Rope Light won't turn off completely ??? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 21 Old 04-09-2008, 08:48 PM - Thread Starter
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I just installed LED rope lighting (120V type) in my crown molding which is on my soffit. I am using Leviton Vizia RF dimmers and switches which are remote controlled. I wired an outlet to a Vizia RF SWITCH (not a dimmer). Everything worked great...well sort of..., I noticed when I push the switch to turn the rope lights off, they will not completely go off. It stays on very, very dimly. Anything else I plug into the outlet will not work when the switch is off.

What did I do wrong? Any suggestions on how to rectify this.
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post #2 of 21 Old 04-09-2008, 08:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cidsou View Post

I just installed LED rope lighting (120V type) in my crown molding which is on my soffit. I am using Leviton Vizia RF dimmers and switches which are remote controlled. I wired an outlet to a Vizia RF SWITCH (not a dimmer). Everything worked great...well sort of..., I noticed when I push the switch to turn the rope lights off, they will not completely go off. It stays on very, very dimly. Anything else I plug into the outlet will not work when the switch is off.

What did I do wrong? Any suggestions on how to rectify this.

You know I noticed a very similar thing. I was playing around with a old rotary dimmer and an LED string. Turning the dial all the way down resulted in a dimly lit string which was kind of surprising. The dimmer also had a separate on/off and when I cut that switch it would go out.

You may want to stick a voltmeter in the outlet. Off may not be off.
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post #3 of 21 Old 04-10-2008, 06:20 AM - Thread Starter
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I purposely did not get a dimmer, because I knew outlets should not be dimmed, plus the rope lights are not direct wired. I can't understand why off is not off. I guess I'll try a regular switch to see what happens, but it would really throw a wrench into my setup if I can't have the rope light remote controlled.
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post #4 of 21 Old 04-10-2008, 07:34 AM
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Hi Cidsou;

Here's a possibility; Maybe your wiring is reversed on that circuit. I mean, maybe the hot wire (black) is where the neutral should be, and when you switch off, there's still some juice getting to the rope lights, even though the circuit isn't exactly complete.

I bought an older house with lots of wiring mistakes. One quick check with the right plug-in meter told us that many of the hot/neutral connections were backwards at several outlets. The grounds seemed to be hooked up right. I also noticed that when I turn off my hallway light, which is a compact flourescent, it flickers most of the night (at very low level). I should check that circuit and see if hot/neutral are reversed.

When you screw in an new light bulb, the hot connection is supposed to be the center contact, not the outer casing which forms the female thread. This is because you're less likely to touch the center contact deep inside the light socket, as you screw in the light bulb, than the outer threaded part. If it's hooked up correctly, no shock, even if you left the light switched on.

I don't know if this is your problem, but it might be worth checking. I also plan to add rope lights, but haven't yet.

Good hunting !

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post #5 of 21 Old 04-10-2008, 08:15 AM - Thread Starter
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Well, I e-mailed Leviton and got an answer. At least it was nothing I did.

The RZS15-1LX switch is not designed for low voltage lighting or to control a switched outlet. There is a slight bleed through in the cap that allows some electricity to flow through when off. This is why you still see your rope lights on at very low levels when the switch is off (the minimum recommended wattage is 14W on this switch because of this). The RZS15 is being redesigned to fix this issue, however for your situation, because you are controlling an outlet, I would recommend using our plug in appliance module (RZP15-1LW). This plugs into your outlet and has a three prong plug on it for connecting up to a 15 Amp load. It is a Vizia RF product and can be controlled the same way the RZS15 is.
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post #6 of 21 Old 04-10-2008, 08:20 AM
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I had the same problem when I installed LED rope lighting in my system. When the power was supposed to be off, it would simply stay on. I talked to the electrician and he said that the LED was too low in the watts department and recommended non-LED rope lighting (I think he wanted it to consume at least 15 watts--all the ropes strung together). I went to HD and got the el cheapo lights, and voila, it shuts off when it is supposed to now. I think they have three colors but more are available online. I know it's not an ideal solution (using more power), but it was a fairly cheap fix for me. Hope that helps.
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post #7 of 21 Old 04-10-2008, 11:52 AM
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Electronic switches and dimmers will always have some very low level of current flow through the switch/dimmer. It must be so or the switch/dimmer, won't be able to respond to remote controls. All such devices must have an "air gap" switch incorporated into the unit to completely disable currrent. This is also why manufacturers insist you shut down the breaker before working downstream of such devices (and why you can blow them out). LEDs require so little current to work, you can see the fixture is on. With higher resistive loads, you don't see the fixture as being illuminated.
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post #8 of 21 Old 05-19-2008, 06:15 PM
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Ugh. Have the same problem. Bought 2 15ft runs of warm LED rope light from pegasus lighting associates and plugged each into a Z-Wave AC module for controlling from my Monster Cable AVL-300 RF remote. They stay dimly lit in the "off" mode from the remote. (they dim great, without flickering).

Anyone have any concrete alternative solutions for the AVL-300 remote? I am tied to the remote (having kicked out for it) and AC outlets (since I don't want to hire an electrician).

