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Author Topic: Wall Switches  (Read 72918 times)


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Re: Wall Switches
« Reply #15 on: August 09, 2007, 04:44:34 PM »

I thought triacs controlled the voltage to the load by switching on and off in synch with the power line frequency but delayed in such a way that only a controlled part of the voltage rise on each cycle was allowed to pass through.
A triac works exactly as you describe.  However, when it is "on" there is still a voltage drop across it, which must be dissipated as waste heat.  The amount of dissipation depends on the current supplied to the load.  (power = voltage x current)  About 1% of the energy supplied to the load must be dissipated as waste heat in the triac.  And yes, a dimmer supplying 400 watts to a load will dissipate about the same amount of heat as a 4-watt nightlight sealed inside a similar enclosure.

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gil shultz

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Re: Wall Switches
« Reply #16 on: September 05, 2007, 11:49:24 PM »

Good Evening,

My answer stands.  Open one of the units up and see the thermal path to the face plate, there is virtually none hence once inside the module it has to radiate to the innards and face plate so it can be dissipated, not a very effective path.  If you look at connections that were loose the wire is normally not damaged much beyond a inch or two from the problem.  The amount of damage will be in direct proportion to the load, this is in series with it, not parallel across the power supply. A piece of wire the size used in the modules will have a very hard time conduction one watt from the fault area.

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Re: Wall Switches
« Reply #17 on: February 14, 2008, 09:11:51 AM »

In the spirit of the OP, I'm actually interested in responses by anyone who is using/has tried dimmer switches other than the WS12A or WS14A switches, for the same reasons in the OP--mushy feel, imprecise function, etc...  I have probably 10 - 12 of these installed.  I may or may not be "too rough" with my switches from time to time, and as any forum members in the married sector can attest, I can't control what my wife does.  So I'm looking for a more robust replacement to these dimmers...

The Smarthome SwitchLinc #2380W looks good, but I've never tried one--and they seem to be pretty pricey.  I like the "brightness LED" as a gimmick and I love the programmable soft-start which means I don't have to handle that function in ActiveHome.

Has anyone tried this, or can recommend any other switches?
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