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Light switches - master or slave?

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Found 2nd Nov 2013
Here's one for the sparkies amongst us

I've just upgraded my halogen ceiling lights (x12) with LED bulbs. As expected, although my existing dimmer switch works, the range is very small. I bought a new one screwfix.com/p/v…557 which works, but again, the dimming range is very small, they don't go dim enough. In the instructions it says:

"This unit cannot be used in conjunction with conventional switches in a 2-way circuit. In 1-way lighting circuits the light(s) are controlled by one switch. This dimmer should replace that switch. The live wire must be connected to the
terminal marked "Live↓" and the "load" wire to the terminal marked " ".
For 2-way or Multi-way circuits (where the light(s) are controlled by more than one switch) use this dimmer and any number of VARILIGHT dimming slaves (total cable length from the master to the last slave should be no more than 50m) following the wiring diagrams below. It is not possible to use a conventional switch in combination with this type of dimmer".

So I guess that's my problem. I presume I have to replace them both? I've now found the recommended Varilight V-Pro Eclipse switches - energybulbs.co.uk/sho…ack .

My current switches are a single one on one side of the room (with the existing dimmer), then on the other side a conventional double switch (just on/off), one for the lounge and the other for the stairs.
The only problem is that I don't understand the master/slave stuff, so don't know which ones I need. How do I know which is which? Is the single one the master or the double one?

Hit me sparky

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11 Comments

Original Poster

The one I have on now http://www.screwfix.com/p/varilight-multi-way-touch-remote-master-dimmer-1g-400w-va/32557

The ones I want but don't know which master/slave combo to order energybulbs.co.uk/sho…ack

you MUST ensure that the LED bulbs are dimmable, if they are not then you must use an ordinary switch to control them.

Original Poster

sparky69

you MUST ensure that the LED bulbs are dimmable, if they are not then you … you MUST ensure that the LED bulbs are dimmable, if they are not then you must use an ordinary switch to control them.



Yeah, I did, thanks. I got these ones. They are definitely dimmable, it says it on each box. ledhut.co.uk/spo…tml
Edited by: "deeky" 2nd Nov 2013

Original Poster

I did answer but it went to moderation. They are definitely dimmable. I just need to know the master/slave combination I need to buy.

Original Poster

Terrabytes

The master switch is the main wall switch you use when you come into the … The master switch is the main wall switch you use when you come into the room.Slave switches are supposed to replicate the function of a local switch on the base of a wall light or ceiling switch, so that you can switch on and off individual lights on the same circuit. These won't work unless the master switch is set to 'on'.Assuming the switch for the stairs on your double switch isn't on another 2-way circuit, I would use a master switch where you have your current dimmer and a slave switch for your double. If your stair switch is on another 2-way circuit then you need the advice of a proper sparky.



The stair switch has it's upstairs counterpart, which itself shares that switch with the bathroom light. Is that a problem?

I've just noticed you say
Terrabytes

Slave switches are supposed to replicate the function of a local switch … Slave switches are supposed to replicate the function of a local switch on the base of a wall light or ceiling switch, so that you can switch on and off individual lights on the same circuit. These won't work unless the master switch is set to 'on'.


I get what you mean but there are no 'individual' lights. The single switch and the lounge one of the double switch both just turn on all the lounge lights. Does that make a difference or am I needlessly complicating the matter?
Edited by: "deeky" 2nd Nov 2013

Have just had a read of the bulbs you posted, are you sure you have the correct type of dimmer switch?

The dimmable GU10 LED bulbs are only compatible with a dedicated “Trailing Edge” dimmer switch that reduces the current flow. Your bulbs will not work effectively if used with the conventional “Leading Edge” dimmer switches that operate with a higher current flow.

Additionally I have yet to see dimmale leds that have a ' wide range' of illumination. All I have seen to date is ones that go from full brightness to about 60% and then off. That was a while back though so things have probably moved on.

Original Poster

Argoj

Have just had a read of the bulbs you posted, are you sure you have the … Have just had a read of the bulbs you posted, are you sure you have the correct type of dimmer switch? The dimmable GU10 LED bulbs are only compatible with a dedicated “Trailing Edge” dimmer switch that reduces the current flow. Your bulbs will not work effectively if used with the conventional “Leading Edge” dimmer switches that operate with a higher current flow.Additionally I have yet to see dimmale leds that have a ' wide range' of illumination. All I have seen to date is ones that go from full brightness to about 60% and then off. That was a while back though so things have probably moved on.




I did read somewhere (sod's law I can't find it now) that these V-Pro Eclique trailing edge dimmers (as per link) can dim to 2%.

the master be the one which has the common and the switched live not just the 3 core so one switch would have 5 cables in it and one have 3, 5 being the master

Original Poster

knoxy82

the master be the one which has the common and the switched live not just … the master be the one which has the common and the switched live not just the 3 core so one switch would have 5 cables in it and one have 3, 5 being the master


Thanks. Well I know the single switch has 3 wires and I presume the double one must have more, as it is doing 2 switches. So if that was the master, that contradicts post #5. So I'm still just as confused

I'll probably get someone in to have a look.

Thanks everyone.

your best bet would be to put a double dimmer switch (master) on the double switch and a single slave on the single switch. argoj would be correct in needing a trailing edge dimmer. Als u need a master to control the light switch and any extra switches are added can be slave switches. but u cant have a slave without a master and u can have a master without a slave if that makes any sense. so the primary switch must be a master then any additional will be slave switches

Original Poster

kash2013

your best bet would be to put a double dimmer switch (master) on the … your best bet would be to put a double dimmer switch (master) on the double switch and a single slave on the single switch. argoj would be correct in needing a trailing edge dimmer. Als u need a master to control the light switch and any extra switches are added can be slave switches. but u cant have a slave without a master and u can have a master without a slave if that makes any sense. so the primary switch must be a master then any additional will be slave switches



I've ordered a master for the single and a slave for the double. I'll see how that goes. I can always return them and get a master double and slave single. They are definitely the correct trailing edge dimmers, it's just a case of getting them the right way around. Given that it's a 50/50 chance, you can be sure I'm going the wrong way first.
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