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Subject Topic: Dimmer causing LED light to fail? Post ReplyPost New Topic
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RossN
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Posted: 15 January 2013 at 10:12pm | IP Logged Quote RossN

Hi all,

Just had a slightly concerning incident.

I've got a plug-in LED night light in the upstairs
hallway, and for various reasons I ended up with two
Homeasy PIR units fitted at the top and bottom of the
stairs not doing much so decided to use a homeeasy remote
socket to only switch the light on when needed rather
than having it on from dusk till dawn.

All seemed to go well until the light had been on for
about a minute during testing when I heard it
shorting/arcing, smelt electrical burning and noticed a
wisp of smoke coming from it!

Of course I instantly yanked it out of socket which
eliminated the problem, but I'm obviously glad it
happened during testing and not overnight or when the
house was empty!

After a bit of reading I'm guessing it's the fact that
it's an LED light and I plugged it into a dimmer that
caused the problem, but I'd appreciate confirmation of
this from someone more knowledgeable than me.

I can supply more details of the light if it helps?

Thanks

Ross
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Rob Iles
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Posted: 15 January 2013 at 10:30pm | IP Logged Quote Rob Iles

Eek!

Please supply details of LED.

Does it claim to be dimmable?

Also, *not* the fault of Harmony, agreed?
;-)
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RossN
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Posted: 15 January 2013 at 10:45pm | IP Logged Quote RossN

Hi Rob,

Eek indeed!

And definitely **NOT** the fault of Harmony! Should have
said so in my first post - the only reason I'm posting
here is because of the expert advice I know I'll get from
the various posters here!

The led in question is a plug-in night light in a self
contained unit rather than a seperate bulb. It is a
Livarno LED Night Light model number Z29012A-BS.

I've no idea if it claims to be dimmable or not - It
never ocurred to me to check.

I bascially just wanted to turn it on and off using the
PIRs with a plug unit but forgot the plug unit was also a
dimmer and that the light was an LED and hence the
problem - or at least I hope that's the reason and not
something more serious!

Ross
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Rob Iles
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Posted: 15 January 2013 at 10:53pm | IP Logged Quote Rob Iles

Unless it's being "strobed" (very rapidly
switched on and off by control source),
it seems highly likely that the dimmer
was the cause of the problem.

Does anyone have any experience of plug
in LED's that dim sucefully?

If not, I have several "BBS Clasic"
switches for sale ;-)
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RossN
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Posted: 15 January 2013 at 11:12pm | IP Logged Quote RossN

Thanks for the confirmation Rob.

The control source was a Homeeasy HE303 PIR so I think
'strobing' is unlikely and I'll treat this as a timely
reminder to ensure I don't plug LEDs into dimmers in the
future without checking things out first!

Funnily enough I actually have some BBS classic switches
I've been meaning to send to you for repair, but time and
finances have always seemed to get in the way.. maybe at
the end of the month when I get paid :)

Plus unfortunately the PIRs are the ones that work with
'learning' devices ie there is no way to set them to a
specific code and therefore a classic switch would be no
use. Don't suppose you have a couple of BBS PIR units for
sale at a reasonable price or know of anyone who does?

Ross
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Posted: 16 January 2013 at 5:29am | IP Logged Quote 

Hi Ross,

Putting a non dimming LED or CFL onto a dimmer will indeed cause what you saw. There is also more complication with leading edge and trailing edge dimmers even if you have dimming bulbs - I think I have posted about this before.

I do have dimming Philips Master MR16 (12V) LED bulbs that dim well with a BBS halogen bulb controller. The only problem there is that the bulbs start OFF when you turn the light on, and you then have to send a BBS ON signal. Otherwise it's nice being able to control the lights. I will be sticking a stick on BBS switch above the existing switch to sort this out !

Tim
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RossN
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Posted: 21 January 2013 at 1:42pm | IP Logged Quote RossN

Hi Tim,

Sorry for being slow in responding, and thanks for confirming things.

You had indeed posted about this before, which was one of the places where I got the thought about the dimmer being the problem but I just wanted to be 100% sure as another of the units is in use elsewhere in the house and I didn't want it doing the same!

And thanks for the info re the bulbs - I'll bear that in mind for the future.

Cheers

Ross
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