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 Wireless 3-Way Switch with Fluorescent Light
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zgendron
Starting Member

USA
2 Posts

Posted - 02/03/2007 :  07:37:34 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi All,

I'm looking to install a wireless 3-Way switch on a Fluorescent light circuit in the kitchen. I purchased this product recently: http://www.smarthome.com/2533T.html , but didn't read the fine print about only working with incandescent lights.

Are there any options for wireless switches on a Fluorescent light?

What is different about Fluorescent lights that this product won't work?

If wireless isn't an option, where could I find detailed information about hardwiring a 3-way switch?

Thanks,
- Zack

kenm
Senior Member

USA
295 Posts

Posted - 02/03/2007 :  09:37:30 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi Zack,

For fluorescents you want a relay (on/off only) type switch, not a dimmer. You might want to look into the INSTEON line of switches.

Most fluorescent lights employ some type of ballast circuit that can eject voltage/current spikes on the powerline. The older X10 type of dimmers would start flashing and self destruct if connected to this type of load. The newer INSTEON one seem to fare better.

The switches that are relay (non-dimmer) are able to handle fluorescents ok as they use a mechanical relay instead of a solid state AC dimming device (TRIAC in this case).

Ken
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powerguy
Junior Member

USA
43 Posts

Posted - 02/03/2007 :  10:06:16 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Zack,

I agree with Ken. Fluorescent ballasts as loads on dimmers are not good. Dimmers chop the individual sine waves of AC and this sudden change of voltage 120 times per second presents the inductive load of a ballast an impossible situation (current cannot change instantaneously through an inductor). Nature responds with heat and destruction of the components - the dimmer switch in particular. Use a relay-type controller, non-dimming.

If you want to hard wire a 3-way switch, there are books for sale in Home Depot and you can probably find them in your local library in the home repairs area. Or, you can find it on the Internet by Googling "3-way switch wiring"

Also, ask a friend to help who is familiar with wiring. The theory is one thing, but another is knowing what exact materials to use and how to install them properly. This is a skill. Again, Home Depot has examples in their stores on what to do. Lowe's probably does too.

Good luck and be careful.

Powerguy
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shazam
Starting Member

USA
1 Posts

Posted - 02/09/2007 :  7:35:56 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Could you use a resistive load relay such as http://www.smarthome.com/2250.html be used with the "incandescent load only" switches?
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Gene Wissink
Starting Member

USA
2 Posts

Posted - 02/10/2007 :  2:00:05 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I have been looking for a switch setup also i had Joseph williams suggest that I useIcon On/Off Switch (Amber LED)
Item# 2876SB as my primary switch and a multi button switch for my wireless switch. I need a single buton like the main switch, is there such a critter?
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Sub-Routine
Advanced Member

USA
1202 Posts

Posted - 02/10/2007 :  3:32:47 PM  Show Profile  Visit Sub-Routine's Homepage  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Gene Wissink

I have been looking for a switch setup also i had Joseph williams suggest that I useIcon On/Off Switch (Amber LED)
Item# 2876SB as my primary switch and a multi button switch for my wireless switch. I need a single buton like the main switch, is there such a critter?



You can use another Icon. Connect it to the hot and neutral and cap the red (load) wire. Then cross-link the two switches.

Rand
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Gene Wissink
Starting Member

USA
2 Posts

Posted - 02/10/2007 :  7:41:57 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I need a single wireless switch not a hard wired one.
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troyd
Starting Member

USA
9 Posts

Posted - 02/17/2007 :  8:16:35 PM  Show Profile  Visit troyd's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Zack-

check out www.RunlessWire.com they have a great wireless switch that works fine with flourescent and the switch doesn't take batteries, it is completely self-powered, pretty cool and works great. it's made in Germany and Austria and has a great reputation in Europe.

Good Luck
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