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Old 09-23-2013, 03:48 PM   #1
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DIY dimmer switch for 12 volt light fixture!

The light fixture over our dinette in our new Winnebago 2201DS was a bit bright at times for watching TV, so I went online and found a compatible dimmer switch:

EPL1010 12 volt dc lamp dimmer

I took a few minutes today to install it, and it works like a charm.

Next mod will be to tap into a 12 volt light over the bed and run a line for a reading light mounted on the wardrobe at my side of the bed!
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Old 09-23-2013, 04:36 PM   #2
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I looked at the dimmer and saw it is limited to 20 watts. A single 1156 bulb is ~26 watts, a 1141 bulb is ~18 watts. If the fixture has 2 or more bulbs, you are overloading the dimmer. Just be aware.
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Old 09-23-2013, 06:26 PM   #3
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I looked at the dimmer and saw it is limited to 20 watts. A single 1156 bulb is ~26 watts, a 1141 bulb is ~18 watts. If the fixture has 2 or more bulbs, you are overloading the dimmer. Just be aware.
Thanks for pointing that out. I should have really ordered this one:

EPL1012 12 volt dc lamp dimmer

However, the fixture is a 12 volt fixture with two wedge type light bulbs. Tomorrow, I'll get the exact number on the bulb and check it's specs to see if I do have a problem. I looked up 1156 and 1141 bulbs and it isn't either of them.

So...I'll update the post as soon as possible.
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Old 09-24-2013, 02:22 AM   #4
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Thanks for pointing that out. I should have really ordered this one:

EPL1012 12 volt dc lamp dimmer

However, the fixture is a 12 volt fixture with two wedge type light bulbs. Tomorrow, I'll get the exact number on the bulb and check it's specs to see if I do have a problem. I looked up 1156 and 1141 bulbs and it isn't either of them.

So...I'll update the post as soon as possible.
912x? 13watt

Halco 90004 912x Miniature Automotive Light Bulb at eLightBulbs.com
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Old 09-27-2013, 06:42 AM   #5
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I thinkd that's it! I pulled both bulbs and can't see any markings on them, but they look like the 912. So, that means I am overloading the dimmer switch.

So far, the light/switch combo is working so far. Am I correct that if overloaded, it may just burn out the switch, or should I be worried about other problems? I don't know that much about 12 volt systems. And/or...what would you reccomend? Thanks!
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Old 09-27-2013, 08:04 AM   #6
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Unless it gets hot, I wouldn't worry about it.
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Old 09-27-2013, 08:42 AM   #7
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Since it's a variable pulse dimmer, not just resistance, I'd think the dimmer would burn out before being a heat issue. One way to take some of the stress off would be to install a simple on/off switch on one of the bulbs in the fixture, then the dimmer would only control one bulb. Or you could install a double throw switch in place of the fixture switch and have one or two bulbs on, the dimmer only used when one is on.
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Old 09-28-2013, 04:10 PM   #8
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Did you replace the ON/OFF switch with the dimmer ... or did you wire it in series with the ON/OFF switch?
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Old 09-28-2013, 05:39 PM   #9
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Variable pulse dimmers can make a lot of radio HASH (Important to folks with user names like mine).

Resistance dimmers make heat. In days of old when folks were bold the Heater blower on a care was controlled by a vairable resistor.. SOME auto parts stores still have 'em.
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Old 09-28-2013, 08:44 PM   #10
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Did you replace the ON/OFF switch with the dimmer ... or did you wire it in series with the ON/OFF switch?
I replaced the on/off switch. The dimmer has an "off" position
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Old 10-01-2013, 04:53 PM   #11
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OK how do you take off the switch bezel to get to the wires?
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Old 10-01-2013, 07:45 PM   #12
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I had to drop the fixture (remove the two screws holding the fixture to the ceiling over the dinette. Then I just had to remove the nut that tightened the switch to the fixture. I removed the white wire where it was wire nutted to another, and I had to cut the black wire in order to connect the new switch/dimmer.

And, we used the fixture on our trip to the west coast of MI for 5 days without problem.
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