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 > Installing a dimmer switch

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Lightning55

Pleasanton, CA

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Posted: 03/21/21 03:46pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Need some expert advice to install a dimmer in my Grand Design Reflection 31MB. The 12v cabin lights in the ceiling are way too bright. The switch is a blue lighted switch in the main panel in the hallway. I want to install the new on-off/dimmer switch. I can easily run wires in the wall to a more convenient location about 3 feet away. Behind the main switch is 2 red wires (constant power to the switch and one that goes to the lights when the switch is turned on - see pic. The 2 white wires plugged into the current switch are probably ground?
I thought I'd just eliminate the main switch in the control panel and use the new switch for on-off and dimming.
How the heck do I wire this up?
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* This post was edited 03/21/21 04:07pm by Lightning55 *

AllegroD

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Posted: 03/21/21 04:04pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Side question: Do you know if the installed LED are dimmable?

Lightning55

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Posted: 03/21/21 04:09pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I don't know if they are or not. I did this on my last FW with no problems but it had different wiring and switch. I tried wiring the new switch like I thought it should but nothing.

wa8yxm

Davison Michigan (East of Flint)

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Posted: 03/21/21 04:17pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The first thing is to make sure teh dimmer and the lamps work together

Second Make sure you have properly identified POWER, GROUND and Load leads on the existing switch

Finally I can not read the labels on the new switch's wires and thus can not advise what wire is which. the image will not open in a new tab (That's a first) so.


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MitchF150

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Posted: 03/21/21 04:21pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If the lights are LED, you might have to check some more to get a dimmer specific for them?

I don't think any "off the shelf" dimmer is going to work with LED's??

If the lights are your old 1156 bulbs, you can probably get any dimmer for them, but I don't know for sure??

I remember replacing my old 1156 bulbs in my old 2003 Prowler with some LED's and they worked great.. You could still turn on one or two of the bulbs in the fixture from the switch, so that was my 'dimmer'.. [emoticon]

I did get some LED specific lights that you could dim with a wireless remote, but they are battery operated and I put them where I needed more light in the corners of my slide out and they work great too.

Good luck! Mitch
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RickLight

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Posted: 03/21/21 05:35pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Most 12V dimmers that look like that one are fine for most modern LEDs. I've put a lot of dimmers in my rig!

I agree that it's probably best to disconnect the switch in the panel. I did that because I hated opening the cover just to turn on a light. Remove the switch leads one at a time to see what they do. As I recall, mine are just as you suggest. But testing is smart.

The dimmer needs the neg/ground to properly dim LEDs, where a switch doesn't. If you want to just run the switch lines to the new switch you should be OK.

Hook the wires up as directed by purpose NOT by color. There are several color patterns in use in automotive/RV products, including ones where black and white are reversed! Generally if you get it wrong things just won't work, rather than lighting on fire. Worst case you blow a fuse.


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ScottG

Bothell Wa.

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Posted: 03/21/21 05:39pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

That dimmer will work fine for for your 12V LED's. BTDT.

Lightning55

Pleasanton, CA

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Posted: 03/21/21 06:21pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

ScottG wrote:

That dimmer will work fine for for your 12V LED's. BTDT.

The problem is that I don't know how to hook it up.

RickLight

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Posted: 03/21/21 06:57pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Lightning55 wrote:


The problem is that I don't know how to hook it up.


The three wires on the existing switch go to the three wires on the new switch.

ajriding

st clair

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Posted: 03/21/21 07:23pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

be careful with colors. Looks like in your pic the "electrician" just used whatever color wire was close.
Typically RVs use white wire for all ground. So, yours is different already, you cannot go by color, test everything first.
Agree on dimmers not always working with LEDs. Some dimmers make noise when dimmed.
You could always just get a less bright light bulb.... I started to call it a "dimmer bulb" but that would not work here.

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