LED dimmer switch

mandablesJuly 30, 2013

I just had about 15 recessed lights installed and decided to go with regular halogen PAR20 bulbs for now, given the current high price LED bulbs. But I decided to installed LED compatible dimmers - specifically the Lutron Diva C.L dimmer which is compatible with LED,CFL,halogen, incandescent.

The problem I am having is that all the dimmers have about a 0.5sec turn-on delay which is just acceptable but not particularly user-friendly, especially for people who don't know about the delay and start madly flicking other switches to try and get something on.

It can't be the bulbs as halogen are instant-on. Does everyone have the same experience with these types of dimmers?

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Try to adjust the tiny "wheel" that is inside the panel of the LED/CFL dimmer. It is usually located on the side and looks like half of a wheel is exposed. It is to adjust the level of dimming for whatever LED or CFL is installed on it but perhaps it might have an effect on the halogens you have.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2013 at 2:48PM
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Yes. We have all LEDs and experience the dimmer delay issue too. More pronounced when turning on a light when dimmer was left dimmed down .. Not usually an issue when the switch is close to full output, or when switching on a dimmed light that was recently on.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2013 at 11:57AM
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I am experiencing this also, sometimes over a full second delay. I don't know if it just the dimmer switch, or a combination of the lights and dimmers, or just the lights. I have a similar delay on another Light (the same type) in another location that doesn't have a dimmer switch.

I notice that the duration of the delay can vary from instance to instance, but it is always a very noticeable delay.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2013 at 1:35PM
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I'm not sure about the line voltage situation but a lot of low voltage halogen fixtures that have electronic low voltage transformers feature a "soft start" that is supposed to lengthen the lifetime of your bulbs. They usually have a one second delay.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2013 at 4:07PM
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There is no delay for Cree CR4 or CR6, using pretty much any dimmer
(incandescent mostly, in wife's house, dimmers with separate switch and brightness controls).

I went with Lutron Maestro dimmers for my remodel, which ramp on and off anyway, so I don't know whether a delay would be so obvious. They ramp smoothly, so I suspect there is no delay -- otherwise they would go from off to mid-brightness as they ramp on.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2013 at 1:36AM
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Okay, I installed a Lutron Diva CRL dimmer tonight, loaded only with incandescent lights. 5 60 watt candelabra bulbs. There is about 1/2 second turn on delay, whether full on or dimmed.

This is a new unit I bought yesterday. Last week, I installed a Diva CRL dimmer which I bought maybe 1.5 years ago. 4 72 watt halogens. No delay. I can tell you that the adjustment for minimum dimming is physically different, so this is at least some type of update. I'm thinking that the electronics must have also changed.

I am not pleased.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2013 at 3:56AM
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attofarad - that is interesting. Did you test the two dimmers on the same set of lights?

I would think it's not just the dimmer, but the combination of dimmer and light setup -- not just the light itself, but also the overall load.

I have Maestro CL dimmers (which I think are the same as Diva except for the visual style) with both master and slave. They worked for me both for Cree CR4 recessed lights and for a single incandescent pendant - no delay and no buzzing.

For my undercabinet lights (which have a higher load), the CL dimmer buzzed but I didn't have a delay. I then switched to the Lutron ELV dimmer which is rated for a higher load. That worked with no buzz, but there is a slight delay.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2013 at 4:15PM
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attofarad, I'm sorry you're having problems with dimmers. Such a common problem.

I have read (maybe here?) that with the Lutron Diva dimmer, that if you leave the side switch where you had it and just turn it off, when you turn it on, there is less delay and less buzz.

I tried that and it seemed to work. But today I heard buzz again, albeit I think my spouse turned the dimmer down last night before off.

calumin-i got Unilume too. Great light, just didn't want to pay that much. Now the buzzing and delay on the dimmer from time to time. Unilume tech/CS gave me a sheet of dimmer switches, but would not give me "the one" to put in. They said I had to go through each one until the delay and buzzing stopped.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2013 at 6:10PM
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I've never noticed any buzz with and dimmer and any load.

Calumin, the two Diva CL dimmers have very similar loads. One has 300W of regular incandescent, the other has 288 watts of halogen incandescent. The older Diva has zero perceptible delay. The new Diva CL (which is physically different in the adjustment for minimum dimming -- wheel vs slide) has the delay. It's not the load, it is the dimmer.

I also have a number of Maestro CL dimmers (about 23, most with companion dimmers). They do not show the delay issues. They ramp on, so the delay could be hidden in the ramp, but I don't think so.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2013 at 2:32AM
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I called Lutron when I had the same problem with this model and they said it's normal. They said the circuits inside take some time to calculate the voltage and adjust it to your LED light bulb. I think it makes no sense that you upgrade to a new technology to have something as basic as instant light now be a luxury. I'm returning all eight dimmer switches and try a different brand.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2013 at 6:46PM
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