Lutron Diva dimmer broken

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aem sends....
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Lutron has replaced all of the dimmer switched that I purchased (from HD) for free. In fact, they did it twice because they were apprently defective (the 2nd round of switches I got unsolicited). You may get the same courtesy by contacting them:
Mailing Address: Customer Service Lutron Electronics Company Co., Inc. 7200 Suter Road Coopersburg, PA 18036
Phone Number: 1-(888) LUTRON1
Fax Number: (610) 282-3090
E-Mail Address: E-Mail: snipped-for-privacy@lutron.com

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A bulb blowing, especially the usual burnout with a bright blue flash, can take out the dimmer.
The bright blue flash is a "burnout arc", which can briefly draw something like 100 amps or more for a few milliseconds. The dimmer may be made as cheaply as possible, and could only "usually" as opposed to really reliably survive the current surge of a burnout arc.
I have also heard of complaints of a few lightbulbs lacking fusible links in their necks. Those are supposed to blow if a burnout arc draws a really bad current surge. In extreme cases, I have heard of bulbs without fusible links failing badly with the glass bulb popping off the base. My guess is that the wires violently vaporize adjacent glue/cement due to an extreme current surge drawn by a burnout arc.
Lightbulbs of "Big 3" brands (GE, Sylvania, Philips) probably have fewer issues in this area. Store brand lightbulbs of "usual regular shape and size" and 25, 40, 60, 75 or 100 watts and same hour life expectancy figures and same lumen light output figures as "Big 3 brand" ones are "Big 3" ones with the only difference being the brand or lack thereof printed on the top of the bulb.
Lowest prices I have seen for "standard" "Big 3" lightbulbs: At Lowes.
Another idea: Use compact fluorescents and do without the dimmer. Four 7-watt spirals will outshine four 25-watt incandescents, and a 25 watt incandescent dimmed to the point of consuming 7 watts will produce about 1/4 or less the light of a 7 watt nightlight. If you never or hardly ever need less light than that and dim only for energy conservation purposes, go for compact fluorescents if you don't need dimming.
Now another idea: Compact fluorescents often do not do well in bathrooms often used for short trips - unless they are cold cathode! And cold cathode ones are dimmable. They are somewhat less efficient than the usual hot cathode ones, but still a lot more efficient than incandescents. Online lightbulb sellers sell ones up to 8 watts, which are about as bright as 25 watt incandescents. They are rated to last 25,000 hours and do not suffer extra wear from starting, and are even rated for flashing/blinking duty. What mainly tends to go wrong with those is that they fade as the phosphor gets worn out over the years, otherwise they fail from breakage or the electronics blowing from an especially bad power surge that blows electronic products.
Still another idea: If there is a need for dim light as well as bright light, the most energy-efficient option is to have separate light sources for those. (Though dimmable compact fluorescents are a close second and quite convenient.) The dim-light source could be a nightlight having a built-in switch and the traditionally incandescent bulb replaced by a 3 watt cold cathode compact fluorescent, such as the 3-watt N:Vision one available at Home Depot. If you like less light than that, LED nightlights do well there with usually around 1 watt of power consumption.
- Don Klipstein ( snipped-for-privacy@misty.com)
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Don Klipstein wrote:

Are all dimable CFLs cold cathode?
Roughly what happens to CFL efficiency as they are dimmed?
Dimable linear tube fluorescent balasts, IIRC, have a maintained hot lead to power the filaments. What happens to efficiency as they are dimmed?
-------------- You should write a book. In effect, you probably have.
-- bud--
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No. The dimmable version of Philips SLS 23 is hot cathode.

I imagine that there is some loss of efficiency when dimming a dimmable hot cathode CFL, since I suspect the ballast provides some means to keep the electrodes hot. I am not sure this is the case.
I expect any CFL will operate less efficiently when dimmed, but generally only slightly less efficiently when dimmed unless the dimming is very severe. I expect ballast losses to be a higher percentage of input power during dimming. Incandescents lose effciency much more than fluorescents do when dimmed.
- Don Klipstein ( snipped-for-privacy@misty.com)
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I weird thing about triacs...they are opposed diacs...if you use them with a DC current...once you turn them on (gate current)...you can't turn them off. You have to open the circuit. They can be used as solid state relays. (Opposed or back-to-back is really not the right term, triacs are parallel wired with a common gate diacs.)
Hope this makes sense...I am in my 60s...and if the mind is like the body...
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Triacs are sorta opposed SCRs, not diacs. Diacs are two lead devices, effectively back to back zener diodes. No current until the voltage gets to the zener (diode reverse breakover) voltage. Unlike a zener, the breakover is in both directions. With zener diode, it breakovers one way, and the other way it acts as a normal diode and conducts at > .6V.
Diacs were commonly used in triac dimmer cicuits to provide firing control to the gate, but now I think they do without them.
Right - to turn of a SCR or triac, the voltage across the main terminals has to drop (close) to zero. With household AC, of course, that happens 120 times per second.
Tho, I seem to recall something violent you could do with the gate to get an SCR to shut off without zeroing the voltage. Or at least a buddy claimed it would cut off if you shorted the gate to the "nearby" main terminal.
--
Chris Lewis,

Age and Treachery will Triumph over Youth and Skill
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On Jul 25, 12:19 am, snipped-for-privacy@nortelnetworks.com (Chris Lewis) wrote:

Thanks for straightening me out! Of course, when you said, SCR, I went "doh!"
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