I have just installed a Lanier ZWave single pole switch on a circuit that controls six flood lights for backyard lighting. The switch works fine, but I have noticed that the lights are “dim” - as if there is not enough power reaching them. This is not a dimmable switch and the lights are within the rating of the switch. I changed two of the six lights to low wattage LED lights thinking this would lower the power needs, but no effect. Any ideas what is going on?
Are the lights not this dim when the Linear Z-Wave switch isn’t in the circuit?
What voltage do you measure at the flood lights with a multimeter?
When the switch is not installed (a traditional single pole/single throw switch is installed) the lights are noticeably brighter. I have not tested the voltage before/after but will do so. I installed the switch type that does not need a neutral wire since this circuit does not have one available. Wondering if this somehow could make a difference.
Thanks for your reply…
What model is the switch?
If the voltage looks good when the lights are removed from the circuit then try measuring the voltage at the lights when they are included in the circuit and see if it drops. Maybe the lights are pulling more current than the switch can handle.
I was wrong about the make/model (I installed the Lanier at my other house). The switch I installed is the Aspire RF Mod: RF9518 (Cooper Wiring Devices). I haven’t checked the voltage yet but would have expected some overheating (there isn’t) and/or some increase in brightness when I replaced the 2 incandescent bulbs with two CFs.
The RF9518 is only an 8 Amp switch. 6 flood lights could put you over that limit, especially with power dissipation from the line and connections. How many watts are the bulbs? Is there anything else on that circuit?
Assume 20% loss due to inefficiencies so the 8A switch only gets you 6.4A.
100W / 120V * 6 bulbs = 5A
150W / 120V * 6 bulbs = 7.5A
I don’t disagree with your assumption about heating and the CFL’s but you might be cutting it pretty close. You might have a defective switch. You even might have damaged the switched by overloading it when you first hooked it up to the higher wattage bulbs. Just guessing of course. I’m curious to hear what the measured voltage is.