2 part electrical question-- dimmer used outside?
#11
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I am going to hang outdoor LED patio string lights Light set on Amazon
I see that this set is dimmable-- i'm going to put an outlet up high on the side of the house, with a switch installed lower.  I was originally just thinking a basic single pole switch, but when i realized this set is dimmable, i'm thinking about putting in a dimmer switch, so 2 questions:

Can you put a dimmer switch on an outlet?  I seem to get mixed results on the answer to this question.  Needless to say, nothing else would be plugged into this outlet-- the outlet will be about 12-15 ft off the ground.

Can you install a dimmer outside?  I see they have these special outdoor switches designed for outdoors, but no dimmer options-- so i was thinking about just installing a water proof cover like would be done for an outdoor outlet and just install a dimmer switch behind it.  Is this allowed?


Colin
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#12
  Re: 2 part electrical question-- dimmer used outside? by Cdshakes (I am going to hang o...)
Did you Google outdoor light dimmer switches on Amazon? Saw quite a few, some compatible with Alexa. You could eliminate the switch too.

Like these
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#13
  Re: RE: 2 part electrical question-- dimmer used outside? by joe1086 (Did you Google outdo...)
(08-20-2020, 02:22 PM)joe1086 Wrote: Did you Google outdoor light dimmer switches on Amazon? Saw quite a few, some compatible with Alexa. You could eliminate the switch too.

Like these

I looked at those, but the only problem with those is that the outlet is going to be about 12-15' in the air, and the switch at normal height.  I want the option to dim, or maybe go full brightness all the time-- i don't want to have to go up on a ladder to make changes to the brightness level.
I also don't want things with remotes that can break, or require special batteries. Having something hardwired is much better in my opinion.
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#14
  Re: 2 part electrical question-- dimmer used outside? by Cdshakes (I am going to hang o...)
Yes, you can put a dimmer on an outlet, and then plug the lights into it. If the outlet is that high it's unlikely it will be used for anything else. I suspect (but do not know) there are dimmers for wet locations, but I've not ever seen one. Be sure the dimmer is rated for LEDs.
I started with absolutely nothing. Now, thanks to years of hard work, careful planning, and perseverance, I find I still have most of it left.
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#15
  Re: 2 part electrical question-- dimmer used outside? by Cdshakes (I am going to hang o...)
As Fred suggested, the lights will work fine if you dim the outlet.
Also as he suggested it is important that normal 120volt loads not be plugged into it.
You can damage either the appliance, or the outlet, or both.

For that reason the NEC has rules about the use of dimmers. -404.14(E). They make an approved receptacle outlet for dimming.   Here is one such outlet.   It has a barrier between the blades so normal plugs can’t fit.  When you buy the outlet you also need to get a plug, then switch plug ends. But, alas, it, too, is rated indoor.

A weather resistant LED dimmer will be hard to find.  To try to jury rig an indoor rated switch for outdoors.....
I would consider Joe’s solution.  They are cheap enough if something goes wrong, pitch it and get another.   And they are safer.
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#16
  Re: 2 part electrical question-- dimmer used outside? by Cdshakes (I am going to hang o...)
I would make it a single outlet unless you having more than one string of lights plugged into it. I would label the outlet noting what it is. The wall you are putting the switch on is there an option to drill hole through house and mount dimmer inside and on off switch outside?? Or just mount all switching inside.
John T.
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#17
  Re: 2 part electrical question-- dimmer used outside? by Cdshakes (I am going to hang o...)
2 things come to mind. Weather protection and GFCI. Any outdoor switch or receptacle needs to be in a weather tight enclosure and be on a GFCI circuit.
Neil Summers Home Inspections


When it comes to 'lectricity, I'm a pretty good wood turner.

... Grey Mountain 3/2/21

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#18
  Re: RE: 2 part electrical question-- dimmer used outside? by srv52761 (As Fred suggested, t...)
(08-20-2020, 04:41 PM)srv52761 Wrote: As Fred suggested, the lights will work fine if you dim the outlet.
Also as he suggested it is important that normal 120volt loads not be plugged into it.
You can damage either the appliance, or the outlet, or both.

