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Author Topic: Puzzle: LED lights wont turn off, dimmer or bulbs at fault?  (Read 61383 times)

Offline righteousdude80

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Puzzle: LED lights wont turn off, dimmer or bulbs at fault?
« on: September 01, 2011, 03:57:53 am »
Hi All,

I've been excited to deck out my home with Vera2 since Ive been perusing these forums for the past couple of months.  Now, Im hoping that I can pick a few of the expert brains on here to solve a problem:

-Recently I installed a  GE 45606 2 Way Dimmer (works fine with 2x 50watt incandecent bulbs)
-Swapped in 2x GE LED 7 watt bulbs and now the bulbs wont fully turn off (about 15% on)
-LEDs turn off when the "saftey" plug is pulled
-Put the LED bulbs in different cans controlled by Lutron VRIO6 ZWave dimmer, they turn off fully but only pop on and off (no dimming)  

My questions are:
Has anybody had this issue with the GE Dimmer
Do you think its the GE dimmer or the bulbs that causes the light to stay on
Do you think its the Leviton Dimmer?

Ive hunted the forums and I cant find duplicate issues for both dimmers (and have found instances when it works fine with all variables included) which makes me think its the bulbs... but the GE dimmer shouldn't still have that much current should it - even with ZWave? And some people have used LED in their Leviton VRI06 dimmers without a hitch...

Any insight much apprectiated!!!  ???
« Last Edit: September 01, 2011, 04:18:15 am by righteousdude80 »

Offline righteousdude80

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Re: Puzzle: LED lights wont turn off, dimmer or bulbs at fault?
« Reply #1 on: September 01, 2011, 04:17:30 am »
UPDATE:

I got out of bed with an idea for a test.

- For the GE Dimmer, I screwed in 1 incandecent bulb to see what would happen to the other LED bulb that was still lit.  The LED bulb turned off!

So I went to the Lutron dimmer, pulled out all the incandecent bulbs and left the 1 GE LED bulb in. The LED bulb turn on when the Lutron switch was off AND dimming actually worked now!

Im not sure what this proves/disproves though... my only concern now is finding a combination where I can get any 2 LED bulbs to run on 1 ZWave dimmer - any thoughts?
« Last Edit: September 01, 2011, 04:24:09 am by righteousdude80 »

Offline HouseBot

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Re: Puzzle: LED lights wont turn off, dimmer or bulbs at fault?
« Reply #2 on: September 01, 2011, 05:36:48 am »
Maybe one LED is "broken" somehow. Have you verified that both works the same way when only one is screwed in.

Offline oTi@

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Re: Puzzle: LED lights wont turn off, dimmer or bulbs at fault?
« Reply #3 on: September 01, 2011, 07:17:03 am »
@righteousdude80,

Do the LEDs claim to be dimmable?
Also, the dimmers may need to see a minimum load. I think it's 40W on the Leviton VRI06.
Dezwaved at the moment...

Offline righteousdude80

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Re: Puzzle: LED lights wont turn off, dimmer or bulbs at fault?
« Reply #4 on: September 01, 2011, 03:25:28 pm »
Maybe one LED is "broken" somehow. Have you verified that both works the same way when only one is screwed in.

Yes, they both function the same way when swapped with eachother. hmm...

Offline righteousdude80

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Re: Puzzle: LED lights wont turn off, dimmer or bulbs at fault?
« Reply #5 on: September 01, 2011, 03:28:13 pm »
@righteousdude80,

Do the LEDs claim to be dimmable?
Also, the dimmers may need to see a minimum load. I think it's 40W on the Leviton VRI06.


Yes, they are "dimmable" LEDs par20s by GE. I checked the minimum loads on both dimmer and they are both 40 watts.  Its weird that they both leave the lights LEDs on - I have read alot about people not being able to dim fully or having they only pop on and off, but I've yet to read about an issue with the lights staying on.

Offline fall-line

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Re: Puzzle: LED lights wont turn off, dimmer or bulbs at fault?
« Reply #6 on: September 02, 2011, 12:41:40 pm »
I encountered something similar long ago when first experimenting a set of low voltage LED lights with a z-wave dimmer. Basically since the dimmer is always passing a small amount of current to the load, and the load in this case can effectively function on such a small amount of current, you get light. In my case I was getting a flicker. 

I just installed a relay based switch (which was the right solution for me anyway).  I believe in your case that the dimmer you have requires a load that draws at least 40 watts at max level (and technically 'requires' an incandescent load according to GE) in order to ensure that the same load doesn't bleed at low dimming levels. I've never measured exactly how much current these dimmers are still passing to the loads when "off", but however much it is is clearly enough to brighten your day a little.

Have you looked at the Leviton Vizia low voltage dimmers?

Offline garrettwp

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Re: Puzzle: LED lights wont turn off, dimmer or bulbs at fault?
« Reply #7 on: September 02, 2011, 02:51:55 pm »
I tested a wide variety of led bulbs and the ones I find that work the best with dimmers are the philips 60w ones. These are the ones that can be had at home depot. They have the yellow housing on the tops of the bulbs. They dim very well and can tolerate different dimmers I have tried. Make.com recently had a post about someone doing a tear down on one of these bulbs and found out that they use good controllers for the dimming.

- Garrett

Offline righteousdude80

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Re: Puzzle: LED lights wont turn off, dimmer or bulbs at fault?
« Reply #8 on: September 02, 2011, 06:23:28 pm »
I encountered something similar long ago when first experimenting a set of low voltage LED lights with a z-wave dimmer. Basically since the dimmer is always passing a small amount of current to the load, and the load in this case can effectively function on such a small amount of current, you get light. In my case I was getting a flicker.  

