Why do our hallogen track lights hum?

Discussion in 'Electrical and Wiring' started by paulpsd7, Jul 21, 2006.

  1. Jul 21, 2006 #1

    paulpsd7

    paulpsd7

    paulpsd7

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    We've got a $100 track lighting ceiling unit from Home Depot, and it's always hummed. Sometimes the humming has been bearable, and other times (like now) it's pretty loud, especially when we turn the dimmer down. Why does this happen? And more importantly, what can I do about it?
     
  2. Jul 21, 2006 #2

    Square Eye

    Square Eye

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    Is this a low voltage halogen fixture or a regular 120 volt fixture?

    Better question; what type of bulbs does it use?
    A screw in type or a two pin type?
     
  3. Jul 21, 2006 #3

    petey_racer

    petey_racer

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    Another even more important additional question is what kind of dimmer is it?

    This coupled with "Are the fixtures/lights 120v or 12v?" is a very important combination.

    Most low voltage fixtures require a specific dimmer, IE: Electronic or magnetic.
    Very few lo-vo fixtures can use a standard incandescent dimmer.


    Even if they are all line voltage flood lamps they can still hum or buzz. That is inherent in incandescent lamps when dimmed.
     
  4. Jul 21, 2006 #4

    paulpsd7

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    Great questions.

    The light fixture is this one:
    http://www.homedepot.com/prel80/HDUS/EN_US/diy_main/pg_diy.jsp?BV_SessionID=@@@@0066429873.1153498584@@@@&BV_EngineID=ccefaddighkfehicgelceffdfgidgio.0&CNTTYPE=PROD_META&CNTKEY=misc/searchResults.jsp&MID=9876&N=2984+4233&pos=n12
    Easylite
    Chrome Finish Duotrack 5 Light Marte Kit
    Model F5MA-05

    I'm not sure the voltage of the fixture, but the specs on Home Depot's site says "This kit comes complete with all required mounting hardware and five 20 watt 12 volt MR16 halogen bulbs." Does that answer your question?

    As for the dimmer switch, it's a basic Levitron one, probably a standard incandescent one. So are you saying the problem is the dimmer switch, and that there's a specific switch I can get that will work well with the hallogens? If so, that's great news. Can you suggest which dimmer switch?
     
  5. Jul 22, 2006 #5

    petey_racer

    petey_racer

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    That IS a low voltage system. The transformer is in the large ceiling canopy.

    It's not that it is halogen, it's that it is low-voltage.
    You need to find out the manufacturer's specified dimmer requirements. It is most likely a magnetic low-voltage dimmer.
     
  6. Jul 22, 2006 #6

    paulpsd7

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    I've contacted the manufacturer (EasyLite) to ask them about this. I'll let you all know what I find out. Thanks so much for the help!
     

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