I am trying to use a dimmer outlet to control my Christmas lights. I am finding when I turn the switch off or set to zero, the lights are still on so very faintly. Last year I did the same thing and it worked fine. I was able to dim the lights as well as turn off, but this year it doesn’t work. We switch between white and colored lights each year and this year is a new set of led lights using 3 strings. Last year it was white and 4 strings. My assumption is there is just enough power to keep the lights on. I have tried 2 Centralite dimmers (same model, just 2 devices) and a Leviton dimmer. I think I am just stuck but thought I would ask for ideas. Any suggestions?
Try Adding more lights?
First, are the lights dimmable? If not, don’t use them with a dimmer.
If they are dimmable than as @TonyFleisher suggested, the LEDs are probably too low a load for the dimmer to recognize and it won’t control them properly.
The usual solution is to plug a dimmable night light into one of the taps and your LED lights into the other. That will usually add enough load that the on and off will work.
I doubt they are dimmable, they are just Home Depot specials. . . .but that’s the same thing I used last year only in white. Sadly I can’t add more lights this year as we got a significantly smaller tree. I may try the night light idea just to see if it works, but I doubt my wife will go for keeping it there. I stole one of my on/off switches and am using it and its fine, but I liked to be able to dim them because it makes them much less intense. The led xmas lights are just so bright. These will dim just fine. . . just won’t turn off.
Had the same issue with my Christmas tree, using a dimmer outlet usually meant for a lamp. I added a button extension cord and more lights, which caused the always “on” problem to go away.
What’s a button extension cord?
I am using the £$9 Tradfri control outlets with all my different Xmas lights & tree. Not a solution to your problem, but a cheap alternative. I bought 4 of them just for Xmas and they are working pretty good.
I knew some one would ask lol https://express.google.com/u/0/product/4545992383207307803_0_10046?utm_source=google_shopping&utm_medium=tu_cu&utm_content=eid-lsjeuxoeqt>im=CMyL6b3OrcfVvQEQkMSJyPn---deGPDM7QIiA1VTRCig18HgBTC-Tg&utm_campaign=10046&gclid=Cj0KCQiAi57gBRDqARIsABhDSMpNrfFNubaICFxuYoSu3gs22xheHWQ42gYnPO1i1BND-cLUdYWCUgAaAkvuEALw_wcB
Just had a thought, maybe I need to find some small low power device that doesn’t light up to plug in. I’m guessing dimming a non light up device could damage it?
Yes. This is why you shouldn’t be using non-dimmable Christmas lights with the dimmer anyway.
“Lamp” in the following text means “bulb”— it’s a UK site. But while the words are different, the physics are the same.
Dimming LED lamps can save energy and changes the visual appearance and mood of your space. You can use a dimmable LED lamp in a non-dimmable circuit. You should NOT use a non-dimmable lamp in a dimmable circuit as it may cause damage to the lamp and or circuit.
And if you use a device with a motor, much worse things could happen.
So, seriously: just go back to using the binary on/off switch. I understand that aesthetically you like the LED bulbs at lower lumens, but then you should get dimmable bulbs.
Oh well, will just stick with the binary. Maybe I’ll dig out the box and check they aren’t dimmable, but I doubt it given the low cost.