ECN Electrical Forum - Discussion Forums for Electricians, Inspectors and Related Professionals
ECN Shout Chat
Top Posters(30 Days)
Potseal 11
Recent Posts
600 KW 120/208 3 Phase Y protection
by SteveFehr. 07/23/17 09:46 AM
1913 American Electrician's Handbook
by gfretwell. 07/20/17 01:08 PM
Green House wiring
by ghost307. 07/20/17 09:10 AM
Permit Snafus...AHJs and Contractors Jump in
by HotLine1. 07/18/17 08:06 PM
New in the Gallery:
SE cable question
Popular Topics(Views)
239,251 Are you busy
174,658 Re: Forum
167,079 Need opinion
Who's Online Now
1 registered members (gfretwell), 53 guests, and 11 spiders.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Rate This Thread
Page 1 of 2 1 2
#13875 - 09/13/02 01:38 AM noisy dimmers  
elecbob  Offline
Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 141
Another customer is complaining to me about noisy dimmers (Lutron Ariadni)I installed . What a pain. Has anyone else had this problem? Is there a dimmer on the market that is quieter? In some insrances I've found that it is actually the filiments in bulbs making noise and not the dimmers themselves. This is fustrating.

Work Gear for Electricians and the Trades

#13876 - 09/13/02 04:14 AM Re: noisy dimmers  
Trumpy  Offline

Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 8,217
SI,New Zealand
What type(electrically) of dimmer are you
Also, what type of lighting are you
controlling with the dimmer?.
Love to know, reckon I can sort this one
out for you!.

Let's face it, these days if you're not young, you're old - Red Green grin

#13877 - 09/13/02 07:10 AM Re: noisy dimmers  
sparky  Offline
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 5,311
just what is it that creates the 'noise' in the first place?

#13878 - 09/13/02 07:27 AM Re: noisy dimmers  
ThinkGood  Offline
Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 1,081
Milwaukee, WI
This is from , Pass & Seymour: Knowledge & Know How: FAQ

Q: I installed a dimmer at a new house and the owner is complaining that the incandescent light bulbs are humming. I changed the dimmer and the bulbs are still humming. Is there a problem with the dimmer or the installation?

A: Why does a light bulb hum with a dimmer controlling it, is a very common question. The noise the bulb is making is called "bulb sing" or "filament hum". The sound is created from the turning on and off of the A.C. sine wave. The rapid switching causes the tungsten filament to resonate. This is not harmful to the lamp but could be annoying depending on the location of the installation. Filament hum is typical with what is referred to as "contractor bulbs". This is an inexpensive lamp that is common to new construction. The hum can be greatly reduced by upgrading the lamp. By using an incandescent lamp with a heavier filament, the hum is practically eliminated. The family dog can still hear it, but he doesn't care.

#13879 - 09/13/02 07:31 AM Re: noisy dimmers  
ThinkGood  Offline
Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 1,081
Milwaukee, WI
P. S. Seems that changing the bulb used can be a real hum dimmer...

#13880 - 09/13/02 02:29 PM Re: noisy dimmers  
Bjarney  Offline
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 2,527
West-Southern Inner-Northeast ...
In stage lighting, the filament noise is called "lamp sing." The voltage waveform serving the lamps is not a smooth, wavy sinusoid—it is sharp and ragged, changing shape somewhat over the brightness range of the dimmer control...{except at truly zero or full-on states.}

The only absolute cure are these quaint, stone-age yet most gnarley things . Warning: may require a touch-up by the local plasterer after install.

[This message has been edited by Bjarney (edited 09-13-2002).]

#13881 - 09/13/02 05:48 PM Re: noisy dimmers  
Electricmanscott  Offline
Joined: Jan 2002
Posts: 1,457
Holden, MA USA
Check out for more info. They also have a good tech support hotline.

#13882 - 09/13/02 11:09 PM Re: noisy dimmers  
Electric Eagle  Offline
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 914
Alpharetta, GA
I get that complaint every once in a while, but more commonly people complain that the dimmers are burning hot. I asked Lutron how hot was too hot and they said 150 degrees F above room temp. [Linked Image] They told me to use nylon plate screws to stop the heat transfer, it works! I don't think older dimmers got that hot, why?

#13883 - 09/13/02 11:38 PM Re: noisy dimmers  
spkjpr  Offline
Joined: Dec 2000
Posts: 218
Sedalia,MO, USA
Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't the old dimmers have a massive heat sink on them. I seem to recall it being because the power transistors in it were in their infancy and produced much heat, the technology of power transistors has been advanced since then and they operate a little cooler now.

#13884 - 09/14/02 01:05 AM Re: noisy dimmers  
Trumpy  Offline

Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 8,217
SI,New Zealand
Are "Contractor Bulbs", them really cheap
bulbs, you get with new light fittings,
these days, we have had a real problem
from these over here in NZ, mainly in
cheap imported (China)linear-type tungsten-
halogen outdoor fittings, we nowadays, throw
the lamp out, that comes with these fittings,
because their life is measured in minutes,
not the 1000-2000hours that they are quoted
as lasting.
Just a short note, on the dimmers, however,
the Triac and Diac in a light dimmer,
require pretty much a perfect sine-wave to
operate correctly, if there are any DC or
Harmonic components in the supply, feeding
them, this can upset their output, quite
When light dimmers first came out over here,
they had a whopping great wire-wound rheostat
as a series voltage dropper resistor, and
these used to hum like crazy, especially
when the lamps were dimmed down low.
Thank God they are gone now, they were
terribly in-efficient(with heat loss) and
to a certain extent they were a fire risk
if the lamps were kept dimmed for long

Let's face it, these days if you're not young, you're old - Red Green grin

Page 1 of 2 1 2

Member Spotlight
Posts: 22
Joined: August 2009
Show All Member Profiles 

2017 NEC and Related
2017 NEC
Now Available!

Shout Box
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.6.0
Page Time: 0.020s Queries: 15 (0.003s) Memory: 0.8189 MB (Peak: 0.9956 MB) Zlib enabled. Server Time: 2017-07-23 14:49:27 UTC