View Full Version : 12v Dimmer switches

10-15-2009, 08:34 PM
I know this has been discussed some but here is the situation.

Installed a pergola about 2 yrs ago with Stellars. They wanted this lighting switchable so we installed a toggler and the system has worked flawless. This is a signle run out of 7 runs in a 900w MDL transformer.

Now the client would like to be able to dim that one run but doesnt want to fork out for the ABT or a seperate trans. There is already a single gang with flip cover in a mortise on the pergola post we installed. Does anyone know of a GOOD 12v dimmer rated at about at LEAST 10-15a we can swap in place of the toggler ?

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
10-15-2009, 10:33 PM
Have heard a lot of good things about the Zane 12V dimmer.



10-15-2009, 11:17 PM
Thanks James thats exactly what I was looking for. I knew I had seen it. Normally when I create a dimmed section I just install a seperate trans and dim the trans.

10-16-2009, 12:13 AM
James beat me to it. Gerry at TerraDek carries these and I have used them.
Should fit right in place of your other switch. Good Luck!

10-16-2009, 07:06 AM
Awsome I will hit Gerry up

10-16-2009, 11:04 AM
Thanks for the mention...

We stock both the 10amp and 20amp versions of this product. The 10amp is a single gang size and the 20amp is a double gang size.

They are great for controlling the light intensity on single runs.

10-16-2009, 01:07 PM
I emailed you about it Gerry and just replied to you. That run is pulling 8a and I do all the maint there so shouldnt be an issue running the 10a version since the single gang is already mortised into a heart pine post.

10-16-2009, 10:43 PM
Just so I am clear- you can run your to be dimmed home run through a gang box with one of these installed - and instead of buying a seperate transformer , you just use these?

So cool , are they reliable? Can they take harsh weather or irrigation soaking them?

10-17-2009, 04:51 PM
Thanks James that's exactly what I was looking for. I knew I had seen it. Normally when I create a dimmed section I just install a separate trans and dim the trans.

You can dim a whole transformer? I am somewhat new to this and questioned whether or not you can dim a transformer mainly because I was not sure if this would have any adverse effect on the life of the bulbs. A standard(properly rated) dimmer can do this?

10-17-2009, 06:40 PM
The dimmer needs to be rated for the type of transformer it is... ie magnetic..electronic etc.

Also something that makes it impossible to dim some transformers is many of them use a relay for the timer control plug inside. As soon as you dim down slightly the relay will begin to chatter on these.

When I need a dimmable trans my first choice is the Gambino Magnums (pm me if you need info) or the unique sub-terranean ones if I need a below grade trans.

I know there are some other dimmable ones out there but these are the 2 I have experience with. Just make sure you use a properly rated dimmer. Most of ours use either UPB dimmer controls or are hard wired into an home automation system.

Lamp life is a complete new discussion. All of our dimmable systems are maintained by us and checked at night 2-3 times per year for lamp color.

10-19-2009, 10:24 AM
Hey David H,
Good to hear from you again...

The units are reliable...we have been supplying them for over three years and have only had a couple of failures...mostly of the human type. The units do well in harsh weather (e.g. Minnesota) but are not to be "soaked". We recommend that you use a weather proof cover if they will be exposed to wet conditions.

The dimmer is put in line between the transformer and the fixtures to be dimmed; not only does it act as a dimmer but also as a switch...you can dim the fixtures and also turn them off if you like. The dimmer is not to be used with electronic transformers, only magnetic types. These units are not designed for the primary (120v) side of your system either. In that case you are dealing with a totally different dimmer.

Rainman, the dimmer will have a impact on your lamps if they are continuously dimmed, we recommend that every week or so you run the system at full power to help reestablish the halogen cycle. Beyond that I have not heard of any other "maintenance" issues that are created by using these units.

Anyone needing further information please call me @ (800-609-1130).

10-19-2009, 12:02 PM
WE have found that mr16's last longer when dimmed. When I set up a dimmed system 100% is around 11.0 thru 11.5 I do have a few dimmed systems I know the clients never run them at 100% even tho I told them to. They like the effect around 50% with some soft jazz playing and a bottle of wine

I visited the client after about a year of the system running like this and noticed a slight color shift. A change in lamps confirmed this.

sprinkler guy
10-20-2009, 02:02 AM
I've used about a dozen of these in the last year and a half and they work great. A word of caution, they do get pretty warm.

10-20-2009, 06:22 PM
I've used about a dozen of these in the last year and a half and they work great. A word of caution, they do get pretty warm.

Most dimmers get warm to the touch. In our addition I am still building I have the dimmers without a wall plate yet and they get quite warm.

11-01-2009, 05:37 PM
Just an update. Got the Zane from Gerry at Terradek and it worked flawless. Wish there was a way to put a flip cover on em but other than that very simple and worked perfect.