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Author Topic: Loud buzz from electrical light dimmer switch  (Read 2503 times)

Luke Rockhold

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Loud buzz from electrical light dimmer switch
« on: May 12, 2016, 06:01:19 pm »

Sorry if this has been covered before. New to the forums and read through a bunch of other posts but nothing jumped out that quite pertains to my situation. I'm renting a house and my band practices in the basement. I just got a new sound system and I have a very audible buzz running through both the speakers and my headphones when I have those plugged into my mixer. Seems like a basic grounding issue...however, this is a bit different. All of the lights in the basement are run off of a dimmer switch. So there are 11 par cans with 60 watt incandescent standard light bulbs in them running off one switch with a dimmer, and then 2 more 60 watt bulbs running off the other switch on the same panel. Guitars and basses all have loud buzzing as well, and it gets worse when the lights are not at full power. None of our equipment has these issues when not in the basement, and since the sound of the buzz changes depending on movement of the dimmer switch, I know that this must be the cause. Any ideas on why the lights effect the outlets or how to either reduce or eliminate the buzz without changing the electrical situation? This is a rental house, so getting rid of the dimmer switch is probably not an option. Or is this how its going to be until I find a new house? Not sure that it matters, but I'm running a Behringer X1222usb through two powered Alto TS215 mains. Thanks for any help you might have!
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Ray Aberle

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Re: Loud buzz from electrical light dimmer switch
« Reply #1 on: May 12, 2016, 06:33:17 pm »

THUNDER CHUNK!

Hi there, and welcome to the ProSoundWeb! Per the Rules of Participation as stated at the top of each forum and in the Rules and Required Reading when you registered, you must post using your Real, Full Name. Would you kindly mind popping back into your profile and updating your Display Name to reflect your Real, Full Name? Your post will get locked unless you do this!

Thanks,

Ray

(If the dimmer switch is on the same circuit as your band power, that's your problem. Dimmer switches like to do that...)
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Kelcema Audio
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Kevin Graf

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Re: Loud buzz from electrical light dimmer switch
« Reply #2 on: May 12, 2016, 06:36:07 pm »

It is the nature of older light dimmers to generate electrical noise. Either replace the dimmers with new ones marked low noise (and even this doesn't always work) or use other lights plugged into regular outlets.
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Ray Aberle

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Re: Loud buzz from electrical light dimmer switch
« Reply #3 on: May 12, 2016, 06:44:23 pm »

As a reminder, we're really not supposed to help anyone who is posting with a pseudonym, as opposed to their real, full name…. Yeah, I know I sorta did as well. But still.
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Kelcema Audio
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Mike Sokol

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Re: Loud buzz from electrical light dimmer switch
« Reply #4 on: May 12, 2016, 06:46:39 pm »

As a reminder, we're really not supposed to help anyone who is posting with a pseudonym, as opposed to their real, full name…. Yeah, I know I sorta did as well. But still.
That's correct. Don't make me lock this thread until he changes to his real name...

Mike Sokol
The Moderator...
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Ray Aberle

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Re: Loud buzz from electrical light dimmer switch
« Reply #5 on: May 12, 2016, 07:04:22 pm »

That's correct. Don't make me lock this thread until he changes to his real name...

Mike Sokol
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You'd be well within your rights to do so-- I get the vibe that you're more easy going on that policy then, say, Mac or Doug would be. ;) But STILL........... it's important that we adhere to the rules regardless.

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Mac Kerr

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Re: Loud buzz from electrical light dimmer switch
« Reply #6 on: May 12, 2016, 07:40:34 pm »

You'd be well within your rights to do so-- I get the vibe that you're more easy going on that policy then, say, Mac or Doug would be. ;) But STILL........... it's important that we adhere to the rules regardless.

Oops...
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Mike Sokol

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Re: Loud buzz from electrical light dimmer switch
« Reply #7 on: May 13, 2016, 01:39:53 pm »

Oops...
Now we're good. Feel free to ponder and pontificate as you will....
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John Roberts {JR}

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Re: Loud buzz from electrical light dimmer switch
« Reply #8 on: May 13, 2016, 02:26:10 pm »

Sorry if this has been covered before. New to the forums and read through a bunch of other posts but nothing jumped out that quite pertains to my situation. I'm renting a house and my band practices in the basement. I just got a new sound system and I have a very audible buzz running through both the speakers and my headphones when I have those plugged into my mixer. Seems like a basic grounding issue...however, this is a bit different. All of the lights in the basement are run off of a dimmer switch. So there are 11 par cans with 60 watt incandescent standard light bulbs in them running off one switch with a dimmer, and then 2 more 60 watt bulbs running off the other switch on the same panel. Guitars and basses all have loud buzzing as well, and it gets worse when the lights are not at full power. None of our equipment has these issues when not in the basement, and since the sound of the buzz changes depending on movement of the dimmer switch, I know that this must be the cause. Any ideas on why the lights effect the outlets or how to either reduce or eliminate the buzz without changing the electrical situation? This is a rental house, so getting rid of the dimmer switch is probably not an option. Or is this how its going to be until I find a new house? Not sure that it matters, but I'm running a Behringer X1222usb through two powered Alto TS215 mains. Thanks for any help you might have!
Cheap dimmers vary the lamp brightness by switching the power off for a variable fraction of the mains power waveform each cycle... The dimmer the lamps, the shorter the on time duration. Noise is probably worst case at half brightness.

Try turning the lamps all the way up, or completely off if the light/buzz bothers you.

JR

PS: If you have too much money, you can use variac dimmers, like some studios do.
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Frank DeWitt

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Re: Loud buzz from electrical light dimmer switch
« Reply #9 on: May 14, 2016, 03:06:12 pm »

Most household dimmers are rated at 600 watts.  You are running 660 watts so you have a dimmer switch doing what it does (Make electrical noise) at the max noise level it can do it. (The higher the load, the more noise. Rental or not, the dimmer switch needs to go.
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Re: Loud buzz from electrical light dimmer switch
« Reply #9 on: May 14, 2016, 03:06:12 pm »


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