Question On Lighting - ???

I'm trying to replace a light dimmer switch - it controls 8x 60W bulbs - there may be another lamp on the circuit but if so, it is sealed up in the ceiling and unused now. The current dimmer switch is a Slater 2000W (!!) switch - I'm having a devil of a time replacing it and it occurs to me that I may not need one able to handle that kind of wattage. Am I correct in the assumption that I would be able to fall down to a 600W or so dimmer switch? Or am I playing games with my lighting? And in addition - what IS the general opinion on regular incandescent bulbs on dimmer switches? Any feelings on the whole "singing bulbs" thing? Thanks for any assistance with this!
Shaman snipped-for-privacy@CLIPTHISaol.com
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If you have 480 watts of line voltage incandescent light, a garden variety 600 watt dimmer will work fine. If the switch is ganged with other switches or dimmers its capacity is diminished, you'll see a note regarding this in the instructions. Try using Lutron dimmers, they tend to cause less hum than other brands in my experience

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In my experience if I keep the wattage of the lamps at 80% or less of the dimmer there are less changeouts of the dimmer.
I had a customer that was toasting a couple of 2000w dimmers a month. I had to wait until midnight and then I could go and change them. So I asked why install 100w lamps and dim them to 50%? Why not install 60 watt lamps and dim to 10 %. Have not been back in several years now. I personally like levels of light, not dimmers so my house has a plethora of switches. Not one dimmer.
If your dimming down to 10-20% of lighting I would go with a 1000w dimmer.
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Furthermore, lightbulbs operate less efficiently when dimmed. For example, a 100 watt lightbulb dimmed to brightness of a 60 watt one consumes about 73 watts. If you're always dimming them, use lower wattage lightbulbs.
- Don Klipstein ( snipped-for-privacy@misty.com)
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I have found that all brands of bulbs except Philips "sing" when dimmed. Some cheapie dimmers probably can make any bulb sing. I have only used Leviton better quality dimmers.

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Tonks wrote:

What I have noticed in my bit of experience in this area:
1. Gas-filled bulbs "sing" worse than vacuum ones. However, I have yet to see any 120V non-antique vacuum bulbs 60 watts or more, except 60 watt showcase bulbs about a foot long. As for 40-watters - the "refrigerator" and "showcase" tubular types have a vacuum, most others have gas. 25 watt refrigerator and showcase types have a vacuum, 25 watt A19 types with a coiled-coil filament about 1 inch long have gas, I don't know about other 25-watters. 120V bulbs 15 watts or less are generally, possibly close to all vacuum.
2. The C-shaped multi-supported coiled filament (known as a C-9) is usually not quite as bad as the coiled-coil filaments about 1 inch long and straight in general shape with no supports or 1 support. (Coiled-coil filament parallel to bulb axis is a CC-8, coiled-coil filament perpendicular to bulb axis is a CC-6.) However, C-9 are slightly, sometimes significantly more energy-efficient than CC-6 and CC-8 filaments due to greater heat conduction from the filament to surrounding gas by a less compact filament design and by filament supports.
3. Higher wattage bulbs have some tendency to "sing" more than lower wattage ones, and the "singing" mostly worsens as degree of dimming is increased, until the bulbs are dimmed to roughly "nightlight" level. If you use lower wattage bulbs dimmed to a lesser extent, you reduce "singing". You also reduce electricity cost of achieving a given amount of light, since incandescent bulbs have energy efficiency decreasing significantly as they are dimmed.
4. Try different brands of lightbulbs - results may vary!
5. Try dimmable compact fluorescents, such as the dimmable version of Philip's 23 watt SLS. They don't significantly "sing" when dimmed. However, these may not do well with very severe dimming, and if you want the color to change to an orange "warm glow" with severe dimming you need incandescents.
6. Those wanting "the best" to the extent of installing entire lighting systems should consider special dimmable compact fluorescent systems, which have special fixtures, special associated dimmers, and take probably 4-pin compact fluorescent bulbs maybe of only one wattage. Some of these dim to roughly "brightish nightlight" level with as low as 1% of full output. The color is not some romantic fiery warm orange glow when dimmed severely, but energy efficiency is good.
- Don Klipstein ( snipped-for-privacy@misty.com)
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