Dimming LED Bulbs

Dimming of LED lighting

Lighting should be an exciting and fun part of the decor. Good lighting is important and light is one of the elements that can create an atmosphere in the home. With the right lighting, a transformation takes place, changing just a house to an actual home. Dimming can help to make this transformation. Now, more than previously, it is possible to adjust lighting according to need and situation.

Many people choose to have a dimmer installed to achieve more flexible lighting, greater comfort, and cosiness. With a dimmer, you have a much greater ability to customise your lamps and lighting for various everyday tasks and moods. For example, full brightness can be convenient for cleaning in the children’s bedroom, while at bedtime there is a need for a soft and relaxing light. The same applies to the kitchen, where good work light is needed while you cook, and a more atmospheric and cosy lighting is preferable during dinner.

 


Dimming LED bulbs

Dimming a light source used to be very simple. The reason is that with the old incandescent bulbs, dimmers functioned much like a tap; if you turned down the tap, less water came out - i.e., if you adjusted the dimmer downwards, less light came out. Dimming an LED bulb is quite a different matter, as the dimmer must now be able to work together with the electronics found in all LED bulbs.

LED is very suitable for dimming, but you must be aware that not all dimmable LED bulbs will work with your current dimmer. This is due to modern LED bulbs not being adapted to "communicate" with older dimmers, as these are very different technologies. With some dimmable bulbs, you might be lucky and the old dimmer will be compatible with the bulb, but most often you will find that the two are not compatible - among other things, you might experience humming, noises, flickering etc. Therefore, buying an LED dimmer is always a good idea, as it is adapted for very low power consumption and the electronics of LED bulbs.

It is also worth noting that not all dimmable LED lamps can be dimmed down to the off state. Some bulbs will only be able to dim to 10-20% of full brightness. This may be due to the bulb not being designed for further dimming, or because the dimmer is not sufficiently loaded - the latter is discussed in the section below.


Do you have problems dimming your LED bulb?


When dimming problems arise, people often believe that the LED bulb is the problem, but often that is not the case. When you buy an LED bulb, you must first and foremost make sure that it is dimmable, and find out what type of dimmer it is intended for. A distinction is made between leading edge (LR) and trailing edge (CR).

Once you have made sure that the LED bulb is dimmable and determined which type of dimmer must be used, you may still find that dimming is not working or not working properly - typically the bulb may be flickering, dimming may not be working smoothly, dimming may be limited or a buzzing sound may be heard. The problem here may be that the dimmer is not loaded with the specified minimum load (too few bulbs), or that there is too much load (too many bulbs) connected to the dimmer. Therefore, it is important to examine the minimum load required by the dimmer, so that for instance it may be determined whether one 6W LED bulb above the dining table is likely to be able to be dimmed satisfactorily using the dimmer you are considering buying.

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Symbols on the packaging will show whether the bulb is dimmable and what type of dimmer is required.

If your LED bulb flashes intermittently, it may also be due to your dimmer sending a little power to the light source, even though it is off. The LED bulb is now so efficient, it will try to switch on - even at low power. Therefore, even at very low power, the LED bulb may be "charging" itself to subsequently release the charged power as a little, periodic blink.

So, always ask your reseller what dimmers the LED bulb can be used with, as some dimmers may damage the bulb. Also make sure to find out whether the number of bulbs you want to use with the dimmer have a total wattage exceeding the dimmer’s minimum load.


Dimming of integrated LED

Dimming of lamps with integrated LED light sources works through the same principles as those described under "Dimming of LED bulbs"- however, it is important to remember that you cannot simply replace the light source in the lamp, as it is permanently integrated.

However, the fixed LED light source also offers a lot of opportunities to create lamps that, in their design and therefore their lighting, offer entirely different options to the replaceable bulbs in sockets which we all know. These can be oblong lamps with a long streak of light, very flat lamps with circular lighting, or perhaps something entirely different - the designer's and manufacturer's ability are the only limits.



When do I need an electrician?

If you had an LED dimmer installed and you still experience problems after following the above instructions, it may be due to the dimmer being defective. The most typical defect is that the dimmer sends too much power through to the bulb - even when it is off. An electrician can help you measure and diagnose this. Problems with flashing bulbs can also be caused by your house system containing what is referred to as "leakage current". Again, it is the job of an electrician to determine the cause, allowing the problem to be positively identified.


Dimming without a dimmer

It is also possible to dim lights without using a dimmer. MoodMaker works with your regular electrical outlet, and installing a dimmer is therefore not necessary. The LED light sources have a built-in dimmer that can be used to produce various light levels and temperatures, depending on whether you need good working light or cosy light in the evening. This is a simple and easy way to create the desired atmosphere without using a dimmer. Our MoodMaker range consists of ceiling lamps, downlights and surface-mounted spots.



Save money when you dim your LED bulbs

When you dim your bulbs, they use less power, thereby saving you money and protecting the environment. A good rule of thumb is that the savings on LED bulbs correspond to how much they are dimmed. That is, dimming the light to 80% brightness saves you 20%.

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