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Morning all,

I've recently installed four Steinel Vario 3000's...
Steinel Nightmatic Photocell Switch 3000 - Black - https://www.tlc-direct.co.uk/Products/STNM3000B.html?source=adwords&ad_position=&ad_id=315107931576&placement=&kw=&network=u&matchtype=&ad_type=&product_id=STNM3000B&product_partition_id=304439246835&version=finalurl_v3&gclid=Cj0KCQjwn8_mBRCLARIsAKxi0GLIflyo7DLR2m2QMZMWvL9fRD43j8jl7lK8aeFbjV4nRp0iYOYNnQ8aAmEoEALw_wcB

...across two jobs. One job is for soffit lights. The other is for up/downs around a driveway.

Both customers wanted something that could be dimmed so i've used Vpro 100w max LED dimmer modules. No load is more than 70w.

I've had one customer reporting that the lights don't work at all.
The other customer is saying that the lights are permanently on. I'm convinced i've set them up just fine having returned to both jobs at dark to set the memory function. What's worse is that both customers say they worked fine for about a week after installation.

Steinel tech are concluding that the sensor may not be suitable for dimming but i wonder why they were fine for the first week?

Question being, has anybody else experienced this situation before? Can anybody recommend another brand of dimmer module or sensor that has worked without issue. The wiring seems so simple that i can't see where i'm going wrong with this. The rep is willing to come and take a look but i don't think he'll wait around til dusk!!

I'm taking a supply from a spare 6A breaker on the board to the sensor - Load then goes to the dimmer - Then to lights. Second job is a supply from the upstairs lighting circuit.

Thanks in advance.
 
O

Octopus

Fitted loads of those .........but never on a dimmer! and have found them extremely reliable.

If the lights are permanently on then you need to check you have set them up correctly
 

DPG

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Arms
Esteemed
If the photocell on its own is working fine with those lamps, and the dimmer on its own is working fine with the same lamps, then I would say it's got to be a problem with the dimmer being fed from the sensor. Does the sensor have relay contacts or is it an electronic (triac etc) switch?
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #4
Thanks Murdoch, the soffit lights are shining into the bedroom window but the customer insists on having no curtains!!!

Second customer wanted lots of lights but just very dim. Her drive is so big that it could be confused as a runway.

Have you not used a dimmer before because you think it's a bad idea?
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #5
Ok DPG, no its electronic.
So maybe needs a relay between sensor and dimmer do you think?
 
B

Bobster

Probably something.

If it's electronic, I bet the switching is done by a triac, an that will not like the chopped waveform from a dimmer.

I presume the dimmer is also electronic, being used with LEDs?
 

PEG

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Mentor
Arms
Esteemed
Hi,can you measure what load,the lights are drawing,when dimmed?
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #8
Thanks Rob,
Will a disturbed waveform cause the lights to go on and off?

Yes, Electronic dimmer with LEDs. 4w lamps.
 
O

Octopus

Second customer wanted lots of lights but just very dim. Her drive is so big that it could be confused as a runway.

Have you not used a dimmer before because you think it's a bad idea?
Re the LED - change them for lower wattage, say 2w

and no I wouldn't fit them on a dimmer - IMHO a photo cell is on or off
 
B

Bobster

Thanks Rob,
Will a disturbed waveform cause the lights to go on and off?

Yes, Electronic dimmer with LEDs. 4w lamps.
Most likely, it'll cause the triac to flicker. An I bet theres some electronics monitoring this in the photocell that stops the output chattering. So they will go on and off, rather than flicker at 50hz

Depends on the photocell, the ones I've used just switch a relay. An so it's independent of the circuit. Just need to supply them with 230v
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #11
Thanks PEG.
Can do, dimmer module is 0-120w, sensor only shows a max of 4x58w.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #12
All good points thank you.

Are we allowed to recommend products in this forum? The sensor I've fitted seems to be good quality but if you rely in a better brand then I'd like to know!

What happened to a good old on/off switch at the patio door?!!!

Thanks guys
 

ruston

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Mentor
Arms
Esteemed
In the past I have found that Steinel are are as good as it gets . I have to say I have never fitted a set up that you have . It looks like compatibility problems with two in a row.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #15
Snow head, I did have a moment of panick when the first person called, but can confirm all has been checked and I was paying attention when I wired them in :)
 

Risteard

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Arms
Esteemed
In the past I have found that Steinel are are as good as it gets . I have to say I have never fitted a set up that you have . It looks like compatibility problems with two in a row.
Agreed. Steinel are about the best, with a cost to reflect that.
 

mattg4321

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Arms
Esteemed
If it absolutely must be dimmed, what about using the steinel nightmatic to switch another separate relay/contactor?

That way the only load on the steinel nightmatic is the coil of the relay.
 
S

Squid

Use a lower rating lamp........
 
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