For that reason the NEC has rules about the use of dimmers. -404.14(E). They make an approved receptacle outlet for dimming.   Here is one such outlet.   It has a barrier between the blades so normal plugs can’t fit.  When you buy the outlet you also need to get a plug, then switch plug ends.  But, alas, it, too, is rated indoor.

A weather resistant LED dimmer will be hard to find.  To try to jury rig an indoor rated switch for outdoors.....
I would consider Joe’s solution.  They are cheap enough if something goes wrong, pitch it and get another.   And they are safer.

Did you see my reply to Joe's solution?  Remember, the outlet is going to be 12 feet off the ground-- if i use an inline dimmer, then if i want to make it brighter/dimmer, i have to get  up on a ladder and adjust it-- this isn't very convenient.  I refuse to buy anything with remote controls-- you'll come out next summer to use it and it just won't work-- have to buy some stupidly overpriced watch battery... no thanks--i 'd rather have a hardwired switch.
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#19
  Re: RE: 2 part electrical question-- dimmer used outside? by Cdshakes ([quote='srv52761' pi...)
(08-21-2020, 06:50 AM)Cdshakes Wrote: Did you see my reply to Joe's solution?  Remember, the outlet is going to be 12 feet off the ground-- if i use an inline dimmer, then if i want to make it brighter/dimmer, i have to get  up on a ladder and adjust it-- this isn't very convenient.  I refuse to buy anything with remote controls-- you'll come out next summer to use it and it just won't work-- have to buy some stupidly overpriced watch battery... no thanks--i 'd rather have a hardwired switch.

If it were me, I'd put the dimmer inside the house, on the same wall if possible, and a simplex receptacle in a weatherproof surface box with "in use" enclosure.  Or bury it in the wall, if you want a neater look.  Wire it to an existing GFCI protected circuit, or its own circuit with GFCI breaker, or add a GFCI receptacle in the basement and put the new circuit downstream, or something like that.  

I don't know what would happen if you tried to dim a GFCI receptacle, but I have to think the electronics won't like it, and maybe (probably) not work at all, which defeats the purpose.  But I would use GFCI protection, as it's powering outdoor lights which may find their way to human contact from the ground.  And it's code.

I just removed an outside light on my deck and made it a GFCI receptacle with existing interior wall switch so I could plug my awning into it high up to keep the puppy from eating the cord, which was plugged in below at the normal height.  Some day I'll put it all back, but for now, awning power and rope light are high up, and switched, somewhat similar to what you want to do.  Not code compliant, as this was the back door light (building code, not NEC), but I consider it temporary, as yours would be since you can remove the dimmer and put in a switch.
Tom

“This place smells like that odd combo of flop sweat, hopelessness, aaaand feet.”







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#20
  Re: RE: 2 part electrical question-- dimmer used outside? by Cdshakes ([quote='srv52761' pi...)
(08-21-2020, 06:50 AM)Cdshakes Wrote: Did you see my reply to Joe's solution?  Remember, the outlet is going to be 12 feet off the ground-- if i use an inline dimmer, then if i want to make it brighter/dimmer, i have to get  up on a ladder and adjust it-- this isn't very convenient.  I refuse to buy anything with remote controls-- you'll come out next summer to use it and it just won't work-- have to buy some stupidly overpriced watch battery... no thanks--i 'd rather have a hardwired switch.

Yes, I saw it.  I was thinking you should reconsider.  Else, I don’t see any code compliant way to do what you want to do.

That might be your intent, maybe? To get validation on a non-compliant method?


Switch inside, hardwire the lights?
Gfci circuit
Dimmer inside
thwn through pvc nipple
Pvc LB 
pvc to weather box at height
Add a pvc stub to bottom of box
remove plug from cord
Run cord through stub, have a small drip loop
Fill the stub with an insulating resin, Scotchcast is one such brand
Wire directly

But, I think you have already decided;  and just looking for a, “... yes, that will work”.

P.S.  Just checked... Honeywell’s dimmer’s remote uses one A23 battery... 99¢ at Walmart, five pack for $3.50 on Amazon (generic brand).
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