Dimmer for LED lamps: types, how to choose, the best models on the market
Electricity is constantly rising in price, so more and more citizens take the issue of saving it seriously. As a result, a significant part of people in the post-Soviet space has already become acquainted with LED lamps.
But it turned out that their use is far from the limit of energy saving. Since the dimmer for LED lamps opens up even greater possibilities. In addition, it has additional benefits.
What is dimming
Any electrical device works only with some kind of load, and it can be controlled. The process of regulation itself is called dimming. It can be implemented in relation to LED lamps.
This procedure is performed with an instrument called “dimmer”. That he is able to provide additional energy savings.
In addition, the presented device significantly expands the functionality of LED lamps. What is also a considerable advantage.
What are the benefits of a regulator?
As mentioned above, dimming primarily limits power consumption. This reason is already enough to connect it to the LED lamps in the home and any other premises. But there is a whole list of advantages.
- The ability to change the intensity of the glow - provides owners with increased comfort of living, helps to make any interior individual, exclusive. So, for example, a room with the help of lighting can be divided into separate zones. And also it turns out to change the brightness depending on the time of day, needs.
- Simulation of the presence in the premises of the owners - this option will be indispensable during the holidays, business trips, which will make it easy to mislead the burghers.
- Automatic shutdown / shutdown - modern dimmers can be programmed, in addition, they can be controlled by various external devices, for example, tablets, smartphones.There are special warning devices giving commands to the power drivers.
All kinds of preset modes of illumination, blinking allow you to choose the best options at any time of day and not to waste time in the future. In addition, it is not just convenient, but also allows you to save more.
An important advantage is the remote control. With it, adjust the voltage, and, consequently, the brightness of the glow, a person can in various ways, for example, using the remote control, radio and sound signals (claps, voice).
At the same time, modern regulators themselves are distinguished by durability and unpretentiousness. In addition, they are convenient to use.
You also need to know that they can be used to control LED lamps with the usual standard caps, for example, they can be familiar E27, E14, as well as many other popular and rare. This greatly facilitates the creation of the system.
It is also important that dimmers are able to control the luminescence of one lamp, several, and even the whole group.They are resistant to overloads, silent with a properly selected model, have low weight, and are compact.
The cost of such equipment is different, so the interested consumer will be able to choose the optimal solution according to his budget, which will ensure the expected result.
Types of modern dimmers
Manufacturers supply the market with a large number of different equipment capable of controlling the brightness of the glow. Therefore, for convenience, it is divided into types.
First of all, devices are divided by type of control, which is the following:
- Mechanical, sometimes it is called stationary.
- Electronic- like the previous version, is a contact view. But instead of knobs, a sensor is used. This method is modern, effective, informative and quite expensive.
- Acoustic, that is, the brightness of the glow changes as a result of some kind of sound signal,exceeding the noise level set by the user or the manufacturer.
- Wireless remote- the control panel familiar in other areas is used here, as well as smartphones with tablets. In addition, various types of signals can be used, namely infrared, radio.
With the mechanical control method, the homeowner can adjust the brightness of the glow with the help of a push or rotary control element - a knob, buttons, keys. It transmits a signal to a controller installed in a power line.
That is, the procedure is similar to using a conventional switch. Some regulators even have controls in the form of familiar keys.
This method is different efficiency, simplicity, affordability. The relative disadvantage is only moral obsolescence of this option, the result of which is the prestige.
The electronic method, besides the information content, has no other advantages over the mechanical one.But only one modern display, indicating the necessary information, makes this option more modern and even prestigious, which is the reason for his choice.
Acoustic regulators of light are also a popular method of control, in addition, they are affordable, reliable.
A significant disadvantage is the limited modes. That is, there are only a few of them and they are pre-installed. Therefore, not the fact that they are ideal for the user.
In addition, there is no guarantee that this option will work correctly, as its acoustic sensor will respond to any signal of sufficient power, and this will not always give the expected result. That is, in this case, the user will not be able to constantly monitor the situation.
As mentioned above, a wireless remote control method for the brightness of LED lamps in a dwelling implies the use of some kind of control panel capable of giving the command:
- over the air;
- by infrared channel.
In the first case, it is possible to exercise control from any point of the room, building, or even from outside. This option is practical and efficient, but costly, since such equipment costs a lot.
The infrared remote also extends user experience, but requires pointing to a dimmer. Despite the relative disadvantage, this option is more in demand - the equipment is more affordable.
In addition, the remote control is the transmission of commands using smartphones, tablets via Wi-Fi. Often, a remote control unit is also attached to such a system, which increases convenience.
At present, the remote control method is the most functional, as it allows to reveal the full potential of dimmers. Namely, it makes it possible to economically use energy, to increase comfort to the expected level.
