dimmer for track halogen lighting isn't working

I had line voltage tracks with a dimmer and the dimmer worked fine. I replaced the track with a newer track, hampton bay, and put in 3 low voltage halogen light fixtures in it. Now the light turns on and off but the dimmer doesn't work. Has anyone ever seen this? I thought you could use a dimmer with low voltage halogens. The light still turns on and off but it doesn't dim.
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at 10:15 PM, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com (glen) said:

Probably, the dimmer is not designed to be used for low voltage lighting. Do you still have the instructions that came with the dimmer? They will tell you if it is designed to operate with low voltage lights.
Dimmers that operate low voltage lighting are slightly more complicated and cost a fraction more. I think the manufacturers are trying to hit the lowest possible price and capture the largest market. For most customers dimmers are just a commodity -- mass consumers buy the cheapest one. Since low voltage lighting is more expensive, the manufacturers assume that these customers will not mind using more expensive dimmers and the manufacturer will capture both customers by offering a separate model that will dim low voltage lighting. It's possible that your dimmer is very old and did not anticipate low voltage lighting.
There is a lower wattage threshold for inexpensive dimmers. Below that threshold, dimmers are quirky or inoperative. I haven't looked at any dimmer instruction sheets recently, I don't know if they point this out or not. The dimmers I've checked have lower limits in the 7 to 40 Watt range. (But I haven't checked the current crop.)
You could purchase an appropriate dimmer and move this one to another area.
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Ive never had a problem, maybe you hooked it up with the power on , and a spike blew the dimmer. Try the dimmer on something else. Or maybe it really cant handle it and was a cheap or old dimmer
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It is a new dimmer that I put in about 1 month ago, but I could have burned out the dimmer part maybe.. I am not sure how they work, so can't say for sure. The dimmer worked fine when I installed it and the old track was up.
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glen wrote:

I really suspect that the dimmer and the lights are not compatible. Check the information sheet with the lights first about what kind, if any, dimmer may be used with them.
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Yeah you were right. I went back and got a dimmer for Incandescent and Halogen. I didn't even notice the $10 dimmer I had bought was only for incandescents. The new $30 dimmer is marked "halogen" so I it worked. Yeah I bought the cheapest dimmer, cuz I thought the other ones were just more features, like night lights and stuff, so I just bought the least expensive one.
It worked immediately once I installed the new dimmer.
thanks for everyone's advice.
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Halogens are a kind of incandescent and are compatible with incandescent dimmers.
I suspect the old dimmer died from cheap quality, having its limits being pushed by the wattage of the load, or from a power surge.
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glen wrote:

"Halogen" are a type of Incandescent lamp. Some are low voltage and maybe they marked it halogen in an attempt to convey the idea they will work with low voltage lamps, who knows. However I suspect the $10. job you got was just cheap and died an early death. Many cheap ones do.
The price differences are a combination of features, quality and name. GE in particular likes to market products just a cheap as the no-name junk and put their name one it and charge extra.
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A halogen lamp also uses a tungsten filament, but it is encased inside a much smaller quartz envelope. Because the envelope is so close to the filament, it would melt if it were made from glass. The gas inside the envelope is also different -- it consists of a gas from the halogen group. These gases have a very interesting property: They combine with tungsten vapor! If the temperature is high enough, the halogen gas will combine with tungsten atoms as they evaporate and redeposit them on the filament. This recycling process lets the filament last a lot longer. In addition, it is now possible to run the filament hotter, meaning you get more light per unit of energy. You still get a lot of heat, though; and because the quartz envelope is so close to the filament, it is EXTREMELY hot compared to a normal light bulb.
message

Incandescent and

bought was only for

I it worked.

other ones were

just bought the

low voltage and

idea they will work

$10. job you got

do.
quality and name.

the no-name junk

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Pop Rivet wrote:

...when they're run at their rated voltage, because they depend on their higher-than-normal temperature to run the "halogen cycle" that redeposits the tungsten on the filaments. But when you run them on a dimmer at any intensity much less than full, the temperature doesn't get high enough to make the "halogen cycle" work, and the bulbs can't be relied upon to live up to their advertised lifetimes.
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Since you bought it at Home Depot, go back and ask for a low voltage dimmer....it's required for that system.

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On my LV halogens, I had to use the dimmer upstream from the 120V/24Vtransformer to drop the power to the transformer, rather than downstream dropping power to the lights themselves.

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Ive never tried down stream and dought it would work as dimmers cut of at apx the voltage needed for LV lights.
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