Rex Cauldwell. It was great 'cause it had lots of pictures and diagrams If I recall the wiring your discribing is multiple closed loop (or something like that). It took just minutes to figure out my problem (couldn't get the switch to work on just the light) by just scaning his diagrams.

    "Life isn't hard when you have a library card!"

  8. #8
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    Susan .. by the sounds of the wiring you have "switched" light and "always on" fan wiring in your overhead box. This is common so the fan can be running while you can turn the light on and off. BE SURE TO SECURE THAT "ALWAYS ON" WIRE IN THAT BOX. Use a marret on it. I think it is the red one that needs to be moved aside. So put the blacks and whites to your light light.
    Rob

  9. #9
    Senior Member Flame*Angel's Avatar
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    Rob - I tried that first actually but the light switch didn't work at all with all black to black, white to white and the red not connected to anything. The light was on but the switch didn't dim or turn it off.

    If a marret is a plastic screw on cap thingie I have them on everything.

    Before I disconnected the ceiling fan that had the dimmable light the wiring was all black to black, all white to white and the red connected to something I don't remember now. I do know that both red and blacks are hot. The whites are nuetral.

    I've got the book "Basic Wiring for Canada" but couldn't find my setup in it. The closest thing I found is what I'm using now. I installed all the ceiling fans upstairs without any of this trouble. There weren't as many wires though.

    Oh yeah, and, Steve you dumb ass I do have a dimmer switch!
    Susan

  10. #10
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    Susan .. if the switch was not working and the fan and lights worked the first time up it means that you wired it into the always on wires. One of the blacks must be the always on wire. White is and always will be neutral and they always go together. So now try the red to the fans black and the boxes blacks in the box together. Check the fan for a 3rd wire that may be tucked away and went unnoticed. There should be 4 wires in the fans harness. A white, a black A 3rd sometimes blue or yellow and of course a ground.
    Rob
    Rob

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