Looking for a rheostat (dimmer) for dash lights - Pirate4x4.Com : 4x4 and Off-Road Forum
 
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Old 05-06-2012, 07:56 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Looking for a rheostat (dimmer) for dash lights

I'm just now starting to think about wiring my new buggy. I'm hoping someone can educate me about rheostats and what I would need to dim 3 gauge lights and 6 switch lights. I'll probably be using a combination of LED switch lights and regular lights for my Auto Meter gauges. I see solutions from autometer and Dakota Digital for LED lighting. Just not sure If it's the right solution.

For instance would this one be alright? If so, would the 8 or 15 ohm be the way to go?

I know I can get a pull handle type light/dimmer switch, that is not what I want in my dash.
Pretty simple wiring, I just need a simple dimming solution.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 05-08-2012, 08:08 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Considering the wheeling enviroment and your current investment, you might want to go with a more expensive marine solution.

Go to www.westmarine.com

search for "dimmer"

pick the BLUE SEA SYSTEMS Deck Hand Dimmers

Check out the cool rocker dimmer, plus, it is sealed and seats well in a panel.

fwiw: I bought a Dakota Digital speedo for my rig, should be installing it in the next few weeks.
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Old 05-08-2012, 10:10 AM   #3 (permalink)
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No doubt you already know this, but LEDs and incandescents respond a little differently to rheostats. For medium to bright, you'll be just fine, but LEDs have a threshold below which they won't light.

For example, in my rig, the LEDs won't turn on until the dimmer is already halfway up, at which point they jump up to a medium amount of brightness. The other little issue is the light output "curve" between the LEDs in my gauges and the incandescents everywhere else is different, meaning for any position of the dimmer other than full blast, the two kinds of light aren't evenly dimmed.

It's not a big deal, but if you're looking to turn LEDs way down but not quite off, you might be a little disappointed.
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Old 05-08-2012, 01:40 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Thanks for the input guys.
Talking with a friend yesterday about this we came to the conclusion that switch LED's aren't a necessity. I think I just may use this marine dimmer here for just the gauge lights. -PartDeal.com
The price isn't horrible and should be a clean install.

I'd like to see pics of your finished Dakota Digital install prepper.
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Old 05-08-2012, 03:50 PM   #5 (permalink)
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That ought to do you fine.

For illuminated switches, I really like the Carling switches OTRATTW sells. They're incandescent, marine rated, and some models have optional harnesses that plug into the back, making for extra-special-clean wiring. Mine have held up really well.
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