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PostPosted: Tue Apr 18, 2017 8:47 am 
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I've changed over a few sockets and switches in the living room, and the dimmer switch seems to be making a loud buzzing/humming noise when on. After some time it also slightly overheats - it's hot to the touch but not uncomfortably warm. I didn't think to check the various options before buying it, just assumed that one type suits all.

Looking it up on Google, I'm reading contradicting advice - ie that the heat is safe and dimmers are prone to being warm depending on how many bulbs it's operating, but then reading elsewhere that it can be a fire hazard through time.

There are two other dimmer switches in the flat which also make a buzz, but not as loud as this one, and definitely not as warm as this one gets.

So, is it safe? Will it cause issues through time? Should I upgrade it? The dimmer is operating about eight spot lights. It's just the cheap white one, so if I need to change it to a more suitable one I don't mind - would anyone know what type I'm needing?

Thanks.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 18, 2017 9:07 am 
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I'll move this to lighting in a mo.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 18, 2017 9:22 am 
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Simple answer is to add up the wattage of all the lights the dimmer is controlling.

Compare that figure with the rated power of the dimmer itself.

Ideally (this is a personal thing) I'd not allow the dimmer to control more than 50% (half) of its rated power. So a 1000W dimmer should be loaded to 500W maximum.

Heat is fine - it's a by-product of what the dimmer does and, yes, the more lights you dim the warmer it gets. It should NEVER get too hot to touch though!

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 18, 2017 10:06 am 
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Okay thanks, what about the buzzing noise? Is that standard?


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 18, 2017 10:27 am 
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buzzing is usually cheap components in dimmer.

What are you dimming? Not all lights can be dimmed - specifically the "transformers" if you have halogen 12v halogens.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 18, 2017 10:54 am 
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There's an inductor (coil of wire wound on a ferrite former) inside some dimmers and if the windings are loose they have a tendency to vibrate (hum/buzz) - the more you load it up, the more it makes noise. Sad side-effect of cheaper units.

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