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I recently upgraded my old halogen kitchen ceiling lighting with LEDs - two fixtures. They have the 0-10V dimming wires. I also got a pair of 2-way switch/0-10V dimmers.

My dilemma is that I don't know the correct way to wire up the dimmers so that both lights are controlled equally from either switch - is this possible?

Currently, the connection is parallel - that is the purple wires from each switch are connected together, and the pink wires to each other. Then the purple goes to the purple on both lights, and the pink to the pink on both lights.

The results are random and unpredictable - most times the dimming function does not work at all, sometimes dimming will work from one switch but not the other, and the dimming range is very narrow - but once the light is turned off and then back on - dimming stops working completely.

Currently, dimming is connected via 22awg solid copper wiring, I'm looking into replacing it with 18awg stranded wire - but not until I know the correct way to wire this up.

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  • Specific brand/model information for the parts?
    – Ecnerwal
    May 17, 2023 at 14:46
  • Are you OK with having to use a communicating multi-location dimmer and perhaps some sort of adapter module as well? May 18, 2023 at 3:17

2 Answers 2

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A configuration with two switches controlling a load is called "3-way." The best rationale I've read is that this terminology is borrowed from hydraulics/pneumatics. A valve with three ports has three "ways" for fluid to enter. The 3-way switch is the same: there are three terminals, so three ways electricity could flow in. (See Mike Holt forum)

In any case, you may be having trouble finding a wiring diagram in part due to using the wrong search term.

Though you haven't mentioned specifically which dimmer you're using, it's generally the case that in a multi-way dimming setup, only one of the switches controls the dimming. The others are simple on/off switches. This is definitely true in the conventional triac and related dimmers but appears also to be true with 0-10V dimmers. Because the dimmers lack any communication between themselves, multiple dimmers tied together would certainly result in ambiguity and malfunction as they each try to take control of the load.

The diagram below comes from the Lutron Diva 0-10V installation instructions and is shown here as an example.

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    Thanks! I was afraid of that - dimming only at one switch - but was hoping I was wrong. And yeah, I was pretty sure it was "3-way", but in a failed attempt to not sound like an idiot, I looked it up on the "internets", lol and found info saying it was called "2-way"... grrr, I should have gone with what I had learned over time...
    – J Delgado
    May 17, 2023 at 15:26
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    @JDelgado in UK English it is "2-way" because the switch has 2 active positions. Current through the switch flows through the common terminal and then either one way or the other way, depending on which position the switch is in. This conforms to the electronics terminology where the switch would be referred to as SPDT : single-pole, double-throw - where "double-throw" refers to the 2 possible positions the switch can be in.
    – brhans
    May 17, 2023 at 16:33
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    In the UK these switches are known as 2 way as they allow operation of a light from two locations. Even a normal switch has two positions - on and off.
    – Graham Nye
    May 17, 2023 at 21:06
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This is possible, but not with the hardware you have

Multi-location dimming control of 0-10V fixtures is possible, but you can't do it with standard 0-10V dimmers (how would you determine which dimmer's setting "wins"?). You'll need to instead use a multi-location dimmer + remote (such as Lutron's Maestro) and a phase-control to 0-10V interface such as the Lutron GRX-TVI for this. The dimmers get wired up as normal, but instead of controlling the lights directly, they get wired up to the dimmed hot input on the GRX-TVI, which then has its 0-10V outputs wired to the 0-10V connections on the light fixtures.

Note that the GRX-TVI itself is designed to go in a utility space; if you can't find a home for it in a closet, you'll need to put it in a kitchen cabinet or such.

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