4 things electricians need to know when dimming LED

4 things electricians need to know when dimming LED

From smart LED lighting systems and improved lighting output to intelligent controls, LED technology has made remarkable strides in recent years: the same applies to LED dimming.
In the ever-evolving LED landscape, each dimming project is unique, which means unexpected issues can sometimes throw a curveball your way.
Whether you are dimming larger loads, smaller loads or looking to control LED from more than one control point, if you follow these 4 tips at the start of every project, you'll be able to ensure a seamless install, avoid issues on site and ensure your LED projects perform.

1. Ensure lamps and dimmers are LED-compatible
Ensuring that your lamps and dimmers are compatible with LED and are designed for dimming is key.
Not all LED lamps are dimmable, so your first port of call is to check that they are.
Top tip: this will be listed on the box or instruction sheet of your LED lamps.
The next thing is to ensure your dimmer is designed for dimming. Whilst many dimmers will be listed as LED-compatible, you will find that TRIAC dimmers struggle when it comes to dimming effectively.
This is because they are leading edge dimmer switches, as opposed to trailing edge, ultimately meaning they don’t have the same capabilities as a digital dimmer.
Zano Controls design build digital technology into every dimmer, which resolves issues such as these which are present in TRIAC dimmers.

2. Select the right dimmer to avoid flicker and drop out

It’s easy to get confused or feel overwhelmed with the amount of dimmer switch choice on the market, but ensuring you choose the right dimmer is key to avoiding common dimming problems, such as flicker and drop out.
Once you are sure that your chosen dimmer can dim LED, you now need to ensure it can dim the total wattage of your installation (we speak more on this below).
You also need to think about:

  • How many points you want to dim from
  • Which dimming method you’re using (mains or 1-10V)
  • Whether you require a plated dimmer, grid dimmer or standard module.

One simple way to make that decision a lot easier is to use our dimming guide.

3. Account for a load that’s bigger than the wattage on the product label
Taking wattage at face value – the value given on the fitting’s product label - is a common problem we see with LED dimming.
You think you’ve calculated your LED load to perfection, only to find the circuit overloads or the dimmer fails.
That leads us onto inrush.
Calculating inrush isn’t as straightforward as it once was, as different lamps and drivers surge at much different levels.
This just means that you will need to account for a much larger load than the box states.
Top tip: Whilst there isn’t one simple calculation that can tell you the total load of all installations, we’ve put together a guide that talks you through each calculation you will need for your range of projects.

4. Seek technical support
Needing help and asking questions is never something to be ashamed of – after all, there is a lot of contradicting advice out there online.
You will not go wrong if you consult electrical, lighting and dimming specialists at the beginning of the job, and it will help you to avoid time delays and extra costs.
At Zano Controls, we are LED dimming specialists, and our technical team is always on hand to support – just call 0345 519 5858.
If you follow these precautions, you can ensure a smooth and seamless LED dimming installation. For any queries or questions that may arise during your next project, contact your LED dimmer manufacturer and they will be able to guide you further – our information is linked here.

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