I have just returned an MK £27 2 Gang 2 Way (single gang plate) white
dimmer to B&Q as I thought it was more than I needed. It was one that could
handle low voltage stuff but it added £15 to the cost from what I could see.
Anyway, after getting the refund I proceeded not to be able to find a 2G 2W
MK white dimmer just for mains halogen. I was a bit puzzled since the B&Q
'Varilight'? range had both options plus the soft start facility. I'm
trawling the Internet at the moment having trouble finding any sign of an MK
dimmer other than the expensive one! It has made me think of a couple of
questions : Are MK worth the trouble ? For no particular reason I've
convinced myself that I should buy MK and only MK. Also, what other brands
can the group recommend - ideally a quality build with a nice smooth action.
The varilight ones are a tad too loose. Is there such a thing as a decent
white 2G 2W single plate soft start mains only dimmer - it's not too much to
ask :-) ? ... or am I going to have to brave the crowds again and
purchase the originally returned unit once more ? Is there a website that
you guys 'n' gals can recommend that sells absolutely every switch known to
man. I've already tried TLC-Direct and no joy there I'm afraid.
Thanks for any help,
I used MK grid type modular dimmers (4500 series) and switches for my
kitchen, one for each group of mains or LV halogens of HF mini
fluorescents as appropriate.
The dimmers soft start and the advantage of the grid arrangement is
that you can have whatever arrangement of switches you like.
I standardised on using MK wiring accessories some while ago and
rarely buy anything else - I do think that the extra cost is
worthwhile. Having said that, I don't buy from B&Q but from an
electrical wholesaler where I have been able to get them to sharpen
their pencils on pricing.
Another aspect is that the designs are around for quite a long time.
I don't trust store brands, simply because they will change vendor at
the drop of a hat, making it impossible to match existing fittings.
To email, substitute .nospam with .gl
Thanks for the replies. Is there an on-line shop that sells the full MK
dimmer range or am I going to have to go back to B&Q to re-purchase the
original over-specified dimmer :-( ? Is there a mains only downlighter
double dimmer from MK or am I going to have to buy the LV capable one ?
Yes. Had this with non MK dimmers. Candle bulbs arc over when they go
and rip the triac guts apart. Replace with bigger triac.
MK don't do electronics I think - the dimmer modules are probably bought
in by them from elsewhere.
In reality you need a 20A plus triac to control e.g. a 2A load :( So the
MCB trip goes before the triac, not the oher way about.
This will also increase the minimum load the dimmer can dim
correctly. However, it won't increase the maximum load, which
is governed by heat dissipation, not size of triac (you will
find all dimmers are fitted with triacs which can handle much
more current than the rating written on the dimmer).
An MCB takes half a mains cycle to trip. It depends what the
prospective short circuit current is at that point in the
circuit, and if the triac can take that for half a mains
cycle. A larger one is more likely to, but it's not a dead
cert. For an (expensive) X10 DIN rail mounting dimmer, I have
put a (cheap) 3A (B3) MCB next to it. The dimmer has had no
problems, but then I don't know if it would have without the
MCB. The MCB trips in preference to the dimmers 3A fuse.
The MCB protects only the light on that dimmer -- you don't
want a B3 MCB protecting a whole lighting circuit.
I use Crabtree. I would have used MK, but they don't their standard double
socket with the switches in the right place with dual earth and DP switches.
If you want Sec607/DP, you have to have the switches outboard, which looks
rank. Even like for like, I think the Crabtree ones look better than MK
They have good action on the switches. My only gripe is that the screw
terminals are at an angle, which requires a very specifically sized and
shaped screwdriver to tighten up so that the driver doesn't foul the casing.
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