I've done some digging, and most of what I've found says you can use a dimmer to it's full capacity, but most wouldn't recommend doing so, which could cause the dimmer to fail.

I'm having trouble finding a 1000 watt 3 way dimmer that matches the everyday toggle that is in the rest of the house. Best I can do is the 600 watt Ariadni from Lutron, and it will be ganged with a normal 3 way switch from a separate circuit in a single 2 gang box. Not being able to find a higher wattage dimmer means the fins would have to stay in place, right?

It would be running 12 50w PAR20 bulbs, dimmable LED's, or a mixture of the two until my stash is gone. This switch is rated to have multiple styles of bulbs combined in the same circuit, but I'm curious about its results with combined bulbs.

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    In general, dimmers on LEDs work better with some incandescent load rather than pure LED. When you put in a system, best if you can try it with only LEDs and make sure it works satisfactory before switching back to incandescent. If you search this board, you’ll see many questions about LEDs on dimmers flickering or otherwise misbehaving but work fine if one of the LEDs is replaced with an incandescent light. – DoxyLover Nov 26 '17 at 23:53

The 1000 watt version of the Lutron dimmer you mentioned in the question is the best solution.


You're correct that 600 watts on a 600 watt dimmer never lasts. My personal theory on that is that in a perfect world input voltage would be the rated 120v. In the house, in the real world, voltage could be 10% or more lower, which changes every other variable and effectively increases current draw slightly.

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Cat. Don't just stand in the doorway. In, or out!

You'll only make yourself crazy on a new build trying to support both incandescent and LED on such a large scale. Because

  • a dimmer capable of supporting that much incandescent wattage
  • a dimmer capable of really performing well with LED screw-ins

is like finding a shoulder surgeon who also plays harp. Requiring both specialties will make procurement hard and fraught with compromise. Why would a 1000 watt dimmer suppport LEDs? You don't need a 1000 watt dimmer for that.

I recommend going all-in, either way. And unless somebody pays your electricity bill, you're gonna want LED. And once you commit to LED, on a project that big, I'd talk to a lighting specialist about better dimming tech like 0-10V or PWM that work so much better than the compromise methods used in screw-in LED incandescent substitutes.

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  • Yeah, I hear what you are saying, but these switches are made for mixed loads of lamps, in case someone chose to put the cheapest bulb they could find in as a replacement somewhere in the future. – m m Nov 27 '17 at 3:49
  • @mm if you go pure LED with a more sophisticated dimming system, there won't be bulbs to change. LED emitters will outlive all of us. Their power supplies less so. – Harper - Reinstate Monica Nov 27 '17 at 5:53
  • Dang. I feel like I should clarify, I have two rows of recessed lighting, with six in each row, making twelve altogether in the one lighting zone, the living room, in my house. Not a new project, but right now I've got 12 38 watt halogen lights in them. – m m Nov 29 '17 at 0:34

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