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.
I highly doubt this was actually an ELV dimmer. Did this dimmer have a neutral connection? If not it is definitely not and ELV dimmer. Most ELV transformers say they can be used with standard incandescent dimmers so that is probably why it says it can be used with ELV loads. Also ELV transformers are not the same as electronic ballasts so please do try dimming standard electronic ballasts with this control. The universal 1-pole/3-way is a nice touch. 3-way dimmers are money makers for the manufactures. I don’t have my pricing info in front of me but I believe Lutron charges about $5 more for the 3-way versions of their standard dimmers but the only difference is one additional 6” piece of wire soldered to the circuit board.