Dimmer Switch, Dimmer Switches, LED Dimmer Switch, LED Lights, Leading Edge,
Persons are people are unaware that low energy lights such as CFL and LED should not easy to dim until they struggle dimming them. This text explains what caused the issues and the way to repair them.
Depending on which kind of light you wish to dim, choosing a dimmer switch can go from being a fairly simple task to a really complicated one. If you’re dimming halogen or incandescent lighting loads then that is straightforward as most will function perfectly well. However, dimming Compact Fluorescent Lamp (CFL) or Light Emitting Diode (LED) could be complicated as both the dimmer switch and the light should be compatible. LED specifically is the hardest as there are numerous differing kinds available, all containing several types of dimming technology.
Most dimmer switches were never originally designed to dim low energy lights as they were not available to perform tests with at the time of the initial design. Dimmer switch manufacturers have reacted slowly, if at all to the advance in LED lights making the task of selecting a compatible dimmer switch a guessing game.
Over the past few years I have worked closely with both lighting and dimmer switch manufacturers to supply the most up-to-date advice and pre-sales support. Although my findings cannot always be 100% accurate as lighting manufacturers often change the components in their lamps or fittings causing the once compatible switch to now not work.
When a non compatible dimmer switch is used with a low energy light, it causes the light to flicker. The flickering generally occurs when the sunshine is dimmed to low levels or sometimes at full brightness. That is usually because the load of lights are too low for the dimmer switch to react to.
One of many regular questions I get asked when customers start looking for LED compatible dimmer switches is what is the difference between leading edge and trailing edge? Leading edge and trailing are two several types of dimmer technology and until the arrival of LEDs nobody cared which one they used.
Leading edge is the most well-liked because it’s cheaper. It contains a triac and a coil and should buzz slightly when in operation; the minimum load is quite high, usually around forty watts. This isn’t an issue when dimming incandescent or halogen but could be when dimming CFL or LED that are usually just ten watts per light. Leading edge dimmers are now available that have a minimum adjustment dial, turning the dial right down to its lowest setting allows fewer lamps to dimmed to a much lower setting IE all the way down to 1%.
Trailing edge technology uses solid state components equivalent to insulated gate bipolar transistors (IGBT) and has no triac or coil. This provides a totally silent and smoother dimming action. The other advantage of using trailing edge is that the minimum load is lower. When dimming some LED downlights the load will be rated at ten watt instead of fifty watt which allows for way more lights to be dimmed. Potentially up to thirty lights could be dimmed on only one switch.
When dimming CFL you need to be sure that the lamp is dimmable. There are very few dimmable CFL lamps available on the market mainly because LED has overtaken it. CFL lamps must be turned up to full brightness on start up and left at full power for a couple of minutes before it is dimmed or the life expectancy of the lamp might be reduced. Depending on the minimum and maximum wattage, there are a number of dimmer switches that are compatible. Although cheaper in price, dimming CFL isn’t worth the hassle; LED is healthier in every way:
Like with CFL, you must always ensure that the LED you choose is dimmable as most should not. LED lighting technology has developed rapidly over the past few years but dimmer switch technology has not. There are a lot of various kinds of dimmable LEDs available. Consequently, consumers are often challenged to know which combinations of LEDs and dimmers are compatible. It is not only a case of choosing a number one edge or trailing edge dimmer but more importantly which brand and model number will work best for your installation.
There are two varieties of dimmable LED lights; LED bulbs and complete LED downlights. LED bulbs are harder to dim than downlights.It’s because downlights have their very own inbuilt driver and the manufacturer of the driver can usually recommend a number of dimmer switches as they have tested them before they are released.
Having selected which LED you want to install, selecting the proper LED dimmer switch must be based on the following:
1. Compatibility; ideally, the LED manufacturer can have a list of recommended dimmer switches. Selecting a random dimmer switch may work perfectly well however, a dimmer switch that is incompatible can cause flickering and in some cases, permanent damage to the LED.
2. Quantity of LEDs; dimming results can vary depending on what number of LED lights are in the circuit. LED loads will not be rated the identical as halogen, for instance ten, five watt LEDs isn’t the same as one fifty watt halogen. De-rating factors may must be considered and vary from brand to brand. Selecting a compatible dimmer for the wrong quantity of LED lights could cause flickering and reduce the range of dimming, i.e. the lights will not dim all the way down to 10%.
3. Aesthetics; if you happen to just like the look of your current dimmer switch but it isn’t compatible and causes your LEDs to flicker you may replace the module inside. This may be done by rewiring the module and swapping it over. Around ninety percent of dimmer switch modules will interchange with one another. This allows you to maintain the look but upgrade the technology.
Advanced dimming will be done through the use of lighting software controlled from a PC that allows you to control or dim your lights from anywhere on the earth. From remote control operated dimmer switches to wirelessly controlled lighting solutions. The possibilities are endless by choosing the correct, compatible components you may have total control over your lights from a PC, iPad and even iPhone.
Article Tags: Dimmer Switch, Dimmer Switches, Leading Edge, Differing types, Compatible Dimmer, Trailing Edge