Found in many homes throughout the world, hardwired switches provide a reliable permanent installation, but require an electrician to install. In-wall switches and dimmable hardwire power supplies are available in a variety of styles to power your Tresco LED light fixtures. In this article we’ll take a look at some common applications, alternatives and product overviews.
It’s important to note that 90% of what Tresco Lighting offers is all low voltage LED lights, so you can avoid any hardwiring elements altogether and achieve a successful LED project.
Before we examine some applications and details on Tresco’s dimmable hardwire power supply, we wanted to throw out a small disclaimer: hardwired installation of the power supply should only be performed by a qualified electrician. Any notes here in the article are simply our take on the product and you should make sure you’re in compliance with any procedures or codes.
Common Applications and Alternatives
Homeowners are used to having a traditional wall switch to operate their lighting. These are found primarily in kitchens and other rooms and use the 110V/120V current from the house. When transitioning to all the benefits that LED lighting offers, there needs to be a way to convert the 110V/120V down to an LED friendly, 12V. This is where the wall dimmable LED power supply comes in handy.
In order to hardwire dim LED fixtures using a hardwire wall dimmer switch you must use an LED dimmable hardwire power supply along with a standard hardwire LED wall dimmer switch. The switch needs to be specifically for LED fixtures. In the below diagram note the importance of the wiring sequence: 110V/120V to the LED dimmer switch -> then to the LED dimmable hardwire power supply -> then to the mounting block, the LED fixtures plug into the mounting block.
A fun alternative is to use a wireless dimmer which eliminates the need to hardwire anything. The Deco Wall Dimmer from Tresco fits Decora style wall plates. It can be mounted to a standard electrical box or to drywall. The wireless dimmer can control up to 60 watts of lights and uses a plug-n-play system with a 12V DC power supply. A small replaceable 3V battery powers the wireless dimmer. The Deco wall dimmer will pair to a receiver that controls the LED light fixtures.
This can be a simple alternative that mimics a traditional hardwire wall switch, but with all the simplicity and future adaptability of LED products.
Related Article: Tired of Hardwiring Lights? Use These 3 LED Components Instead
When to Use a Dimmable Hardwire Power Supply
Think of voltage like water running through pipes – it is like the “force” of the water. The higher the voltage, the faster the water (electricity) and the more pressure it is under. 120V is like a fire hose while 12V is like a garden hose. We’ll essentially be converting the 120V down to 12V as this will work with the LED lights.
The below diagram is showing the wiring for typical kitchen upper wall cabinet. Working with Class 2 wires requires an electrician, so we recommended using their expertise whenever working with 120V wiring.
Wall Dimmer LED Power Supply Options
There are currently two dimmable LED power supply options offered by Tresco Lighting. One is a 12 watt and the other is a 50 watt. There is no minimum load requirement and each work with all Tresco 12V DC dimmable LED fixtures. Both are also compatible with either a Lutron Diva or Lutron SkyLark dimmer.
Always make sure you are aware of the wattage of your LED light fixtures. Various styles will have different wattages. For example: a 20 foot roll of 1.5 watt per/foot FlexTape will have a total of 30 watts and eight 5 watt puck lights will have a total of 40 watts. You will not want to exceed the limit of your power supply. This could lead to flickering and other malfunctions.
Each dimmable LED power supply will come with an attached 6-spot mounting block. This is where your LED lights will plug into. You can also use an additional mounting block to take one of the spots to allow for more connections.
Let us know if you have any questions about these products. Again, we are not electricians, but we can help to guide you down the correct path of what LED fixtures and power supply options might work best for your application.