Happened to be at Home Cheapo today and saw some dimmers made by Commercial Electric on clearance for $10.00 each. They are white, slide dimmers with a rocker switch for preset, they can be used for 3 ways or single pole, they are illuminated, rated 600 watts and can be used for incandescents, halogens, and also for electronic low voltage transformers. I have never seen such a versatile switch. The electronic low voltage dimmers I have seen are usually $35 and up.
So I got one and hooked it up to my patio lighting, 600 watts total. I've been testing it all afternoon, no buzzing or flickering and no unusual heat. I don't have any electronic ballasts to test it on, but I wonder how it'll do on those. Says it will dim multiple ballasts up to 600 watts.
The original price was only $15.00, awfully cheap for a ELV dimmer.
Now what really has me wondering is the one they replaced it with. It comes with two inserts so you can use it for white or ivory and it does everything the old one did, except it is only rated for 300 WATTS. What I am wondering is, was there problems with the original rating, and are these the same switches with a revised rating?
How would I find out, does UL rate the capacity of a switch?
I'm thinking $10 is a pretty good deal for these if they really do everything they claim.