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Thread: Dimmers as companions

  1. #1

    Dimmers as companions

    I need a little advice on a couple of dimmer related items please...

    1. HO has a dimmer on stairwell lights that is setup as a 3-way with a companion switch up top. He wants the led indicators that the dimmers feature to also appear at the companion location. As far as I know, there is no companion that features the level leds. Is it possible to use a second dimmer, just with no load connected, at this location to achieve this goal?

    2. There is a desire to add a dimmer to an existing 4way set up in the kitchen. The location for the additional dimmer controls has power but is not wired into the existing 4 way. Construction to add the necessary travelers would be excessively expensive here. My thought is to use another dimmer with no attached load and then program it to act as a virtual part of the 4 way. I’m confident this can work but I am not clear on how the led level feedback and the dimming functionality would work. Presumably operating the ramp up and down buttons on this additional dimmer is going to try and control the local (non existent) load and the led level will track that as well, right? Is there a way to integrate these so that works, or perhaps a better solution?

    Thanks!
    -J

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by aries View Post
    I need a little advice on a couple of dimmer related items please... 1. HO has a dimmer on stairwell lights that is setup as a 3-way with a companion switch up top. He wants the led indicators that the dimmers feature to also appear at the companion location. As far as I know, there is no companion that features the level leds. Is it possible to use a second dimmer, just with no load connected, at this location to achieve this goal? 2. There is a desire to add a dimmer to an existing 4way set up in the kitchen. The location for the additional dimmer controls has power but is not wired into the existing 4 way. Construction to add the necessary travelers would be excessively expensive here. My thought is to use another dimmer with no attached load and then program it to act as a virtual part of the 4 way. I’m confident this can work but I am not clear on how the led level feedback and the dimming functionality would work. Presumably operating the ramp up and down buttons on this additional dimmer is going to try and control the local (non existent) load and the led level will track that as well, right? Is there a way to integrate these so that works, or perhaps a better solution? Thanks! -J
    1. No. The dimmer LEDs are always going to indicate the status of the attached load. There is no way to edit their function. If your dimmer does not have a neutral connection, it can go at any location in the circuit. If you dimmer has a neutral you generally want it at the end where power goes up to the light. However, I have seen it work at other locations.

    2. Technically that would work but... The LEDs won't indicate properly and you won't be able to raise/lower (as you noted). Basically you just have on/off control. I would put a Pico in that location, put a plate around it and remind the customer you saved him a boatload of money! The Pico also adds more flexibility. You could do a RF keypad in that location but that would cost quite a bit more. Still less that retrofitting travelers.
    LED, Incorporated
    Raleigh, NC 27614

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by randyc View Post
    1. No. The dimmer LEDs are always going to indicate the status of the attached load. There is no way to edit their function. If your dimmer does not have a neutral connection, it can go at any location in the circuit. If you dimmer has a neutral you generally want it at the end where power goes up to the light. However, I have seen it work at other locations. 2. Technically that would work but... The LEDs won't indicate properly and you won't be able to raise/lower (as you noted). Basically you just have on/off control. I would put a Pico in that location, put a plate around it and remind the customer you saved him a boatload of money! The Pico also adds more flexibility. You could do a RF keypad in that location but that would cost quite a bit more. Still less that retrofitting travelers.
    Thanks for this advice. I think the pico solution is likely what we’re going to have to do. Unfortunate there is not a dimmer that looks like the pico, or a pico that looks like the dimmer. The inconsistent appearance and functionality isn’t ideal.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by aries View Post
    Thanks for this advice. I think the pico solution is likely what we’re going to have to do. Unfortunate there is not a dimmer that looks like the pico, or a pico that looks like the dimmer. The inconsistent appearance and functionality isn’t ideal.
    If you think of the Pico as a keypad, it isn't that much of a different look-n-feel than a seeTouch or other keypad.

    You can also send feature requests to custsvc@lutron.com. It may or may not happen but Lutron does take user feedback seriously.
    LED, Incorporated
    Raleigh, NC 27614

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  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by DietSnowman View Post
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  7. #7
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    I've had this battle with people for like 15 years. "how come that one has lights on it and that one doesn't?" Not much you can do about it unfortunately that will make them happy. You COULD put a hybrid keypad on the load and a regular keypad on top (or another hybrid if you want them to look identical) but that's going to make a $300 thing cost more like $800.

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