Reducing dimmer clutter

oldbat2beJuly 30, 2011

Our current wiring plan for our renovated kitchen/pantry/mudroom/living room calls for banks of multiple switches / dimmers at various locations.

Currently, everything is open to the studs.

DH can take care of the wiring, just needs direction. We would like to put in keypads at two doorways, instead of banks of, say, 5 switches / dimmers. We have a location in the pantry which could accomodate the bank of switches.

I am having a very hard time figuring out what is required for this, as well as estimated cost of the equipment required to make this work. If cost for the 'keypads' solution is over $1000, it is probably not worth it to us.

We are putting in CREE LR6 LCD recessed cans, INVISILED LCD undercabinet lighting, with 3 or 4 hanging lights (not yet determined). There are around 12 zones and multiple dimmers planned.

I found the below comment in an old thread. This seems simple and doable; I would appreciate comments / suggestions / review of what we are trying to do.

Posted by normclc ( on Thu, Sep 17, 09 at 20:29

Here's my take on the Lightolier Multiset system.

These are approximate prices, as I deal only in Canadian $.

You would install a Multiset dimmer for each light, or series of lights, you want to control.

The selection of each dimmer would depend on the type of load( incandescent, magnetic low voltage ) and the total load.

These dimmers are around $125.00.

They are installed exactly as you would any dimmer, but in a spot that is less conspicious,such as a closet or pantry,

All these dimmers are connected together with a single "carrier" wire which goes to a key pad and a series of key pads.Some large kicthen may need 2 such key pads.

These key pads ,worth about $225 each will give you 4 scenes, all on, and all on at 50%

That's all you need for this system

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You will get better flexibility with z-wave.

However, there aren't too many dimmers that have been officially qualified with the Cree lamps. The adventurous would try out various dimmers.

If the load is too small, the light will not dim correctly - minimal dimming, buzzing and /or flickering.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2011 at 3:37PM
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Make sure you select a brand that has at least a chance of being around long term.

In five or ten years you do not want to be tearing into walls to change wiring.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2011 at 9:06AM
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Davidtay, Brickeyee; thanks to both. What would be the required components for a z-wave 1 room solution, with say, 2 zones? I'd like to get an understanding of the basics.

We have checked with Cree and have their list of recommended dimmers:

Brickeyee -- is your comment regarding the Lightolier Multiset system? Our lighting store is going to Lutron and away from Lightolier, due to support issues.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2011 at 8:02AM
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"is your comment regarding the Lightolier Multiset system? Our lighting store is going to Lutron and away from Lightolier, due to support issues. "

Really ANY of the systems.

Even the commercial systems have had issues with equipment being discontinued with little notice, and the new devices not working well with the old.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2011 at 9:13AM
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We have Lightolier in our home. It is pricey, but we haven't had a single problem in 15 yrs.

IMO, what you want to do is have a dimmer for each group of lights - over the sink, over the counter, eating area, etc. Locate each dimmer near the light it controls. Then install the masters where you enter/exit the room. The Lightolier dimmers can remember 5 or 13 "scenes" You program the scenes, so when entering the room you can turn on a group of lights, at the brighness you have programmed.

The one thing I don't know is if they work on LCD lamps.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2011 at 2:00PM
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Belatedly, thanks Doug. We do have dimmers for each group of lights... but instead went with three way switches (vs. master); simple on/off as you leave the kitchen. (I couldn't figure out what was required for the 'master' solution and we needed to get wiring done).

    Bookmark   August 13, 2011 at 8:03AM
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