GE Dimmer Switch


(Jon Allsebrook) #1

Hi All,

I have read pretty much all I can about the GE Dimmer Switches (The Lowes Version) on the forums and I am about to go get a couple but have some questions first.

As far as I can work out these will only work well with incandescent bulbs? Has anyone got them to work with LED candelabra bulbs?

I keep hearing about a humming noise… this would drive me crazy is this random or do most of you using them see this issue?

We only have 2 wire upstairs where I want to use them…apparently they are fine with no neutral but has anyone used them in a no neutral situation and have any comments?

Thanks!


(Kmugh) #2

This dimmer switch works with LED lights as long as there is a minimum load. Case in point - I have two of these in the house:

  1. First dimmer switch in the living room plugged into these Halo LED recessed lights (8 of them, total 80W load) where it works perfectly.
  2. I have the second switch in a bedroom. I initially tried a couple brands of LED bulbs (including the LED trim from (1)). I can get the ON-OFF to work, but the dimming itself has lots of oddities (cannot go to max brightness, at max brightness the LED switches OFF, etc). Not sure if any other brand LED bulbs will work here with a single bulb plugged in.

The candelabra must have multiple LED lights? If so, there is a higher chance it will work (will also depend on the LED bulb too).

Finally, I do have a indiscernable humming/flicker noise from the dimmer switch in the living room, cannot hear it unless I keep my ear to the switch, so has not bothered me.


(Jon Allsebrook) #3

Thanks @kmugh those are the ones that loses sell (cheaper there too!) and just found on their Amazon review they should work with LED’s as long as there is a draw of 40W. Right now we have Incan’s (3) in them so may just leave at that.

I seem to have a bit of a sensitivity to certain frequency ‘hums’ but I think I will go out and buy a couple and give them a go especially as we have an electrician coming today to do some wiring for us!

Thanks again!


(Brian) #4

I haven’t experienced any hums with mine, but I am using them with 4 incandescents. Its in our bedrooms so I would definitely notice if it was humming.
One thing I am not a huge fan of is the control of these. You have to hold the up or down to set the dim level, but the switch must be on first to do that. So if its late at night and you only want to turn the dimmer up to 20%, first you have to blast yourself up to the last level the dimmer was set, and then hold the down button again until it reaches your desired level. I like my old leviton dimmers with the side slider. I really want to use the Vizia RF+ dimmers, but they are a bit $$ right now.


(Jon Allsebrook) #5

Thanks @docwisdom I will see how they are and report back. To be honest the physical aspect of the switch is likely to be used infrequently I just want ST control over as many devices as I can!


(Jon Allsebrook) #6

Ok quick question…electrician who came to do a load of work including putting some GE on Off switches in now realized there is no neutral where we wanted one… is there any reason I can’t use one of the dimmers just as an on off… its connected to two outside carriage lights?


(Alex) #7

If the dimmer you are installing requires neutral, you won’t be able to install.

Some dimmers/switches (depending on model) require neutral, some don’t.


(Jon Allsebrook) #8

@625alex its the GE Dimmer which apparently requires no neutral.


(Alex) #9

Well, you wouldn’t be able to hook it up to a neutral even if you wanted to. :smile:


(Jon Allsebrook) #10

Ok now this is becoming a pain… long story short electrician told me was a neutral so I got the original switch then he said nope no neutral and left at end of day telling me its fine just put in the dimmer non neutral needed version.

So I go and get one and take the plate off the gang box and I have a bare copper wire thats looped and goes off to the light switch next to it (the switch I am replacing only does outside lights the switch next to it is for indoor stair lights and is in a 3 way) I have a red/pink wire and I have a white. No labels on any of them. Electrician has told me he will charge me to come back but I should be able to do this right?

I know I need the bare copper one to go into the ground part of the switch (can I cut the copper cable and join the two switches using a wire joiner?) but whats the red and white as I was expecting black wires?

Have uploaded some photo’s to show the situation… any help would appreciate!


(Alex) #11

Is this how it looks BEFORE you made any changes?


(Jon Allsebrook) #12

Yup @625alex that’s before


(Morgan) #13

I never got these to work with anything about incandescent bulbs. There is a humming, my daughters can hear it in their room and it drives them a little nuts with it.

I had to adjust the ramp rate so it turned on and off faster, but it works well.

Morgan


(Alex) #14

In the most basic setup (with ordinary switches), white wire should be “neutral” and go to the light, black wire should be “hot” and go to the switch and then the light.
Check the diagram here.
http://www.electrical-online.com/wiring-a-basic-light-switch/

It looks like your wiring is reversed. This could be a problem if neutral goes to the switch.
However if it is like on this diagram, you are technically OK, however electrical code may not allow this in your area.
http://www.electrical-online.com/wiring-a-basic-light-switch-variation-1/

I would try to sort this out before you get into anything more interesting. Whether you have an actual electrical problem I don’t know, but this doesn’t look right to me.


(Jon Allsebrook) #15

Hmmm electrician yesterday said we definitely don’t have a neutral there as that’s why he couldn’t fit the standard ge on off and I went to get the dimmer version.

Thing is he wants $100 to come back and fit the darn thing and if I could work out which wire is which then it’s not a big issue for me to do


(George Sudarkoff) #16

In US hot is either black or red, neutral is white, ground is either bare, yellow or green/yellow. This is a switch however, the switch is just a break in the hot wire. If your dimmer doesn’t require the neutral (and it doesn’t), then it shouldn’t matter which color (red or white) you connect to which terminal (load or line). You can’t break this dimmer by connecting it “wrong”. And you definitely don’t need to pay $100 to do this.


(Jon Allsebrook) #17

Thanks @sudarkoff I guess I will give it ago…


(Beckwith) #18

True, but for safety, you should make sure polarity is correct:

http://www.phillylicensedelectrician.com/polarity-matters-in-ac-wiring/


(Jon Allsebrook) #19

I am getting lots of conflicted advice here so I just went and bought a voltage tester…will soon see which is which!


(Jon Allsebrook) #20

@kmugh @sudarkoff @beckwith

I am clearly inept … I use the voltage meter and when I put it on the bare copper ‘ground’ wire and one of the other two wires I get no reading. When I use it on the white and red cables together (see pics above) I get a reading for 120V

Thats not helping me decide which is hot and which isn’t! Help!