The LED lighting market has taken over many markets where it was once merely a novelty, and one of those markets is the home lighting market. LEDs have become much more affordable in the last two decades and outperform incandescents, halogens, and even fluorescent lights.
To regulate their operation, however, they require special equipment, such as drivers. The same applies to regular dimmers, which may not work with LED bulbs, making a special dimmer switch for LED lights a necessity. Smart Lighting Alliance published a guide on the different types of LED bulbs to make it even precise. In this article, you will know all the things you need to know about dimmer switches for LED lights as well as it’s benefits.
Everything you need to know about Dimmer Switch for led lights
The majority of the world has been lit by incandescent light bulbs for a very long time. In the past, they were the most cost-effective and easiest to obtain light bulbs, despite the fact that they break easily and burn out too quickly by today’s standards of fluorescent lights and LEDs. Since LEDs have historically been expensive and special equipment is needed to use them with fluorescent lamps, incandescent bulbs, and to a lesser extent, halogen bulbs, have become ubiquitous, especially in residential settings.
A dimmer switch for an incandescent bulb or a series of bulbs can usually be installed at your location without much difficulty. As long as the dimmer switch is rated for the voltage of the setting, and the total wattage of all the lamps on the circuit is within the rated range, you should be able to use it. Dimming capabilities have been built into the layouts of homes for years by using a dimmer switch. In spite of the fact that many LEDs today can be dimmed (although not all can), you should still use a dimmer switch designed for LED lights to avoid some of the problems associated with incompatible dimmers. As traditional dimmer switches work with a different wattage than LED light bulbs, LEDs may not respond to dimmer switches at all.
Additionally, you may experience problems with a reduced ability to dim the lights, LEDs that flicker, or LEDs that do not shut off even if the dimmer is lowered all the way because LEDs draw so little power that the dimmer will not even recognize them. LED dimmers work in a similar way to traditional dimmer switches – the main difference is that LEDs draw less power than traditional lights, so compatible dimmers must operate at these lower wattages. By reducing either the leading edge or the trailing edge of the wave that the light receives, dimmers reduce the amount of power that the light receives. LEDs today are generally designed to be compatible with common household dimmers, but not all of them are.
LED dimmers often work by PWM dimming or CCR reduction. PWM dimming works by flickering the LED lights at a speed that is inaudible to the human eye. Dimming LEDs using PWM technology increases their lifespan, reduces any heat produced as a byproduct, and preserves the color temperature of the light. The constant-current reduction is more similar to the dimmers that are typically used with other types of lamps. Dimming the lights with CCR Reduction involves lowering the current that flows through the lamp. CCR Reduction reduces the heat produced by the lamp and thus extends its life, as does PWM dimming. Another type of dimmer that can be used in place of traditional switches are 0-10V dimmers if the circuit uses a driver rated for the same voltage.
What are the benefits of using a dimmer?
LIGHT FLEXIBILITY: Using a dimmer, you can easily adjust the brightness of the lights in your house according to your needs. When you watch an exciting movie on the tv or enjoy a delicious dinner with friends or family, a soft light can enhance the atmosphere. As the light dims, the atmosphere becomes warmer. By increasing brightness, you will enjoy a crisp and bright light, perfect for cooking in the kitchen, reading an interesting book, or doing work.
ENERGY EFFICIENCY: There are times when natural light is insufficient. Light from artificial sources enables us to carry out our daily activities in the most comfortable way. With a dimmer, you can increase or decrease the brightness of the light depending on the amount of light during the day. Better yet, dimmable lights allow you to optimize energy consumption and ultimately reduce electricity costs. Be sure to check the energy label of the lights before buying them.
PRODUCT LIFE EXTENSION: When a light is dimmed, it is performing below its maximum potential. This will extend the lifespan of an LED lamp. By setting a soft light, you can actually extend the life of your lamps by up to three years! It will also dramatically reduce lighting maintenance costs, as you won’t have to replace your lights as often. Dimmable lights are also healthier. Keeping a bright light on while engaged in activities that require a high level of concentration prevents eye strain and can help regulate our circadian rhythm.
Do dimmer switches come in different types?
Different dimmers are available for different light technologies. So far, only dimmable LED lamps can be dimmed, and only with an LED dimmer. The different internal drivers set the dimming potential of the lamps based on the minimum and maximum load. To reach the full brightness of the lamp, it is recommended to use products from well-known manufacturers.
Why do dimmer switches make noise?
It is important to consider two factors before buying a dimmer: LED lights require LED specific dimmers; not all dimmers are compatible with the lights you have. Additionally, not all dimmers are of high quality. When a light and dimmer are incompatible, you will hear a buzz or an unexpected voltage drop. Not only can this affect the quality of the light, but also the lamp’s performance. In fact, using an incompatible dimmer can shorten the life of a light source. To this end, we recommend always checking the list of compatible light producers. You can easily find high quality lights from the most reputable brands, such as Osram, Philips and Sylvania.
Is it possible to dim a light bulb without a switch?
Using the latest technologies, you can set your favourite light setting even without a dimmer. Philips SceneSwitch, for example, requires only your wall switch. The smart light bulb has an integrated microchip that remembers the last light setting. Philips Hue is another option, which enhances safety inside your home by turning on the lights when your home is empty via an app.
Usually, you can install a dimmer switch for an incandescent bulb or a series of bulbs without much difficulty. As long as the dimmer switch is rated for the voltage of the setting, and the total wattage of all lamps on the circuit falls within the rated range, you should be able to use it. With the use of a dimmer switch, dimming capabilities have been built into homes for years.