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Thread: WAC LED Tape and Lutron ELV Dimmers

  1. #1
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    Jan 2017
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    Lacey, WA
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    WAC LED Tape and Lutron ELV Dimmers

    I recently installed a few ELV dimmers with LED tape, but the dimmers don't work. Everyone that I have spoken with from Lutron and the lighting distributor have said that there probably isn't enough load to register in the ELV's. There is about 15' of LED tape per 60W driver, and there is no way to load them both together now. Also, there are a set of Recesso LED direct wire pucks (set being 8) which dim, but do not turn off with a Lutron Maestro dimmer. To make matters worse, the switches in question are all Palladium, from the Satin color options of Lutron. If anyone has a solution for me, I'm all ears! I was thinking of some kind of inline resistor, but that just seems, sketchy, and also read a little bit about some kind of capacitor setup that is factory made for about $300 a pop. I'm finished throwing money at this guy's crazy fantasy, so anything that costs $300 per unit is out. So barring a miracle from you guys, I'm down to some sort of resistor circuit card make up, or eating the cost of 8 ELV Dimmers ($160/per), and installing single pole switches.

    Thanks in advance,
    Josh

  2. #2
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    What driver are you using? Post a model or link.
    Curt Swartz
    Electrical Contractor

  3. #3
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    6,250
    170719-1029 EDT

    When you work with new type devices you need to learn how they work. An incandescent bulb and an ordinary toggle switch are probably simple enough that you can just connect them together and expect a working light system.

    I have no idea what the devices you mentioned are and how they work. If I had them to work with I would find out on the bench how they functioned with different sources and loads. This would mean that I would first study any written material before experimenting.

    To me an LED is a semiconductor diode that when forward biased emits light. I first used these about 1965. To many others LED means a light source that contans electronics, possibly just added resistors to the basic LED, or much more complex electronics. What falls under the label LED makes a great difference in how you can control the LED. Finding out details of the thing you call an LED is your starting point.

    Often times an LED strip is simply a resistor paired with an LED chip strung along a plastic strip with a number of the pairs strung in series. Some of these series resistor LED pairs can be paralled in the strip, but the whole strip is basically a unidirectional DC load. This can not tolerate much reverse voltage. Often times it is designed for 12 VDC for automotive applications. This requires a DC driver. Very good dimming can be had with a suitable DC source.

    .

  4. #4
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    Hawthorne, New York NEC: 2014
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    3,107
    Did you try hanging like a 60w incandescent bulb in a pigtail socket temporarily across the driver 120v input from the dimmer to see if that takes care of your problem?

    -Hal

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
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    SW Florida
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    LUT-MLC may help, it is a load that comes with there Caseta dimmers if you don't have a large enough LED load.

    Link to instruction sheet: http://www.lutron.com/TechnicalDocum...94_LUT-MLC.pdf

    Maybe call Lutron again and ask if it will help with ELV dimmers?

    I have a few at my shop I'll send you if you want - just PM me

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
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    1,915
    Quote Originally Posted by jcardwell View Post
    I recently installed a few ELV dimmers with LED tape, but the dimmers don't work. Everyone that I have spoken with from Lutron and the lighting distributor have said that there probably isn't enough load to register in the ELV's. There is about 15' of LED tape per 60W driver, and there is no way to load them both together now. Also, there are a set of Recesso LED direct wire pucks (set being 8) which dim, but do not turn off with a Lutron Maestro dimmer. To make matters worse, the switches in question are all Palladium, from the Satin color options of Lutron. If anyone has a solution for me, I'm all ears! I was thinking of some kind of inline resistor, but that just seems, sketchy, and also read a little bit about some kind of capacitor setup that is factory made for about $300 a pop. I'm finished throwing money at this guy's crazy fantasy, so anything that costs $300 per unit is out. So barring a miracle from you guys, I'm down to some sort of resistor circuit card make up, or eating the cost of 8 ELV Dimmers ($160/per), and installing single pole switches.

    Thanks in advance,
    Josh
    What is this for? Commercial or residential? The latter is relevant since some solutions are only FCC A and not legal for residential use and may cause interference. Does he want all eight independently adjustable?

    First, you need to be certain that the LED ballasts you're using are indeed dimmable. Second, make sure they're meant for use with ELV (reverse phase) dimmers. There are some LED ballasts that are designed to be used with forward phase. You would use a normal C-L dimmer, not ELV. After confirming dimmability, I would give this a try. It's entirely possible you have non-dimmable ballasts due to a misunderstanding of one character in nomenclature. When you pair a non-dimmable ballast to a dimmer, it usually flips out.

    Decorative sign or entertainment lighting people may know of something like a four or eight independent output channel box.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    Rochester, NY, USA
    Posts
    8
    Quote Originally Posted by jcardwell View Post
    I recently installed a few ELV dimmers with LED tape, but the dimmers don't work. Everyone that I have spoken with from Lutron and the lighting distributor have said that there probably isn't enough load to register in the ELV's. There is about 15' of LED tape per 60W driver, and there is no way to load them both together now. Also, there are a set of Recesso LED direct wire pucks (set being 8) which dim, but do not turn off with a Lutron Maestro dimmer. To make matters worse, the switches in question are all Palladium, from the Satin color options of Lutron. If anyone has a solution for me, I'm all ears! I was thinking of some kind of inline resistor, but that just seems, sketchy, and also read a little bit about some kind of capacitor setup that is factory made for about $300 a pop. I'm finished throwing money at this guy's crazy fantasy, so anything that costs $300 per unit is out. So barring a miracle from you guys, I'm down to some sort of resistor circuit card make up, or eating the cost of 8 ELV Dimmers ($160/per), and installing single pole switches.

    Thanks in advance,
    Josh
    Hi Josh

    I can't talk about code, but I can talk about drivers and LEDs. The LED tape you mentioned is probably just a dumb, constant voltage type with series resistors to limit current draw on the diode. Most likely it's a 12-volt system, where three LEDs are in series and a small SMD resistor is the current limiter. These tapes are very high voltage drop.

    You will need to test drivers that can vary voltage between approximately 5 volt and 12 volt with your dimmer. I would look at meanwell system drivers, they tend to run about 30 to and you should be able to find one on the spec sheet that accepts triac dimming between the range that you need to light the tapes.

    LED tape is about as dumb of a driverless system as you can find, and many people can dim them with a simple pot controlling the voltage going to the tape. Your problem will be finding a driver that can output the minimum voltage and still be fed by a triac. Many systems used 0 to 10, or resistive driver, where a pot feeds a pin on the driver and the voltage output changes.

    Good luck. The other possibility is to individually vary the tapes intensity with a controller directly on the driver mounting or a set of cables running to the tape from the driver; the AC switch just turns the driver on.

    Either way, it doesn't sound like what you have will work in the mood that it's been designed. The Lutron switches are designed for a complicated driver in commercial LED light that convert the chopped AC to a variable current or pulse-width modulated signal to the diode array.

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