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Thread: The end of the incandescent - what are our options?

  1. #1

    The end of the incandescent - what are our options?

    I am getting a lot of calls from worried customers asking what bulbs will support their existing Ra2 systems now that the incandescent bulbs are going away. Many of these customers are utilizing systems with RRD-6D standard dimmers (no neutral).

    What will become of these systems when they can't replace the incandescent bulbs?

  2. #2
    Authorized Lutron Contributor
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    The latest energy laws are effective for specific incandescent lamps. Fortunately, most halogen lamps are still a viable solution for those customers with two-wire dimmers and those lamps are still able to be purchased.

    For any customer interested in switching to LED or CFL lamps we recommend you consult www.lutron.com/ledtool, as well as consult the lamp manufacturers recommendation. This will help you choose the matching fixtures and controls. You may find that that a neutral wire is required in order to properly control LED and CFL lights. Lutron is actively working on devices to support installations where a neutral wire is not available but the installation calls for dimming a CFL/LED.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Craig W. View Post
    The latest energy laws are effective for specific incandescent lamps. Fortunately, most halogen lamps are still a viable solution for those customers with two-wire dimmers and those lamps are still able to be purchased.

    For any customer interested in switching to LED or CFL lamps we recommend you consult www.lutron.com/ledtool, as well as consult the lamp manufacturers recommendation. This will help you choose the matching fixtures and controls. You may find that that a neutral wire is required in order to properly control LED and CFL lights. Lutron is actively working on devices to support installations where a neutral wire is not available but the installation calls for dimming a CFL/LED.

    Craig, I am not sure if this will help - all of these clients have standard dimmers installed. Wouldn't it be correct in saying that these LED/CFL even if desired would require a complete revamp of the system in terms of product? Wouldn't the customer have to remove all the RRD-6D dimmers and replace them either adaptive dimmers or RRD-10ND dimmers? The impact on that could wind up costing the customer thousands of dollars just to get back to where they were without any recourse...

  4. #4
    Authorized Lutron Contributor
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    Is using halogen bubs not an acceptable solutions for your clients that have the RRD-6D dimmers installed?

  5. #5
    Well obviously consumers also want to reap the energy and longevity benefits of LED bulbs. So although use halogen and stock up on incandescent are plausible, they don't seem ideal.

    The other problem is that, given the daunting list presented by the led tool, trying to cross reference with retailer availability and find the best value and adequate performance is frustrating as well. On top of that, the number of bulbs per circuit is another factor of how well they will perform. So evaluating bulbs becomes problematic due to cost, varying number of bulbs per circuit, and return policies.

    Something a friendly dealer/installer may offer is an upgrade to CL dimmers at dealer cost plus installation when the customer trades in their old dimmers. Then unload the 6Ds on the used market.

  6. #6
    This is my biggest concern right now as well. Halogens are a solution but even now you can't find 90 watt halogens so we're using 80 watt halogens. And like the other poster said, customers also buy LED lights and call me when I can't get them to respond correctly. It's embarrassing to tell them "well, I know I told you this is a system that should last you a good 10 years and is the future just 3 years ago, but unfortunately, you can't do what a $2.50 switch can do". Replacing all 6D dimmers is just not an option.

    As mentioned in the LED section, it's not as if I'm looking for perfection here. I just want one LED brand, any LED brand to be able to work decently with a 6D style dimmer. I have not found a single one yet. Once the 80 watt par 38 halogens are gone, I'll have many angry customers.

    *edit*, I am aware of why a switch can do this but the dimmers without a neutral have trouble, but Lutron makes the big bucks by having engineers. I can't understand why they haven't come up with a single solution other than pointing fingers at the LED manufacturers.

  7. #7
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    I have this question for lamp dimmers. Sometimes it just makes sense to have an option for lamps, whether controlled using a plug-in module or converted to work with the Lutron receptacles for dimming use.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by schalliol View Post
    I have this question for lamp dimmers. Sometimes it just makes sense to have an option for lamps, whether controlled using a plug-in module or converted to work with the Lutron receptacles for dimming use.
    My experience has been that lamp dimmers are actually very reliable in dimming most lamps (except for CF). I've tried LED strips and even fixtures with electronic transformers with them and they dimmed those fine. My guess is that this is because the lamp dimmers have a neutral.

  9. #9
    Senior Member
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    Interesting. Any recommendations for a 100 or 150 equivalent LED drop in to a standard lamp?

  10. #10
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    I've had pretty good luck with the Cree products as long as the minimum load is met. Test first.

    It could also be a good opportunity to up sell. If they need 4 or 5 6NA or 6CL to accommodate the LEDs, move the 6Ds to another location.

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