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Thread: Switch Warm To Touch / Wattage Question

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Posts
    2

    Question Switch Warm To Touch / Wattage Question

    Hello-

    I recently installed a PD-5S-DV-XX switch to control some exterior holiday lights. Last night when I went to manually switch the lights off, I noticed that the switch felt pretty warm to the touch.

    I assume that it's normal for Caseta switches to heat up while under load like most other electronics; am I incorrect in this assumption?

    Secondly, my switch is located at the tail end of the gang of four switches, so it's been derated to 500w per the manual. This morning I added up all the wattage used by the holiday lights and found that they're pulling ~520w. Is this minimal overage a cause for concern?

    I'm guessing that being at/right-above the load limit is part of the reason why the switch feels warm, but what I'm really wondering is what are the consequences of operating the switch just over the recommended wattage? Is it a fire hazard, does it just reduce the lifespan of the switch or does the load limit have more to do with heat dissipation than anything else?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Authorized Lutron Contributor
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Posts
    109
    Electronic dimmers/switches in general will feel warm to the touch based on the components inside. The larger the load, the warmer the dimmer/switch. In your case you are overloading the switch which is why it feels warmer than expected, plus being overloaded in a 4-gang wallbox will make it warmer. My recommendation would be to either swap out your current switch for the Caseta neutral switch PD-6ANS-xx, which is rated for 6A/720W even at the end of a gang, but it does require a neutral wire connection for proper operation. If you have neutral wires (typically white) capped together in your wallbox this may be the solution for you. If not, I recommend reducing the wattage of your exterior lights to 500W or less. Overloading the dimmer may cause some components to fail prematurely.

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