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PostPosted: Tue Sep 12, 2017 7:36 pm 
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Hello :-)

Over 20 years ago I bought and put together a small Velleman kit from Maplins to dim my living room lights. According to the number printed on the circuit board the kit was a 'P5002,1', and it is still happily dimming my 2X100W living room incandescent bulbs over 20 years later!

I still have quite a lot of incandescent bulbs - I stockpiled them when the new regulations came into force. 100W, and 150W with the larger bulb size, remember those? I haven't used any bulbs other than incandescent in this circuit.

My question is, will the newer LED and Compact Fluorescent bulbs be safe with this dimmer? I have attached the pdf manual which should provide some info. My configuration is a 'Resistive Load' as shown on page 7 figure 13.

Any help would be very much appreciated.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 12, 2017 9:37 pm 
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I would say no.

CFL lamps are as the name implies.
Bearing that in mind when did you last see a fluorescent dimmed? (I am not saying its not possible to dim one, just that you can't do with a normal dimmer.)

Led lamps.
Believe it or not you can't dim a LED lamp either. What you can do is to make it flash at a very high frequency. This flashes so fast that the eye thinks the LED is being dimmed. I believe its done using a square wave generator.
I don't know how dimmable LED lamps work, exactly.

Would you want to risk a 20 year old dimmer on a modern lamp? I wouldn't

Also bear in mind if you try a halogen lamp I would suggest you only use one that is 50% of the dimmers capacity.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 13, 2017 8:49 pm 
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Hi someone-else,

Thanks for your reply.

I take your point about the CFL bulbs but is there any reason a 'dimmable' LED bulb would not work, or not be safe with my electronic dimmer?

It's specs are here:
http://www.vellemanusa.com/products/vie ... &id=350562

The above page says it's for Halogen bulbs, but it can also be used with incandescent types (or even be used to control a motor speed according to the literature).

I have quite a few incandescent bulbs to get through yet, but I wouldn't want someone else in the household to try out a LED bulb if it was not going to be safe.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 13, 2017 9:32 pm 
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I would still say no. (But others may not agree)
Here is why.

Simple / old dimmers are often "leading edge" (Its where it cuts off the ac sine wave, and they are simple and cheap)
Dimable LED lamps work better with trailing edge dimmers (These dimmers have more components in them for smoothing .)
Some dimmers have a minimum load (Will not work with say less than a 40 watt load)
You could "risk it" the worst that can happen is you blow up your dimmers Triac (Can be replaced if you have a small soldering iron and know how to use it)

You can buy a LED compatible dimmer switch for not much £. I found This one on screwfix

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Take it easy, a forum is only a collection of opinions. Above, are mine.

Which is correct? Metre or Meter? Click the link. to find out more.

No such thing as "Thou shalt put this wire here, Thou shalt put that wire there" .............Take a picture BEFORE you do the job.

If gloom had a voice, it would be me. :mrgreen:

:idea1: How to post a picture on this forum Click here


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 16, 2017 10:36 am 
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Hi someone-else,

Thanks for your reply again.

Before posting here I did some research on dimmers/bulb types, and my findings concur with your reasons for suggesting not to try it.

If I did try 2xLED bulbs out and the Triac simply failed (BT137-600 data sheet), it would be easy enough to desolder and replace. However, if trying 2xLED bulbs with the circuit appeared to work correctly, what would bother me is if the circuit was doomed to failure with a slow deterioration of the components and potential overheating.

I would need to understand the components, specifications and circuit diagram better (pages 1 & 8 of my original upload) and I am simply not educated enough in electronics to be certain it would or would not work, with a 26W load (2x13 W LED).

I think I will just continue using my stockpile of 100W incandescent filament bulbs. It's not very often I have these lights turned on and I cannot actually remember the last time I had to replace them, so my stockpile should last a fair few years yet :)
Thanks again for your replies and interest in my post :occasion5:

[Edit]
Apologies for not posting this in the Lighting forum, which I have only just spotted. Mod's please feel free to move this thread.


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 16, 2017 6:13 pm 
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No worries. I like velleman kits, I have assembled quite a few in my time.

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Take it easy, a forum is only a collection of opinions. Above, are mine.

Which is correct? Metre or Meter? Click the link. to find out more.

No such thing as "Thou shalt put this wire here, Thou shalt put that wire there" .............Take a picture BEFORE you do the job.

If gloom had a voice, it would be me. :mrgreen:

:idea1: How to post a picture on this forum Click here


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