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Quick question about dimmers

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J_Nichols

Member
I want to know if I can connect 2 dimmers in series to control more preciselly the light of a bulb. I want to get a medium/high precission of light emission, for a school project.

I know I can use a dimmer to control the amperage that flows to the bulb. But... can I connect 2 dimmers to control with more precission the light?
 

KeepItSimpleStupid

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
Dimmers cannot be used in series.

Your bet bet is a VARIAC, or Variable autotransformer.

You didn't mention the line voltage or the load in terms of Watts.

Remember that with AC the illumination is not constant, so it depends on what your gonna use it for.

I wonder if you can get a manufacturer to lend you a DC power supply in exchange for advertising for them. Have literature available for your students. www.xantrex.com is one such company. They also make inverters for solar systems and that would be good advertising for them. make sure it is OK with the school. They are very nice supplies.
 
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crutschow

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
The dimmers I've used have very good precision. If you need more, add a second pot in series with the control pot with a value of about 1/10th of the control pot's. That will give a vernier type adjustment.
 

OlPhart

Member
Good luck with that... modern dimmers work from a zero cross then conduct until the proportional angle (read energy=area under the curve) hits the shutdown point. This is for each half of cycle: + & -. So instead of a half wave of energy, it gets a timebased shortened amount.

It's fun to cascade dimmers: they have a ripple/loping interaction based on their input waveforms... Enjoy <<<)))
 

Jaguarjoe

Member
Brightness will change with variations in line voltage too. I don't know how much light you need and how constant it needs to be but if you can use a 12 volt lamp (such as an auto uses, you can make a DC regulator that will keep a constant voltage to the lamp, or use an LDR for feedback.
 
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