Removing Halogen Dimmer Transformer...

asampinoApril 26, 2010

So, I bought the wrong thing, but realized it after I had already started installing it, and now I'm trying to make the best of it.

I have 2 sets of lights (10 lights total, 5 on each strand, each strand with it's own small dimmable transformer built into the line, and a touch dimmer pad attached to that to control the lights) that I would like to turn on and off at the same time.

I don't really want the dimmer, I want to run the lights off of a light switch, and just turn them on or off. They're in the kitchen, and the use is mainly to provide more task lighting on the counters so I don't need any kind of "moody" ambiance lighting.

I have the lights wired into the electrical line which is connected to the switch, and figured that I just wouldn't use the dimmer pad. No such luck. When you turn the switch on the lights don't actually turn on until you hit the dimmer pad.

These are G-4 10w 12v bulbs. Will I blow all of the lights out if I cut the transformer out and splice the line back together without it?

Right now both strands of lights work fine independently of one another, as long as you are using the touch pad. I tried splicing together the touch pad lines, to at least control both sets of lights off one pad, but they just don't seem to work right. The signal to dim doesn't seem to go to both sets at exactly the same time, so they get out of sync.

I'm already out $70, and I really don't want to scrap the whole deal and buy more lights. They are actually very nice lights, the perfect size and the perfect amount of light when turned all the way up. I just want them to be able to be turned on and off on one switch at the same time.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

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You have a real problem.

The fact that the included dimmer does not remember its previous setting is part of the problem.

This prevents you from simply using a simple on off switch.

Dimmers (even at full on) often still distort the voltage waveform and do not operate well in series (one dimmer feeding power to another).

Dimmers depend on a circuit that finds the zero crossings of the voltage to operate correctly, and many will not operate if the voltage waveform is already going through another dimmer.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2010 at 2:13PM
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Yes, you did unknowingly buy the wrong thing but unfortunately there is no way (economically) to make them work. The transformer has the touch dimmer built into the electronics and the default mode on power-up is lights off. Then by touching the touch-plate after it has found it's floating static mode, it'll change through your finger's capacitive effect.

You can not connect the lights without the transformer - they are 12 volt lights - not 120 volt and will instantly burn out.

Chalk it up as a small mistake and go buy 120 volt puck lights, without a dimmer function, and install them instead... maybe you'll find somewhere you'll want the "mood lights."

Oh, not sure how you wired them directly, but the proper way is for the switch to control an outlet that the type of lights that you are describing are then plugged into.

BTW - The 20 watt bulbs are much better for under cabinet task lighting than the 10 watt bulb version.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2010 at 7:18PM
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