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how to ditch dimmer switch?
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# 1
cybervic
Old 04-11-2008, 9:51 AM
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Default how to ditch dimmer switch?

We're in a rented property and there were like 8 dimmer switch around the house, some of it are even GU10 light bulb, which I should imagine will cost me an arm.

Because dimerable light bulbs are too expansive for us, I'm wondering if it's possible to replace the dimmer switch with normal switch (DIY) so that I can use ECO light bulbs. I know how to change a wall socket, there are just 3 cables to be connected, but I'm not sure if dimmer switch is any different?


PS, my landlord wouldn't mind me changing them as long as I put the dimmer switch back on when I leave.


Thanks in advance for any help/reply.
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# 2
adaze
Old 04-11-2008, 9:54 AM
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You can get dimmerable gu10 energy saving bulbs, they are a bit pricey though (see here).

It is quite simple to change a light switch, just make sure you note which wires go where, the swap over should be pretty much like for like. Screwfix do some really cheap standard white switches (see here)
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# 3
JimmyTheWig
Old 04-11-2008, 9:56 AM
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My (novice) guess would be that a dimmer switch is just the same. The "dimming" bit is part of the switch that you just wire in.
I think I had one in my electrical set as a kid. I think the dimmer is just a variable resistor, put in series with the bulb.
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# 4
madjay
Old 04-11-2008, 10:02 AM
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there are three cable one green/yellow this one is the earth cable, The red cable is the live connect this to the terminal at the top of the switch, The Black Cable (may be marked with red tape) is the switch line and connects to the terminal at the bottom of the switch. This is for one way switching only.
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# 5
cybervic
Old 04-11-2008, 10:07 AM
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THANKS ADAZE,

we have 20 GU10 fittings at home spread across 4 rooms with 4 dimmer switches. and another 20 normal light bulbs work with another 4 dimmer switches. it'll cost us 350 or so to have all the bulbs changed, just too expansive for me.

The reason I ask is because a friend has told me that a dimmer switch involves a thing called "transformer" which is a separate device from the switch itself. I don't know what that is and I'm not sure if it will cause any damage if the transformer is not removed.

Last edited by cybervic; 04-11-2008 at 10:11 AM.
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# 6
adaze
Old 04-11-2008, 10:11 AM
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They are probably LV if they have a transformer (it will usually be a black oblong box). You can get some transformers that are incompatible with dimmers, yours obviously aren't. You won't have any problems changing the switches back to standard ones.
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# 7
ormus
Old 04-11-2008, 10:16 AM
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dimmer switches (240v) are just a straight swap for normal light switches.
Get some gorm.
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# 8
madjay
Old 04-11-2008, 10:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cybervic View Post
THANKS ADAZE,

we have 20 GU10 fitting at home spread across 4 rooms with 4 dimmer switches. and another 20 normal light bulbs that works with another 4 dimmer switches. it'll cost us 350 or so to have all the bulbs changed, just too expansive for me.

The reason I ask is because a friend has told me that dimmer switch involves a "transformer" which is a separate device from the switch itself. I don't know what that is and I'm not sure if it will cause any damage if the transformer is not removed.
There are type of dimmer that have the switches and dimmer units separate but they are expensive. Most normal houses have just a dimmer switch unit on the wall. Just check ... once you have taken the dimmer switch off if it has a "12volt" or "24volt" sticker on the back of it the you can not change the switch.
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# 9
cybervic
Old 04-11-2008, 10:50 AM
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Right, I've opened up 3 switches.
The first one says: 1 way 200~250v AC, Min load 60W, Max load 400W.
The second one: 1 way, 500W, 200-250v AC
the third one: 40-250W, 230v AC

so can I change them?
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# 10
cybervic
Old 04-11-2008, 10:55 AM
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Sorry, just realised I've misread madjay's "24volt" as "240v."

I think the switches are changeable, will be buying this afternoon.

THANKS!!!!
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# 11
madjay
Old 04-11-2008, 10:59 AM
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Yes you can change them, but remember to turn off the power!!
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# 12
oldone
Old 04-11-2008, 12:41 PM
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Why not just put ordinary bulbs in the light fittings and continue to use the dimmers.By setting the dimmer switches to less than full on, you will be saving energy, the bulbs will last longer, and replacements will be cheaper.
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# 13
JimmyTheWig
Old 04-11-2008, 1:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldone View Post
Why not just put ordinary bulbs in the light fittings and continue to use the dimmers.By setting the dimmer switches to less than full on, you will be saving energy, the bulbs will last longer, and replacements will be cheaper.
I like the thinking, but to for a regular lightbulb to use less energy than an energy saving one you would have to have it on very dim indeed.
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# 14
jennifernil
Old 04-11-2008, 2:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cybervic View Post
We're in a rented property and there were like 8 dimmer switch around the house, some of it are even GU10 light bulb, which I should imagine will cost me an arm.

