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Thread: Trouble with In-wall Dimmer and LED MR16 (GU5.3) bulbs

  1. #1
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    Question Trouble with In-wall Dimmer and LED MR16 (GU5.3) bulbs

    Have three wire tracklighting that am updating.

    Am updating the fixtures, switching to LED, and (hopefully) using a Caseta In-wall Dimmer. Got the dimmers replaced (old ones were too old for LED), and the fixtures. Now switching the bulbs from the old halogen to new LED bulbs. This is where the weirdness begins.

    Everything seems to work fine with mixed bulbs. But when I remove the last of the halogen, one of the LEDs will be permanently at a dim setting. (guess like 20%) The lights will not go on. They will not go off. Just the one stays at its dim setting.

    So there is enough juice on the line to power at least one of the LEDs for just a little bit.

    If I add or remove, one, it is the most recent one that is on/dim. Doesn't mater where in position it is... if I add it, the one that is on/dim gets turned off and that becomes the one that is on/dim.

    Halogen goes in, whole thing goes back to being able to be turned off and on or dimmed. (although, due to different bulbs types/watts/temp/etc the experience isn't uniform. Also just now noticing some flicker at lower levels I don't recall earlier.)

    Since the fixtures are fine with the old bulbs, I suspect the new bulbs. They are listed as dimmable. Also 7w, 3000K, if that matters.

    I looked on the website for tested/approved bulbs, but there are no GU5.3 bulbs listed, most likely due to them being 12V and dependent upon a transformer in the fixture.

    I will note in the forums that "add a cell phone charger" seems to be a common solution to problems with LED lights, in particular things like tape light or the like. Seems the added load is enough to prevent the lights from being constantly on dim, but I think their problems were mainly just never turning off, but could still turn on to 100%?

    But obviously, I can't add a cell phone charger to my ceiling.

    So a few things:

    1. Anything to add a load to the track? I can try to find a better matching Halogen (temp/lumens/etc), but fear the performance wouldn't match.

    2. Any recommendation for GU5.3 bulbs? I thought maybe going with a Philips (or other top brand) might help?? And/or maybe going to a slightly higher wattage (say 10W) might have some impact.



    Thanks for any/all input.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    I have RA2 clients that when using the MR16/GU5.3 LED bulbs, absolutely swear by Green Creative. All others give some sort of trouble in one way or another.
    Residential Lighting and Shading Specialist for CED Escondido

    mbalay@cedescondido.com

  3. #3
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    Okay, so I got ahold of a few bulbs by Green Creative as you suggested.

    The issue of the bulbs being dimly on at 0% has been taken care of. 1 GC bulb will cause the other bulb to go dark at 0%.


    HOWEVER: The flicker is quite bad, either at 100% or less than 100%. Adding a halogen bulb to another fixture seems to even it out a bit, but still present.

    So, I'm guessing the Caseta switches just do not work well with MR16/GU5.3 LED bulbs.


    Anyone else have any experience here?
    Other suggestions?

  4. #4
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    Which dimmer are you using? Dimmers that use a neutral are supposed to be perform better when dimming LEDs.

  5. #5
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    I'm using the standard Caseta in-wall dimmer. The one that comes with a pico remote. Think it is the PD-6WCL.

    Is there a different Caseta model to use?

    I don't think the Casetas work with neutral, unless there is another product line. So are you suggesting another manufacturer? I got the Caseta due to home-kit compatibility, so was hoping not to switch.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by geosfz View Post
    I'm using the standard Caseta in-wall dimmer. The one that comes with a pico remote. Think it is the PD-6WCL.

    Is there a different Caseta model to use?

    I don't think the Casetas work with neutral, unless there is another product line. So are you suggesting another manufacturer? I got the Caseta due to home-kit compatibility, so was hoping not to switch.
    The PD-5NE-WH uses a neutral as does the PD6-ANS-WH switch. The PD-5NE works with a broader range of fixtures and bulbs along with places where a neutral is required.

    I was all wrong about my situation. They were 120v halogen bulbs. I'm not sure why the neutral was required but using the PD-5NE worked so I'll take it. Maybe there is some electrical detail in halogen pin bulbs that requires it but my electrical knowledge is superficial (and that's being kind).

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