UCL - dimming - DavidTay / others

Ellen1234July 17, 2013

Ok, so my contractor has started the wiring for the UCL. I want LED tape/ribbon lights. He has the wire through the walls to connect runs as necessary. And I believe he has installed switched outlets to plug the LED lights into (power supply or whatever gets plugged in).

I had bought the Armacost LED tape lights from Home Depot just to have something, but he just informed me that the package indicates these are not dimmable. I know Armacost offers their own dimmer.

I'm wondering what my options are for dimming my UCL based on what he's done thus far (basically installed a switched outlet and used some kind of wire to connect the runs into the same circuit).

I'm not tied to Armacost.

I'm also not sure whether at this point we could switch to any direct-wired option given that he already installed the switched outlets.

1. Would I have to use the Armacost dimmer or can I use a normal LED wall dimmer?

2. I have heard about dimmable power supplies, but are these always direct wired, or are plug-in ones available?

3. Is there another brand which would allow me to plug into an outlet and also use a normal wall dimmer?

4. If I do just have him install the Armacost lights w/o dimming capability, how hard would it be to add dimming later?


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If the lights are not dimmable, there is no safe way to dim them later.

Dimmable power supplies can be wired to a plug. However, it will be unusual to connect a dimming switch to an outlet. It will probably fail an electrical inspection.

If the walls are not up, putting in additional wiring is easy.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2013 at 4:12PM
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The walls are all up and the cabinets are actually in. He installed the switched outlets when he did the wiring when the walls were actually open.

Given that information -- what might my options be for dimmable UCL?

Or does no one really dim their UCL? My LED cans are on dimmers -- is that enough?


    Bookmark   July 17, 2013 at 4:38PM
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Use a different brand. Conform if the wiring is for low voltage or direct wire first.

Dimming gives you more flexibility in setting the mood.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2013 at 4:43PM
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Any suggestions on a brand that would work? I'm open to suggestions to any brand that will offer me a solution that will work :).

Also --- regarding Armacost:

Armacost has a dimmer which goes between the power supply and the lights. Would it be possible to mount this under the cabinet (one for each of the UCL runs) and just use the wall switch to turn the lights on/off? So, letâÂÂs say I have the dimmer set to 100%. I could use the wall switch that is already installed to turn the lights on/off at 100%, and if I want to dim, I just go to the dimmer to dim??



    Bookmark   July 17, 2013 at 4:49PM
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If you have low voltage, you could look at the options available from environmentallights.com.

Yes. The dimmer in that case could be a resistive dimmer.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2013 at 5:14PM
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If you are willing to experiment, you could figure out if the dimmer is resistive or not - the current after the dimmer should drop while the voltage remains fairly constant.
Then, you could use a dimmable constant voltage power supply with an appropriate dimmer switch (most likely MLV).

The downside is that you'd have to try things out on your own.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2013 at 5:38PM
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