I just installed a relay based switch (which was the right solution for me anyway).  I believe in your case that the dimmer you have requires a load that draws at least 40 watts at max level (and technically 'requires' an incandescent load according to GE) in order to ensure that the same load doesn't bleed at low dimming levels. I've never measured exactly how much current these dimmers are still passing to the loads when "off", but however much it is is clearly enough to brighten your day a little.

Have you looked at the Leviton Vizia low voltage dimmers?

Thats great feedback!  I know Leviton makes CFL LED compatable dimmers but I haven't seen anything for ZWave - not sure anybody else has found one that is low wattage compatable - if so, that would be sweeeeet!
« Last Edit: September 02, 2011, 06:28:36 pm by righteousdude80 »

Offline righteousdude80

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Re: Puzzle: LED lights wont turn off, dimmer or bulbs at fault?
« Reply #9 on: September 02, 2011, 06:30:21 pm »
I tested a wide variety of led bulbs and the ones I find that work the best with dimmers are the philips 60w ones. These are the ones that can be had at home depot. They have the yellow housing on the tops of the bulbs. They dim very well and can tolerate different dimmers I have tried. Make.com recently had a post about someone doing a tear down on one of these bulbs and found out that they use good controllers for the dimming.

- Garrett

Are these the bulb type?  I've read a ton of great reviews about them.  Unfortunately Im look for narrow flood Par20 that will fit in my 4 inch cans - a regular bulb wont fit.

Offline michaelk

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Re: Puzzle: LED lights wont turn off, dimmer or bulbs at fault?
« Reply #10 on: September 12, 2011, 04:22:04 pm »
manual for that model number GE switch indicates it's just a 2 wire dimmer (2 black wires- ignoring the ground connection)?

as fallline started to explain above, i too believe the 2 wire type of device constantly has to pass some small amount of power along to power the zwave circuit so it's always ready to respond to rf.  So it can't totally stop the power. When it's off it has to pass enough juice to power the z-wave chip. It was low enough on an incandescent not to light the filament but the LED's use such a small amount of power that they will glow even with the tiny wattage.

in theory a 3 wire dimmer (that has connection to neutral) would sent that low level of current straight to the neutral and not out to go through the bulb.

I think you want the GE 45613 with 3 wires so that off is really 100% off.  (use the switch not the auxillary swith- I AM NOT AN ELECTICRIANT- but this diagram looks likehttp://www.jascoproducts.com/support/manual-downloads/applications/DocumentLibraryManager/upload/45613-Manual-Eng.pdf - black to incoming line- blue to power the lamp- white to neutral - green to ground)

here's a handy chart at homeseer that has info on some of the dimmers they sell- can give you an ida besides the GE what has 3 wire:
http://store.homeseer.com/store/HomeSeer-Z-Wave-Dimming-Wall-Switch-Matrix-W16C42.aspx


« Last Edit: September 12, 2011, 04:24:40 pm by michaelk »

Offline DaveL17

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Re: Puzzle: LED lights wont turn off, dimmer or bulbs at fault?
« Reply #11 on: November 07, 2011, 12:07:09 pm »
I have a somewhat similar problem, but in a different application.  Over the weekend, I installed LED rope lights above our kitchen cabinets.  There are two separate strings, each controlled by a dimming lamp module.  The lamp modules require a minimum load of 25w each, and neither string pulls that much (0.8w per foot.)  We don't have flickering, but rather the load stays on at about 15% brightness when the modules are set to "off."  The strings are dimmable, so I'd like to be able to retain that (we're running the lights at 50%.)  The Vizia low voltage stuff appears to be all in-wall, which won't work for this install.

What I'm thinking of trying are "dummy loads" that would bring each string up to the minimum of 25w.  Something along the lines of this:  http://www.amazon.com/American-DJ-Supply-LED-DUMMY/dp/B004REW1BG.

Anyone have experience with these (or something similar?)

Offline pgrover516

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Re: Puzzle: LED lights wont turn off, dimmer or bulbs at fault?
« Reply #12 on: November 07, 2011, 01:27:16 pm »
What I'm thinking of trying are "dummy loads" that would bring each string up to the minimum of 25w.  Something along the lines of this:  http://www.amazon.com/American-DJ-Supply-LED-DUMMY/dp/B004REW1BG.
Anyone have experience with these (or something similar?)
Neat idea Davel17, Id like to know how these function and if there is a way to create a similar load for my wall dimmers, would like to convert these to led but but wont meet the minimum 40 watt load, anyone?
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Offline DaveL17

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Re: Puzzle: LED lights wont turn off, dimmer or bulbs at fault?
« Reply #13 on: November 07, 2011, 09:05:09 pm »
Neat idea Davel17, Id like to know how these function and if there is a way to create a similar load for my wall dimmers, would like to convert these to led but but wont meet the minimum 40 watt load, anyone?

I am not an electrical engineer, and my sources are the Internet!   ;D

Some quick research turned up the following: 

Apparently, what is going on is a load resistor is used to convert a certain amount of current into something else (heat.)  See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dummy_load#Power_supplies  These seem to be extremely common in automotive applications to create a sufficient load to activate turn signal relays and so forth.  So theoretically, it would be possible to wire a load resistor to an in-wall circuit.  However, if it were me, I'd leave it to a seasoned professional.

Do a search for load resistor and you'll get a slew of things to read.

Dave

Offline michaelk

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Re: Puzzle: LED lights wont turn off, dimmer or bulbs at fault?
« Reply #14 on: November 12, 2011, 09:11:46 pm »
My 2 cents is I would rather just change the switch to a 3 wire model.