Less power, longer lifespan, design flexibility, better brightness, energy efficiency… It's not hard to see why LED lighting is the first choice for electricians and lighting specialists. However, when dimming LED complications can arise, that is, without the right advice.
We took to our social media platforms to find out what issues our community face when dimming LED. Read on for our handy solutions on how to overcome them.
“Lamp limitations” - @supreme_electrical_solutions
“We recommend no more than x LED lamps”. Is this a sentence you’re familiar with? Many LED dimmers will have limits, related to maximum wattage. Find yourself a product that can handle your wattage capacity, or even simpler, one without lamp limitations, such as our ZGRIDLED range.
“Leading or trailing edge” - @lane_electrical
Most dimming projects will use standard mains dimming. There are two types - leading or trailing edge. When dimming LEDs, leading edge can fall short (or high, in this case), as they require a high minimum load that LED’s low power struggle to reach. However, if using multiple LED lamps, you may be able to reach this, but can end up with more lighting than needed.
Ultimately, trailing edge works better with LEDs, due to its capabilities.
“Wrong dimmer switch used” - @highland_sparky
When selecting the correct LED dimmer, you’re presented with endless options that can ultimately be confused. You need to take into account wattage capacity (including inrush) and multi-point dimming capabilities, as a first point of call. Then look at whether it is capable of dimming LED - look for trailing-edge, with digital dimming technology.
All of Zano Controls’ dimmers are all made using digital technology, and you can use our ‘which dimmer do I need?’ guide if you ever find yourself asking this question.
“Light flickering” - @banana.sparks
Flickering LEDs can be a result of a number of dimming errors. It may be something simple, such as a loose bulb or wire, or it may be a more complicated issue. You will need to make sure your chosen dimmer switch is compatible, your LEDs are dimmable and the minimum load is met.
Of course, we always recommend reading the datasheets, but to be certain of the above, especially for large projects, you should run a test. We carry out lamp testing in-house, to assure they are compatible with the appropriate dimmers - call the team of 0345 519 5858 to arrange yours.
“Poor low-end range” - @christopher.punj
When dimming lights to their lowest possible brightness, it is common to experience flickering or drop out. This is when the light cuts out before reaching its lowest capability, often due to leaking current. In this scenario you need to replace the lamp with a reputable, high-quality one.
Poor low-end range can also be due to your chosen dimmer not being designed to meet the ‘dead spots’ experienced at the minimum level. Luckily, Zano Controls’ dimmers feature a minimum level preset, as part of our Smart Settings. These settings allow you to set the lowest level you will require, so that your lamps will neatly switch off at their required level.
Remember, LED dimming will often come with unexpected issues, so the best thing you can do is prepare for them. Make sure you have high-quality lamps and high-quality dimmers, designed to be compatible with your chosen lamps, and designed to dim LED. At Zano, our helplines are always open to offer guidance, just give the team a call on 0345 519 5858.