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Philip Dixon

Moving-head light powered from a dimmer.

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Hello all,

I have been asked to review a school's light set-up, which consists of a Solution 48 and 36 channels of dimmer. Most of the lighting is working fine, except for a moving-head. The first thing I noticed is that it is not being powered by a 240vac rail, but is powered from one of the dimmer channels. I've never seen this done before, but it feels wrong to me. Is this an acceptable method, or do I need to read the riot act to them.



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Hi Philip,

It depends on the dimmers the moving head is being powered from. If the dimmers are like our Chilli Bypass dimmers, each dimmer channel has a switch to bypass the dimmer circuity, thus turning into a normal protected mains circuit. If however they are standard dimmers, such as our Betapacks for example, even when the channel is at 100% the channel outlet is still supplied via the dimmer circuitry, resulting in a messy AC sine wave. This can damage power supplies expecting a normal sine wave supply, and can prove catastrophic if accidentally dimmed.

It does also depend on the moving light- some moving lights have 2 power inputs, one for control circuity and one for lamp power, so existing dimmers can be used. This is not common though.

Therefore it depends on the situation, but in most cases no, moving head power should not be supplied from a dimmer channel.


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