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Thread: Multi-location dimming issues

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Location
    Lehigh Valley, PA
    Posts
    12

    Multi-location dimming issues

    Hey all!

    Been having issues at a particular house that I've been remodeling. In both 3 and 4-way switching configurations certain set-ups do not work with LED dimmer, and they don't seem connected to the typical compatibility issues. For instance:

    1) Dining room- Lutron C-L analog (Toggler) dimmer on one end, regular 3-way snap switch on the other. Dimmer works fine and turns lights on and off, but when I change the position of the snap switch, and then try to turn the lights on with the dimmer, they struggle, flicker, and fail to work correctly. But it's only in the "opposite" switch position.

    2) Kitchen and living room - Occasionally LED bulbs wont even turn on, at least for a full minute...sometimes struggle to turn on, but do eventually. Varies depending on switch position, but truthfully after half an hour of testing, can't find a consistent pattern. This only happens once every few weeks.

    3) This even happened on incandescent bulbs with the analog dimmer in a family room area on one occasion.

    Things to consider
    - I adjusted the black dial multiple times....not the issue.
    - Using dimmable LED bulbs (trust me, I went through MANY brands), the issue is consistent with all brands.
    - The previous builder used two 14/2 wires for travelers for all multi-location switching, instead of 14/3. I'm wondering if it could be creating EMF and if that could even cause an issue.
    - The voltage at the house is a little on the low side, 113V at the panel consistently.
    - Never had these issues with the same products at other houses.

    Feel free to take a crack at it!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
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    Durango, CO, 10 h 20 min without traffic from winged horses.
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    8,328
    Nevermind
    Once in a while you get shown the light
    In the strangest of places if you look at it right. Robert Hunter

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Location
    Kennewick
    Posts
    51
    Quote Originally Posted by gulf0927 View Post
    Hey all!

    Been having issues at a particular house that I've been remodeling. In both 3 and 4-way switching configurations certain set-ups do not work with LED dimmer, and they don't seem connected to the typical compatibility issues. For instance:

    1) Dining room- Lutron C-L analog (Toggler) dimmer on one end, regular 3-way snap switch on the other. Dimmer works fine and turns lights on and off, but when I change the position of the snap switch, and then try to turn the lights on with the dimmer, they struggle, flicker, and fail to work correctly. But it's only in the "opposite" switch position.

    2) Kitchen and living room - Occasionally LED bulbs wont even turn on, at least for a full minute...sometimes struggle to turn on, but do eventually. Varies depending on switch position, but truthfully after half an hour of testing, can't find a consistent pattern. This only happens once every few weeks.

    3) This even happened on incandescent bulbs with the analog dimmer in a family room area on one occasion.

    Things to consider
    - I adjusted the black dial multiple times....not the issue.
    - Using dimmable LED bulbs (trust me, I went through MANY brands), the issue is consistent with all brands.
    - The previous builder used two 14/2 wires for travelers for all multi-location switching, instead of 14/3. I'm wondering if it could be creating EMF and if that could even cause an issue.
    - The voltage at the house is a little on the low side, 113V at the panel consistently.
    - Never had these issues with the same products at other houses.

    Feel free to take a crack at it!
    There is a setting on the dimmer for whether it uses a mechanical switch or a companion dimmer for 3 ways use. Change that setting and it should work


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Location
    Lehigh Valley, PA
    Posts
    12
    Oh, I thought that was just for the electronic Maestro dimmer...

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Location
    Lehigh Valley, PA
    Posts
    12
    Yea, just checked, there is no switch for the analog C-L dimmer. Any other ideas?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Location
    Lehigh Valley, PA
    Posts
    12
    "Setting" I mean

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Location
    Kennewick
    Posts
    51
    Is the wiring using just power to trigger it or is it using two travelers to do so? Most of those use only one leg of power to be either on or off on the sensor screw


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    USA
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    5,170
    Quote Originally Posted by blkmagik21 View Post
    Is the wiring using just power to trigger it or is it using two travelers to do so? Most of those use only one leg of power to be either on or off on the sensor screw


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    The OP is using a Lutron toggler. These do not use remotes. They just use regular 3 way and 4 way wiring configuration.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Ann Arbor, Michigan
    Posts
    6,141
    170727-1932 EDT

    I have run various experiments with a CL dimmer and had good results.

    The CL is what I call a two wire dimmer, this means a neutral or EGC as one input for the dimmer is not required or used. Power to operate the dimmer electronics is solely derived from the series current thru the dimmer.

    A three wire dimmer requires a neutral or an incorrectly used EGC to obtain power for the electronics. A three wire dimmer will work with no load.

    The CL dimmer must be sourced from two wires, a hot and its associated neutral. I suspect that these two wires must be in the same cable or run in very close proximity to each other.

    In a 3-way (4-way) system the three travelers must be run together, ideally in one cable. There must be no neutral paths (parallel) separate from the three travelers.

    Does your problem occur when the dimmer is set at maximum brightness? Or only at low brightness levels?

    .

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