0

I have 4 different rooms with dimmers. Something changed that makes them not dim enough. If it were one room I'd guess a switch problem. If they were all LED's I might think it was the switch or the bulbs. The dimmers are the type that is supposed to work with LEDs. They all worked fine until about a week ago. So just to be clear: a week ago the lights would dim to just a faint glow. Now when the switch is flipped they only dim about half of full intensity. No other symptoms or electrical issues that I know of.

  • 1
    You say they're not all LED bulbs; what kind of bulbs are they? – Niall C. Jul 18 '17 at 19:58
  • Are they all on the same circuit? – mmathis Jul 18 '17 at 20:06
  • What is line voltage at switches? At an uninvolved wall socket? Perhaps a neighbor shut down his 50kWatt transceiver, and local voltage is up by quite a bit? How long have you lived in this place? This never happened before? – Wayfaring Stranger Jun 7 '18 at 21:47
1

Virtually all new dimmer switches are "smart" switches. They contain tiny computer chips that control the dimming functions, and most smart switches have internal "parameters" that can be set with values to define things like minimum and maximum brightness, dimming speed, brightness step levels, etc. These switches often allow the user to change the parameters by holding the switch buttons down and tapping or clicking following a certain pattern.

For some reason I've found that certain people have a knack for messing up these switches - perhaps someone is holding down the dimmer button instead of clicking the paddle. It's incomprehensible to me how they manage to stumble into the pattern to mess up the parameters. And it's pretty much impossible to guess how to undo the damage without proper documentation. You'll need to read the manual for your specific switches to understand the different parameters and settings, and how to restore them.

You may find it easier to perform a "factory reset" on the switches, but be warned this could cause a home automation controller to forget the configuration for the switch. Then you'll find your lighting problems have suddenly become computer problems, and that's even less fun.

If they are part of a home automation system like Z-Wave or Iris, the parameters can be easily set and reset by the installer using the system controller and a computer.

As you read through the manual, look to see there is a parameter like "disable changing parameters from the switch". If so, I recommend setting it to avoid accidental repeats of this problem in the future.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.