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    H. Bunch's Avatar
    H. Bunch Posts: 18, Reputation: 1
    New Member

    Jul 29, 2006, 04:05 AM
    Buzzing lights II
    I have sconce lights on a dimmer and, when I dim the lights, they start to buzz. I have the same problem with my kitchen light. I have tried changing dimmers, and using rough service bulbs and still the problem persists. Someone suggested halogina light bulbs. Would they work? Where do you buy them?
    tkrussell's Avatar
    tkrussell Posts: 9,659, Reputation: 725
    Uber Member

    Jul 29, 2006, 05:33 AM
    Lamps buzzing is a common problem with dimming incandescent lamps, all due to the filament of the lamp vibrating. The reason rough service lamps are recommended is that the filaments are usually thicker and have more supports , which is suppose to prevent the filament from buzzing.

    This is an excerpt from the Lutron Dimmer website:

    Occasionally, you may sometimes notice that a lamp is buzzing. This is caused by the lamp filament vibrating as the dimmer rapidly switches the lamp on and off. Lamp buzz is generally noisiest at the mid-range (50%) dimming level. If this happens, use rough service lamps (sometimes called garage door opener lamps), physically smaller lamps, or lower wattage lamps.

    The most effective way of reducing lamp buzz is to install a lamp debuzzing coil (LDC) in the lighting circuit. When an LDC is wired in series with the dimmer, it slows down the inrush of current during the rapid switching cycle of the dimmer. As the current inrush is slowed down, the lamp filament vibration and lamp buzz are reduced.

    Lutron has two LDC models available to help reduce lamp buzz. The type of LDC required depends on the total wattage of the dimmer's lighting load. Listed below are the model numbers and their respective capacities.
    Model#: Rated Capacity:
    LDC-10-TCP 600-1200W
    LDC-16-TCP 1201-1920W
    Note: For loads under 600W, consult the toll-free Lutron Hotline 24/7 (800)523-9466

    LDCs may be wired in series with the dimmer on its line side or load side. Each dimmer requires its own LDC.

    Even thou Lutron acknowledges that their dimmer may be involved with buzzing, I find using Lutron, or other popular brands of quality dimmers help with preventing buzzing, even thout the culprtit is typically the lamp.

    Halogena is Phillips brand name for halogen lamps:

    Any brand of halogen lamp you can find at home centers, hardware stores, or lighting stores, will substitute for Phillips.

    Halogen lamps still use a tungsten filament, but is much smaller than a standard lamp, and is supported better since the filament is contained in a small envelope or capsule.

    The downside to dimming halogen lamps is that when dimmed, the inside of the capsule can be blackened by tungsten deposits. This can be eliminated by operating at full brilliancy for a short time periodically.

    One important issue with halogen lamps is that they all operate at very high temperature. So the fixture must be rated to handle the lamp's high temperature, and the lamp must be protected from being touched by humans or combustible materials

    Unfortunately, the best you can do is to keep trying various types and brands of lamps, along with using a good or better quality brand of dimmer. Many times, using a larger wattage rated dimmer helps also.

    I hope this helps some, if you have any additional questions, please get back with them.
    Knucklez's Avatar
    Knucklez Posts: 129, Reputation: 2
    Junior Member

    Sep 17, 2006, 08:25 PM
    Ahhh.. thanks. I was having same problem. After speanding much $$ swithing EVERY light to a dimmer... I was worried I bought china cheap switch.

    Now I see it is only china cheap light bulb.

    Anyone know of a brand of light bulb that will NOT buz??

    bhayne's Avatar
    bhayne Posts: 339, Reputation: 4
    Full Member

    Sep 18, 2006, 07:14 AM
    I saw a self-ballast fluorescent fixture from GE at a trade show that was dimmable. It made no noise. Kind of costly at $16 but has a lifespan of 8000 hours.

    Also, unlike other self-ballast fixtures it was incased in a plastic housing and look the same size as any other bulb. Actually, I couldn't tell it was fluorescent until I removed it.
    Accent Lighting's Avatar
    Accent Lighting Posts: 11, Reputation: 1
    New Member

    Sep 18, 2006, 09:23 AM
    This problem is a characteristic also of low voltage lighting combined with a regular dimmer. If the problem persists and you have a low voltage system, some dimmers may not work. Also you have to use electronic dimmers with electronic transformers and magnetic dimmers with magnetic ballasts. If the lamps are fluorescent, you have to use a fluorescent dimmer. Most light bulbs today, rouch service or not, can handle most dimmers. Especially in a sconce situation.
    Knucklez's Avatar
    Knucklez Posts: 129, Reputation: 2
    Junior Member

    Sep 28, 2006, 06:38 PM
    My light bulbs are made by slyvania or something like that. They are not good for use with dimmer! I would prefer to use high efficiency type. Thanks for the info.

    Knucklez's Avatar
    Knucklez Posts: 129, Reputation: 2
    Junior Member

    Aug 28, 2007, 03:47 PM
    But since the dimmer style high efficiency is WAY too expensive...

    I went with GE "reveal" bulb with my dimmer. Works great, no buzz sound :)

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