Barring any insight any of you may have, for now, I'm just going to leave the LEDs plugged into the module, dimly lit when "off." They're rated for about 6 years bulb life, so I figure they'll last about 10 years or so since I use them rarely...and by then, they should have figured out a low-amp dim switch for Z-Wave

Thanks for any advice!
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post #9 of 21 Old 05-27-2008, 07:41 PM
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I'm in the same boat. Interestingly, it is only noticeable with the blue led rope light, not the red led rope light...

I understand the issue--ie low volage leakage through the dimmer--but (short of replacing the rope light, or making it not-dimmable) has anyone discovered any work-arounds?
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post #10 of 21 Old 05-27-2008, 09:59 PM
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I have heard of this issue several times now. Interestingly enough though my warm white LED rope light (from Bird dog distributing) does not do this. I have it connected to a Lutron RadioRA dimmer and it shuts off completely when I hit the button. Dims smoothly too. I should mention that I go have loads from other lighting fixtures on that dimmer too. Perhaps that makes a difference?

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post #11 of 21 Old 05-28-2008, 10:53 AM
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I had this same problem when I connected a dimmer switch to a set of 8 recessed light fixtures. When off they glowed instead of turning completely off. I replaced the dimmer with a regular switch and everything is now fine. Once our theater is completed I will replace the switch with a better quality dimmer.

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post #12 of 21 Old 05-28-2008, 10:57 AM
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Not completely related, but I'll throw it in anyway as it might help. In my previous house, I have an X10 light switch controlling my outside lights. I like low power, so fluorescent was a natural to me. I have an X10 timer that turns them on and off at certain time. When they are on, the work great. Here's the problem, when they are off, both keeps on flaking. My solution was solved by replacing one of them with an incandescent light bulb. When I plug that in, it stop flaking. I added that to the 1st of the circuit.
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post #13 of 21 Old 05-28-2008, 03:22 PM
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Kinda' Mickey Mouse solution: I added an old cell phone charger to the end of my LED light string and it stopped them from glowing when off.
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post #14 of 21 Old 05-28-2008, 03:46 PM
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Adding additional lights to the circuit or changing out part of the system so that it has a total wattage of at least 15 should do the trick, as Hamster is experiencing. As a work-around (way less than ideal, but functional) you could put a light into the system (plug a night-light into the other half of the switched outlet) that is at least 15w and hide it somewhere so that you don't see it when you use the system but it prevents the leaked energy from getting to your rope lights.

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post #15 of 21 Old 05-29-2008, 08:55 AM
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X10 Appliance Switches are either On or Off. You could plug a dimmer into a X10 Appliance Switch and have both dimming and On/Off.

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post #16 of 21 Old 06-24-2008, 07:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Speedskater View Post

X10 Appliance Switches are either On or Off. You could plug a dimmer into a X10 Appliance Switch and have both dimming and On/Off.

I just installed my Insteon appliance module and have the same problem as the op. Glad I remembered seeing this post a while ago. The module turns off everything else I throw at it, just not the LED rope light. I figured it was an issue of the low power required by the lights. Now time to figure out a workaround - might just be replacing with non-LED.
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post #17 of 21 Old 06-25-2008, 09:53 AM
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My workaround is to interrupt power to the dimmer via a wireless on/off switch. Thus, I go from line voltage to an on/off switch, and from there to a dimmer. When I want the rope lights on (and dimmable) the on/off switch is in the "on" position, and then I control intensity with the dimmer. When I want the LED off altogether I turn off the switch
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post #18 of 21 Old 06-25-2008, 11:28 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by msleb View Post

My workaround is to interrupt power to the dimmer via a wireless on/off switch. Thus, I go from line voltage to an on/off switch, and from there to a dimmer. When I want the rope lights on (and dimmable) the on/off switch is in the "on" position, and then I control intensity with the dimmer. When I want the LED off altogether I turn off the switch


This is exactly how I solved the problem. I replaced my Vizia RF dimmer wall switch with a regular switch, which controls an outlet. I have the ropelights connected to a Leviton Vizia RF plug in module which is in the outlet. The plug in dimmer syncs with the rest of the switches and can still be controlled with a remote. The cost was the same in the end.

Leviton did tell me that the newer switches what are supposed to be coming out sometime soon, will solve the problem of letting current pass through.
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post #19 of 21 Old 09-05-2013, 06:14 PM
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did anyone here find a zwave dimmer that works on LED rope lighting?
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post #20 of 21 Old 06-16-2014, 10:01 PM
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I have the same problem with my Insteon dimmer outlets with LED rope lights... Has anyone tried this? They are available on Amazon. I am thinking of trying one as I have 3 strings of blue LEds. out

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post #21 of 21 Old 06-21-2014, 10:12 AM
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I solved the LED rope light won't turn off problem!! What I did was get one of these, and plug it into a cheater plug, and then plug the cheater plug into my Insteon dimmer outlet... I tried it down to 1%, and then turned it off and it works flawlessly!

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