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Pot Light WiFi Light Switch Dimmers

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  • Jan 12th, 2019 9:37 am
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Feb 20, 2007
1727 posts
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NeverNeverLand

Pot Light WiFi Light Switch Dimmers

Hi everyone,
Can someone recommend a brand that works with any light. I found Lutron to work with all my lights. Bought some TPLink switches...but they didn’t work.

Can someone recommend a cheaper option than the Lutron?

Thanks
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16 replies
Jr. Member
Mar 1, 2015
102 posts
32 upvotes
Toronto
I've had the same experience as you. I'm thinking that's the reason why Lutron is so expensive.
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Oct 13, 2008
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Oshawa
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Jul 30, 2005
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Hamilton
I have a ton of tp-link switches and plugs that work flawlessly but admittedly not their dimmer. Why didn’t it work?
Member
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Jan 14, 2007
429 posts
79 upvotes
GTA North
I have only tp-link switches and dimmers for WiFi switches (and some plugs too)

No problems with any of it.
-Family room dimmer switch, (controls 8 bulbs - led believe I changed them)
-den dimmer switch, (controls 3 bulbs - non led)
-kitchen under cabinet regular switch, (controls low voltage led ?)
-back deck regular switch (controls 2 led flood)
-master bedroom night light plug
-living room Christmas tree plug
Jr. Member
Mar 22, 2017
167 posts
131 upvotes
I bit the bullet and went for the Lutron Caseta brand. It works extremely well - smooth connections, app works, works with alexa/google home, doesn't need a neutral wire, looks nice, easy to install, has a mini remote, etc.

Downside is that it's expensive, as mentioned. I didn't need that many dimmers, so the incremental cost wasn't a huge deal.
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May 15, 2010
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Ajax
Get a SmartThings hub and go zwave. I think there are better dimmer selections and should be more stable than WiFi. I have the GE zwave dimmers and they work great
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Oct 29, 2004
1182 posts
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GTA
Lutron Caseta... may not be the cheapest but they're rock solid and work great with our dimmable recessed lighting.
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Jun 21, 2003
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Stoney Creek, ON
+1 for Lutron Caseta. They are a more expensive option but they are worth it. They make up for the higher price by being reliable, highly compatible with many other smart/automation systems and great compatibility with LED drivers. I'm excited they just announced the fan controller as I'm planning to put a fan in our bedroom next year.
Jr. Member
Sep 26, 2015
192 posts
88 upvotes
Calgary, AB
+1 for lutron casetas..installed a bunch a few months ago, well worth the money
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Jan 25, 2007
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Paris
So is Caseta powerline then? I know my old x10 stuff didn’t need neural wires.

Edit: x10 not z10. Duh.
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Jul 3, 2017
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The issue with many electronic dimmers is that they work by pulse modulation, rather than reducing the voltage like the old analog rheostat dimmers. They turn the voltage off and on rapidly, varying the on-to-off ratio to control the amount of light you get. The pulses are much faster than your eye can see, so it works fine with incandescent light bulbs that just smooth the pulses out as a lower average voltage, but it can interact badly with the electronics in LED bulbs. It's a function of both the dimmer and the LED bulbs, so there's no way to know if there's going to be a problem until you try the specific combination.
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Feb 9, 2006
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Brampton
Exp315 wrote:
Jan 11th, 2019 10:33 am
The issue with many electronic dimmers is that they work by pulse modulation, rather than reducing the voltage like the old analog rheostat dimmers. They turn the voltage off and on rapidly, varying the on-to-off ratio to control the amount of light you get. The pulses are much faster than your eye can see, so it works fine with incandescent light bulbs that just smooth the pulses out as a lower average voltage, but it can interact badly with the electronics in LED bulbs. It's a function of both the dimmer and the LED bulbs, so there's no way to know if there's going to be a problem until you try the specific combination.
Actually many use a TRIAC these days. Even the ones you think are on a rheostat. The Rheo actually just controls the TRIAC. I haven't seen a true Rheo is over 30 years. You'll know because a pure resistive rheo got damn hot when dimming and had low wattage limits IIRC 40W.
Some do use PWM those are usually for higher wattage incans and have a soft off and on function.

The PWM problem isn't necessarily the dimmer per se. The majority of the problem is the crappy driver that's used in the LED.

The problem many see with newer dimmers is actually interference introduced by TRIAC.

There's a difference between PWM and what a TRIAC does tho at a very high level they are similar.
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Jun 21, 2003
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Stoney Creek, ON
Exp315 wrote:
Jan 11th, 2019 10:33 am
It's a function of both the dimmer and the LED bulbs, so there's no way to know if there's going to be a problem until you try the specific combination.
While not the most convenient this issue can always be minimized by checking with the dimmer specs for known compatible bulbs/fixtures. It will certainly be nice when we reach a point that incompatibility is no longer a problem. I've done my whole home with Lutron Caseta and while it is costly I have been very happy with the compatibility. I haven't had any issues with 2 brands of slim LED pots, multiple LED integrated fixtures and an assortment of LED A19 bulbs.

Another nice thing I have noticed with the Caseta dimmers that in 2 locations where I am controlling single lights below the minimum wattage I was able to get them fully functional with a trim adjustment.

Now I just need a sale on lamp dimmer for my new daughters nursery. Fingers crossed there's a deal soon!

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