Because dimerable light bulbs are too expansive for us, I'm wondering if it's possible to replace the dimmer switch with normal switch (DIY) so that I can use ECO light bulbs. I know how to change a wall socket, there are just 3 cables to be connected, but I'm not sure if dimmer switch is any different?


PS, my landlord wouldn't mind me changing them as long as I put the dimmer switch back on when I leave.


Thanks in advance for any help/reply.
I am struggling with this......

If the bulbs are there and the dimmers there, why not just use them?

Why spend money on new switches and energy saving bulbs? It will take you a long time to recoup the cost of all that.

Can GU10 bulbs just be changed out for the energy saving type?

If you need spare bulbs there are places you can buy them quite reasonably on-line.

Last edited by jennifernil; 04-11-2008 at 2:39 PM.
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# 15
madjay
Old 04-11-2008, 2:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jennifernil View Post
I am struggling with this......

If the bulbs are there and the dimmers there, why not just use them?

Why spend money on new switches and energy saving bulbs? It will take you a long time to recoup the cost of all that.

Can GU10 bulbs just be changed out for the energy saving type?

If you need spare bulbs there are places you can buy them quite reasonably on-line.

Read post 5......there is 40 lamps (20 of Which is GU10 Lamps) on 8 number dimmers. The old meter will be spining like a top.

theres nothing wrong with going green and saving money.....every one going to have to change to energy saving lamp any way .....because they going to Phase out filament lamps by 2011

Last edited by madjay; 04-11-2008 at 3:14 PM.
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# 16
jennifernil
Old 04-11-2008, 3:59 PM
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I did read it! I would not have thought they would be having them all on at once though. And presumably they would dim them at times.

We have 18 dimmer switches on various overhead lights (it's a big house) , but only about 6 are used regularly, and then only when we are actually in the rooms/hallways in question.

Mostly we use table lamps fitted with energy saving lamps.
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# 17
jennifernil
Old 04-11-2008, 4:01 PM
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On a different tack.....are they developing dimmable energy saving lamps?
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# 18
cybervic
Old 04-11-2008, 4:35 PM
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We have a really tall ceiling that's 3 metres high, so we don't dim the light that much otherwise it's just not bright enough. The most used room has 300W of light bulbs (in total) which are switched on 7 hours a day, and other rooms/stairway/hallway all use 200w~260w of bulbs in each room. I just thought it'd save me some money if I can cut it done to like 30w~60w or less for each room, or maybe I was naive?
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# 19
cybervic
Old 04-11-2008, 4:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jennifernil View Post
On a different tack.....are they developing dimmable energy saving lamps?
Yes, GU10 fully dimmable costs aobut 10~14 each and I think the normal one costs about 5 each.
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# 20
TimBuckTeeth
Old 04-11-2008, 4:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cybervic View Post
We have a really tall ceiling that's 3 metres high, so we don't dim the light that much otherwise it's just not bright enough. The most used room has 300W of light bulbs (in total) which are switched on 7 hours a day, and other rooms/stairway/hallway all use 200w~260w of bulbs in each room. I just thought it'd save me some money if I can cut it done to like 30w~60w or less for each room, or maybe I was naive?
Yes it will definitely save you money switching to low energy bulbs, that is a lot of power just for lighting.
In one room : 300W for 7 hours a day is 2.1kWh, which is costs about 25 pence a day. So about 90 a year, although will probably be less due to being used for fewer hours in the summer.
Roughly the same amount of power would dry a load in a tumble dryer or cook an evening meal in an electric oven.
Changing a dimmer switch to a standard switch is a straight swap and should be straightforward.
You would probably be best ditching the fancy fittings with GU10 lamps and fitting a standard pendant, will cost less for the energy saving bulbs and be brighter. Depends on the fitting but should be able to remove and replace them without damage when you move out.

Last edited by TimBuckTeeth; 04-11-2008 at 4:56 PM.
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