A quick guide to dimmable LEDs
- 03 Sep, 2015
Let’s face it, the right lighting can make or break a mood. Whether you’re settling down to an action thriller, throwing an awesome party or simply trying to, well, ‘get romantic’, lighting plays a big role in setting the tone. Dimmable LEDs can help with this. One common misconception is that you can’t dim LED bulbs. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth as LEDs actually render a better quality of light, creating subtle and warm tones as opposed to dingy darkness, which you can see below: In general, LEDs will work with most leading edge and trailing dimmer switches. However, because they need to handle lower loads (wattage) when usingdimmable LEDscompared to traditional lighting sources, you need to make sure of their compatibility before buying. More and more LED bulbs are now coming with built-in circuitry that help adapt the bulb to different dimmers. The test to see if they work is simple: install them and if they don’t turn on, respond poorly or start flickering, then you know you’ll need to upgrade your dimmer switch. Leading edge Leading edge dimmers work with resistive or inductive loads. They’re able to reduce loads by shortening A/C cycles at the leading edge of the input waveform. Like all dimmers, they’re rated by wattage and are most commonly available in 250, 400, 600 and 100 Watt modules, with minimum loads that vary between 25-150W accordingly. Trailing edge Trailing edge dimmers are more complicated and expensive than leading edge and come with additional features such as; soft start, smooth control, silent running and multi-way dimming, which all combined help prolong the life of lamps and spots. They’re compatible with resistive or capacitive loads, which shortens the A/C cycle at the trailing edge of the input waveform to reduce the load. As ever, when it comes to installation of dimmer switches, we strongly recommend that an electrician does this for you. If you’d like any advice on purchasing dimmable LEDsand dimmer switches, don’t hesitate to give us a call on: 0800 458 3440 and speak to one of our dedicated experts.