AL Nano Dimmer is nutty, need help picking some dimmers and switches


(Colby Westerfield) #1

The Wife and I are remodeling our kitchen and dining room, and I need roughly 3 non dimming switches and 2 dimming switches. Both of the dimmers will control multiple dimmable LED can lights.

The big caveat is that my wife really likes the tactile feel of a nonsmart paddle switch. The default-in-the-middle type irk her, so I started trying to locate tactile switches. I haven’t found any that actually have a tactile feel, but as soon as I could I bought a aeon labs nano dimmer. It’s not great.

It’s currently installed with a standard paddle for a test with 6 10W Great Value Dimmable LED Bulbs. It has taken a great deal of tweaking just to get them to function and they still either flicker or just straight up strobe. We haven’t updated the wiring yet, so maybe this thing is just really bad at 2 wire installs, but I don’t know.

Do I have any other options for tactile paddles? I know that Qubino has one, but sourcing seems difficult. In a perfect world, I would buy 3 AL Nano switches and 2 Dimmers and put them behind regular paddles and everything would be great. In this world, it would be a flickery stroby nightmare. :slight_smile:


#2

I think the 2-wire install is your main problem. The AL nano dimmer is one of the only in wall switches that runs without a neutral. If I understand correctly neutrals are needed to supply power to the radio when the switch is off. In the nano dimmer, it accomplished this by just dimming the power imperceptibly low. So technically the bulbs are not completely off, in order to keep power to the zwave radio. This has been shown to cause behavior like yours in many cases.


(Mark) #3

I agree, it’s probably the lack of neutral wire even though aeotec says the nano dimmer can work without it.

You can wire them up at the light fixtures in the ceiling boxes. I’ve done that with their prior generation micro dimmer. I have a nano dimmer and switch just haven’t had a chance to install them in a couple more lights. That’s one downside, it’s a pain to get up to the ceiling boxes compared to switch boxes in the wall.

I also have lutron caseta switches and dimmers on some lights and fans, because lutron has a few models that work very well without neutral wires. But the caseta switches look very different from standard rocker switches so that may not work for everyone.


(Colby Westerfield) #4

The Lutrons might work, I’ll just have to see what the WAF is.

I really wish there was some way I could test these with a neutral before I make the purchase. I gotta do some thinking and maybe call my electrician, to see if I can figure out a testing method.


(Mark) #5

That’s often a limiting factor. Even I don’t particularly like the way the caseta switches look, I’d much prefer a standard rocker. But options for automation are much more limited without neutrals in the switch box. I happen to be lucky that my wife doesn’t particularly care how they look, as long as she still has plain old manual control of the switches.