I've looked extensively about this topic, and can't find any answers. Hopefully someone on here can help.
I live in Texas and have 120V power in my house. I'm using a lamp touch dimmer to dim two ceiling boxes in my kitchen. The sensor wire goes to two metal plates mounted under the lip of my island. The dimmer works GREAT with incandescent bulbs. But my wife picked out these beautiful low voltage (12V AC) halogen lamps for over the island. There are two, and each lamp has its own magnetic low voltage transformer in the ceiling box. The dimmer will not illuminate the halogens at all by themselves, but it will illuminate and works perfectly if I put any incandescent bulb in parallel with them...
Is there a way to put a resistor on the load side of the dimmer to trick the dimmer into thinking there is an incandescent bulb there that I can hide in the box with the dimmer module? If so, how much resistance and how do I verify it will handle the voltage?
I have tested many bulbs in parallel and the lowest wattage bulb I can find is 15 Watts and only 82 Ohms and works great. I tried a 1KOhm resistor and it worked on level one dimming, but popped on level two and took out my first 150 watt dimmer.
One idea is to simply put a 15 watt bulb in the attic, but I figured there has to be a better solution.
The dimmer is made by Westek, I currently own the 150 watt and the 300 watt dimmer. Both do the same thing even though the 300 watt advertises that it works on halogen as well. All connections are in approved boxes and have cover plates over them. This has been inspected by the county and signed off on, minus the resistor obviously... So I'm not concerned about that.
Clarification: The Halogen lamps that come with the transformers clearly state that they are dimmable with a standard incandescent dimmer. The touch dimmers clearly state that they work with incandescent or halogen lights. I am not trying to make an item that's not designed to work with another item. I am simply trying to create a larger load so the "old dimmer design" will work with a much more efficient light.
Update: After researching some more and actually doing my own resistance calculations, I decided to try 5 33KOhm resistors wired in parallel, thus giving me 2.1 calculated watts of dispersed power. And the dimmer works, but only two stages. If I put the 2.1 watts of resistors with the 15 watt bulb, it works with all three stages of dimming. Tomorrow I will go buy more 33KOhm resistors and add another 2 watts of power to the circuit and see if I gain my level 3 brightness, or lack of dimming setting on my dimmer. Wish me luck. Either way, we have progress!
*Update #2 Here is the latest... I put (10) 33KOhm resistors in parallel and added a 1 amp fuse rated for 250V in between the load and the dimmer. It works great for short amounts of time. After 10 minutes, the wires on the resistors would heat up to 250*F, the resistors themselves were only 90*F... I did not trust this in my walls, thus it was removed and replaced with a 3 Watt 120V incandescent bulb that fits in a surface mount socket with a lens cover. The bulb gets to about 120*F but is outside the wall in the air conditioned room. My amp clamp doesn't read the load on the resistors cause it's far less than .1 amps. The total load on the dimmer is .6 amps. My calculated total power on the resistors was 4.3636 Watts, and the total calculated load was 3.6 milliamps. I truly could have spent another week finding a better resistor than what was at radio shack and made this work, but I feel better with the indicator light on the wall plate. Thanks for everyone's help!!!*