1000W Insteon Dimmer


From smarthome's forum it appears that a 1000W Insteon Dimmer is just a 600W dimmer with metal tabs on each side to add 200W each to the rating, The insides are the same.


This means you never want one of these in the middle (need to break off both tabs) of a three gang box of dimmers or you have turned your 1000W dimmer into a 200W waste of money (same rating you would have gotten with a 600W SWL in the middle).

Even in a 2 gang with another dimmer you have derated it to a 600W since you lose 200W for breaking off one tab and another 200W for being next to another dimmer.

Looks like if you need a 1000W you need to use it like an InlineLinc dimmer with both tabs left intact with another switch controlling it.
If the heat sink on both sides gets it to be rated for 1000 watts and you break them off @ 200 watts apiece then don't cry to me that you paid $20 more for a 600 watt switch. Hello!
So it only costs $20 for the extra metal bracket..........probably aluminum. Gotta run about another $0.40 at least to produce.

Getting the extra 400 W capacity is worth the $20 but with the limited application of one in a box it seems a little deceiving. They should charge a $1.00 more and make them all the same. Then you can choose how you want to use it and derate it appropiatly.

To be honest they arent doing anything any other business is not doing also.
Well, I've been one of those folks who spent the extra $20 for the 1000W switch, and then put it in a location with less than 600 watts on the load, in a multigang box. My logic was that if I start with 1000 watts, then derate it 200 watts for each the switches beside it, I've still got 600W AND a switch with higher-quality components for an added margin of safety and reliability.

BUT... if the components inside really are the same, and the only difference between the two are the metal tabs, then I've wasted $20. I re-read the post on techmall, and am waiting on an answer from SH on that board, where this question was asked specifically. I do have some single gang locations running over 600W, and I put a 1000W switch there. But for those locations where I spent extra $ for less than 600W, I'm going to be ticked (OK, even more ticked if you've read my "Insteon failures" post). And now I'm trying to remember if I have any locations with just over 600W in the middle of a multigang box, with a 1000W V2.

Also, I noticed that a recent 1000W switch failure was in a multigang box (3) running only 325 watts. The switch just went dead and I paid the extra $ because I wanted great reliability in that high-use area. If heat killed it there, we're talking some fragile stuff. I sure hope that's not the case...

After reading this thread, I posted the note below in the techmall forum, in the thread noted in a post above:

Mike (or others from SH),

OK, I've purchased some 1000W Switchlincs for use in locations with less than 600W, because I wanted the best Insteon equipment I could buy in those locations and because of the existing boxes where I was mounting them. But I also may have one or two in locations with just over 600W. So, let me ask the questions this way:

1. If I buy a 600W V2 and place it in the MIDDLE of a 3 switch gangbox, I should get 200W of usable load (600-200-200). Correct?

2. If I place that same 600W V2 at the END of that same 3 switch gangbox, I should get 400W of usable load (600-200). Correct?

3. If I buy a 1000W V2 and place it in the MIDDLE of a 3 switch gangbox, I should get 600W of usable load (1000-200-200). Correct?

4. If I place that same 1000W V2 at the END of that same 3 switch gangbox, I should get 800W of usable load (1000-200). Correct?

5. So... That tells me that the applicable components inside the 1000W V2 must be different AND RATED AT A HIGHER DUTY than those inside the 600W switch. Is this correct, or not correct?

If the answer to #5 is "not correct", then we have a problem and we need to know it now.

I would like to think that my install is as safe as I think it is. If not, you folks need to tell us NOW. Your derating instructions tell us to subtract 200 watts for each tab removed, making my logic in #s 1 - 4 above correct. If that information is wrong, we really need to know, and you REALLY need to fix the product, not just reprint the instructions.

Please, may we have a direct answer to this? It's a safety - related issue for many.
My GUESS is that they are relying on the heatsink to dissipate the heat of the higher load. Its a common method of obtaining a higher rating in these types of devices from what I have seen.

Again they arent doing anything different then other brand dimmers automation type or not.

There are only so many ways to do it.

Ok now I am defending SH............. go figure.
I was told from get-go with SwitchLinc V1s that the only difference on the 1000w was the wings for heat dissipation.

I've been working under the impression that no fire is a good thing and that that was the ultimate measure of success. ;)

From the 2476 (600w) manual:
Mounts in single or multiple-ganged junction box.
Control 200 W less load for each immediately adjacent SwitchLinc Dimmer installed. For example, 600 W load control becomes 400 W with another dimmer to the immediate right or left. Use a triple-gang box with a mechanical switch in the center to avoid de-rating.
From the 2476DH (1000w) manual:
Mounts in single or multiple-ganged junction box.
Controls 200 watts less load for each immediately adjacent electronic dimmer installed. For example, 1000 watt load capacity becomes 800 watt with another electronic dimmer installed to the immediate right or left. Use a triple-gang box with a mechanical switch in the center to avoid de-rating.
The funnier thing about the 1000w is that you can ONLY put it next to a mechanical switch - and only with some monkeying at that - if it doesn't have big mounts top and bottom... so the whole thing is a bit odd.

Since this follows the old SwitchLinc v1 stuff, I'm assuming that clipping one wing of a 1000w and putting it to the left of another SwitchLinc derates it to 800w. Clipping wings derates 200w per wing BEFORE looking at the multi-ganging issue if this follows the SwitchLinc v1 rules. Interestingly, putting it on the end of a four-gang after clippng ONE wing derates it to 400w if I'm not mistaken.

That said, it's all a question of heat... and safety.