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Questions about dimming lighting crop up constantly, especially now with LED technology making it harder to dim. We cannot rely upon the old methods, a new trickier dawn has risen over the lighting world.

So where do you start, invest 3 minutes and we'll tell you... 

 

  

  1. As designers lets be honest – the look of the plate is the primary concern, so lets start with the aesthetics – choose the look of the plate you like and decide upon whether you are dimming with, lets take 2 examples

A rotary knob – which is mains dimming

 

A momentary switch – which uses a 1-10V signal

  1. What lights are you trying to dim?

    1. Tungsten halogen – still in use and easily dimmed.However, if using a low voltage halogen, the transformer must be compatilble with the dimmer.

    1. LED – not easily dimmed, the driver that powers the LED must be compatible with the dimmer

  1. Compatibility

    We need the dimmer module behind the switch plate to talk to the lamp and power supply unit the lamp maybe using.
You need to know there are two types of dimmer module – leading and trailing edge. We'll explain their meanings in another episode, but remember their names.

A low voltage transformer will need to be designed and made to be compatible with either leading edge, trailing edge or both, otherwise there will be strobing.

LEDs as a generalisation currently seem to prefer a trailing edge dimmer modules.

4. Loading

  LED's use drivers as their power supply unit. LEDs run at significantly lower wattages so standard dimmer modules are not sensitive enough for the loading of an LED circuit.

For LEDs you need an intelligent dimmer module that can pick up the lower loading and still dim.

If you are still using tungsten halogen, the combined wattage of the fittings on a circuit must be at least matched to the size of the dimmer module.

  1. Mix and Match

    So what do you do if the switch plate with dimmer module from your supplier doesn't match up the combination you require?

Here at Orange lighting we will guide you through the process of selection and adapt a switch plate to have the correct dimmer module where possible.

 

  1. TEST TEST TEST

    A big warning here – LEDs are difficult to dim and we can help you with tried and tested models

 


 
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