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Light Dimmer as a thermostat

Light Dimmer as a thermostat

Postby gekosin » Mon Mar 03, 2014 12:05 pm

Hi All,

Just wanted to provide some feedback on something I helped a friend with recently, he has had a snake for a while and never really knew how to care for it. I admire that he admitted this and even on a small budget we were able to set up the tank to better suite the snake.

I had a few spare odds and ends lying around which we used but the thermostat for the heating pad was proving to be an issue, so we opted for a light dimmer and accurate thermometer to get it all hooked up.

It is really easy to wire them up and we monitored the temps for a good 2 hours before putting in the snake, I also think it is better than the thermostat as it is more constant.

Has anyone used this method before and is there anything we must keep an eye out for??

Thanks.
Proud Parent Of -

4.0.0 Corn Snake (Ghost Striped, Anery, Amber Stripe Corn)
0.3.0 Corn Snake (Normal, High Bloodred, Motley Gold Dust)
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Re: Light Dimmer as a thermostat

Postby Primogen » Mon Mar 03, 2014 12:16 pm

Dimmers will keep the heat mat on permanently, so it does not take into account the ambient temps and will get hotter as ambient temps rise.
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Re: Light Dimmer as a thermostat

Postby Bushviper » Mon Mar 03, 2014 5:30 pm

Usually dimmer switches only work on heat or light sources of over 89 watts. That will make it not work too well on a lower wattage heating pad. If you put a low wattage light on them they are inclined to flicker so that might also be happening with the heating pad. This could shorten the life of the pad or possibly even cause it to burn out. Check the ratings if at all possible.
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Re: Light Dimmer as a thermostat

Postby froot » Mon Mar 10, 2014 4:49 pm

As BV said some dimmers rely on a considerable load for the circuitry in the dimmer to work as intended but there appears to be varieties that will work with light loads. It's not a thermostat because it has no built in feedback but it gives you more control than connecting a pad straight to the mains would. Dimmer outputs are electrically 'noisy' and you may have high frequency transients being fed into the heat pad. Weather this would be harmful to the pad or not depends on the nature of the transients and the construction of the pad. I would not endorse such a circuit and would hesitantly go as far as to consider it a temporary measure only.
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