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Thread: MACL-LFQ problem - faint glow from bulbs when off

  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    Jun 2018
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    MACL-LFQ problem - faint glow from bulbs when off

    I just installed an MACL-LFQ fan/light control hardwired to a Hunter Antero celing fan which comes with LED light bulbs (no, not on your compatibility list). Everything works, except when the lights are off they glow faintly -- which is completely unacceptable over our bed at night! Are there other LED bulbs I can use that will go to full, complete black when off? If not I will need to get rid of this Lutron control.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator
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    May 2013
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    Hello DC202,
    Thank you for your post.
    I checked the LED compatibility tool from our website www.lutron.com/led for the control you have. We have over 100 LEDs we have approved and over 30 we have listed for best dimming.

  3. #3
    Junior Member
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    Jun 2018
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    Faint glow (ghosting) problem - update

    After search other user posts, I fixed this "ghosting" problem by installing a lutron LUT-MLC between the lamp hot and neutral wires in the fan ceiling box. The ghosting occurs because the MACL-LFQ works by "power-stealing" a few mA of current which goes through the lamps even when off, because the MAC-LFQ has no neutral connection. Lutron really should include the LUT-MLC with power-stealing dimmers like this, or at least mention this fix in their instructions (they didn't even mention it in their reply to my post). It seems ridiculous to try to maintain a list of light bulbs that don't ghost when hundreds of new light bulbs are introduced every year, and the ones that look best and/or are supplied with fans are unlikely to be on Lutron's list. In the future I would simply install the LUT-MLC from the beginning with any power-stealing dimmer. The current electric code requires a neutral wire in switch boxes and a neutral connection on the dimmer would avoid this problem altogether.

  4. #4
    Authorized Lutron Contributor
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    Jan 2018
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    Hello DC202

    The MACL-LFQ is a forward phase dimmer. The LUT-MLC is not rated for forward phase dimming controls, the forward phase control subjects the capacitor to sudden changes in line voltage that result in current spikes. The LUT-MLC is not designed to handle the current spikes. So, while the LUT-MLC could be a short-term solution it may result in premature failure of the capacitor if left on a forward phase control for an extended period of time, causing the LEDs to glow again.

    We do apologize for the small number of results on our compatibility tool, however what needs to be keep in mind is that while there are 1,000s of LEDs on the market we only have a small bandwidth to complete testing on the LEDs that manufacturers send to us directly. Another challenge we encounter is that the LED market is constantly changing, like computers and cell phones, the technology changes so quickly and what is new one month could be obsolete the next month. Additionally, there is no industry standard for LEDs, so even if the same manufacturer releases 10 new LEDs, each would have to be individually tested as each can be and typically are internally different. Finally, some of the LEDs on the market are not even rated for forward phase controls at all. Altogether this makes it difficult/impossible for us to test every single new LED on the market.

    Hope this helps!

    Julia K.

  5. #5
    Junior Member
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    Julia,
    Thanks for this information. As the LUT-MLC is working well for now, I have two more questions:
    (1) Does the possible failure of the LUT-MLC due to current spikes present a fire or other hazard?
    (2) Will the use of the LUT-MLC reduce the lifetime of the MAC-LFQ?

  6. #6
    Authorized Lutron Contributor
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    Jan 2018
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    Hello DC202,

    We design our products with safety in mind. The LUT-MLC is designated to just stop working without any reason for hazard. However, as it is being used outside of its recommended use, we cannot guarantee its performance or safety for itself or the dimmer. We would truly recommend uninstalling the LUT-MLC.

    Julia K.

  7. #7
    Senior Member
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    Sep 2013
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    Quote Originally Posted by Julia K. View Post
    Hello DC202,

    We design our products with safety in mind. The LUT-MLC is designated to just stop working without any reason for hazard. However, as it is being used outside of its recommended use, we cannot guarantee its performance or safety for itself or the dimmer. We would truly recommend uninstalling the LUT-MLC.

    Julia K.
    Hi Julia-
    thanks for the full explanation of why the LUT-MLC works but isn't supported.

    Is this a supported solution?

    http://www.lutron.com/TechnicalDocum.../LUT-LBX-1.pdf

  8. #8
    Authorized Lutron Contributor
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    Jan 2018
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    Hello digit1,

    The LUT-LBX was not designed to add resistance to a circuit or capacitance to help prevent the effects of a current draw. Therefore, while it might help if the MACL-LFQ cannot detect a load, we cannot guarantee it will prevent unwanted LED performance, including ghosting (staying slightly on in the off position). Overall, for this specific application we would recommend either changing the LEDs using our LED Compatibility Tool, www.lutron.com/compatibility, or installing one incandescent. An incandescent or halogen bulb will add resistance to the circuit minimizing the effect of the current draw and typically resolves the issue of the LEDs ghosting.

    Hope this helps!

    Julia K.

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