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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What are the absolute quietest (no buzzing) dimmers you can buy?


I spent a couple of hours searching on the internet and I came to the following conclusions:


1) When it comes to conventional dimmers, Lutron is quiet

2) The quietest dimmers are variac dimmers.

3) Some dimmers emit little RFI interference, some are quiet , and some are both, but there seem to be no specs on noise emissions.


My problem is that I can't find any variac dimmers anywhere online, only companies catering to film crews that rent them for $10/day or so. Can anyone post a URL for some sources?


I need to find the absolute quietest dimmers because my wife is insanely sensitive to electrical noise. I'm jealous because her ears are so much better than mine :) I'm the audio nut but she can easily hear the difference between 16/44.1 and 24/192 recordings which sound pretty much the same to me.
 

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All the dimmers in my home are Lutron including my Grafik Eye 3104.........Absolutely not a peep outta one....that I can hear;-)


Remember that cheap light bulbs are often part of the problem. But usually a good dimmer will trump a bad light bulb.....A bad dimmer and bad light bulb will sing like Britney Spears-----Ouch!!


Brett
 

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The buzzing you are referring to is normally caused by incandescent bulbs (i.e. filament in the bulb). If you use halogens, which are available in all standard bulb sizes, you will have no buzzzzzz.


I have Lutron Spacers in my HT, and had to change out my old bulbs in favor of halogens to eliminate the buzz. Works like a champ every time. So... don't spend more money than you need to on the dimmers to avoid this issue.


Regards,

Steve.
 

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I thought you could not use dimmers with fluorescent bulbs so I assumed that also included halogen bulbs too.


With incandescent bulbs you can dim them by varying the voltage supplied to them, but at a certain point they will stop glowing.


Most dimmers work by switching on and off rapidly. That causes filaments to heat and cool rapidly. The rapid temperature changes can cause vibration that some people can hear.


In the past dimmers were potentiometers (variable resistors), but that wastes energy.


The Variac sounds like the right type of thing. I have seen big ones for science labs.
 

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Quote:
I thought you could not use dimmers with fluorescent bulbs so I assumed that also included halogen bulbs too.
You can dim fluorescent (with dimming ballasts) and halogen. Certain Lutron dimmers are also rated to dim cold cathode and neon.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks a lot for all your replies. This is the kind of info that makes avs forum so useful. :p
 

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one manufacturer of variac dimmers (variable auto-transformer) is Power-Stat, very large robust units, very heavy too.
 
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