In addition, this option allows you to automatically or smoothly turn off / turn on the light, simulate the presence of owners in the rooms, to perform any other functions available to the regulators.
The potential buyer needs to know that today more and more solutions are used, which can be managed at once using several methods. This makes the procedure for regulating the brightness of the lamps more reliable, convenient. The only disadvantage of the combined control systems is considered a considerable cost.
In addition, all dimmers manufactured today can be divided by the method of installation.
Which are as follows:
- invoices- such devices are installed instead of the usual switches;
- recessed- they are mounted in a distribution box, a specially made niche;
- modularor panel - their place on the DIN rail in the switchboard, but because of its functionality, performance and high cost of such devices for housing are used infrequently.
You should know that the most popular are overhead models because of the availability and ease of installation.
How is the regulation
Any dimmer is a device that is built on the principle of the traditional, familiar to all users, switch or instead.
The main condition is that it is located before the power driver for the LED lamp, although in some cases this is no longer a necessary parameter, but such pleasure is expensive.
To someone unfamiliar with a dimmer, it may seem to a person that he simply changes the voltage, as ordinary regulators do, but this is not so. The design of modern LED lamps is complex and their principle of operation is somewhat different from the usual devices that illuminate the room during incandescence.
Since all LEDs operate in a narrow voltage range, even a slight decrease in it will result in lighting devices dying out or not turning on at all.
To avoid this, dimmers carry out an adjustment based not on the traditional principle of reducing the load applied to the lamp, but on the use of width-pole modulation. By means of which electric current is supplied by short pulses with relatively long pauses between them.
The described procedure is performed up to a hundred times every second. Thus, any LED lamp can be made to consistently illuminate a room at 10-100% of its capabilities.
What lamps can be used
Every potential owner of the dimmer should remember that with it you can use only special LED lamps that can be adjusted.
They are easily identified by the inscription "Dimmable" or the corresponding mark on the package. This condition is mandatory, since the use of conventional LED lamps will only lead to their frequent flickering, and it will not be possible to achieve a smooth glow, if the voltage does not correspond to the foreseen, they simply do not turn on.
In addition, such experiments will lead to rapid deterioration of the LED lamp or the dimmer itself and further failure.
Always up to date compatibility issue.
The consumer interested in using the equipment to adjust the brightness, should know that he will not just buy the necessary system components, but pick them up under each other. The problem of inconsistency between the dimmer and the purchased LED lamp is often manifested.
This happens due to the fact that there are a large number of electronic circuits for power drivers for lighting devices and control devices on the market.
Products of any domestic, European or Chinese manufacturer for inclusion are entitled to have a voltage threshold inherent only to them. Also, incompatibility can lead to the fact that the range of adjustments is narrowed, and significantly.
For example, there are LED lighting devices that can turn on and operate even at 5% of the rated power. An improperly selected dimmer can only control them within 40-100%. That will significantly reduce the functionality of the process.
This feature will lead to the fact that the consumer will save energy in insufficient quantities or will not be able to secure the expected level of comfort.
This is also a significant drawback. In addition, other signs of malfunction may occur. The most common are:
- The driver of the power of the existing LED lamp during operation produces loud noises that are unpleasant to the user or cannot start the lighting device.
- The maximum voltage at the output of the dimmer does not reach the prescribed 220 volts, which makes it impossible to use the light bulb at full power.
- Short-term bright flashes when the lighting device is turned on, the duration of which usually does not exceed 1 second.
- Various interruptions in the functioning of the regulator, which will not allow to effectively manage the LED lamps.
All of these points indicate that the selection of equipment should be done carefully and competently.
How to choose a dimmer and compatible lamps
In order for the dimmer together with the lighting devices to give the desired result when choosing them you need to take into account a number of points.
Initially, a person needs to decide what he wants from dimming, whether it is possible to use it in the right room, building.
It is further determined with the desired option of controlling the equipment - mechanical or remote, or perhaps it is better to use other methods.
After solving this issue, it is necessary to calculate whether a potential buyer is ready to pay the required amount of money.
If all of the above actions are completed successfully, then you should go to the dimmer selection itself. In this case, a person must take into account its power. For what it is necessary to represent how many lamps the device will control.
You also need to know exactly the power of each of them - adding up all the values, the user will know what performance his dimmer should have.Without these calculations can not do, because insufficient power will lead to the fact that the purchased controller will immediately fail, and in the best case simply will not start.
In addition, if in the future it is possible to increase the number of lamps or their power, then when buying a regulator you need to take this into account or the result will again be deplorable.
Even if the owner of the premises does not plan to install an additional number of LED lamps, there should still be a power reserve. And no less than 20%.
And the best is to create a safety margin of 50%. For example, if the total power of all used lamps is 100 watts, then a similar indicator of the brightness controller should be at least 120 watts, and optimally 150 watts.
The power of LED lamps for computing is easy to learn. All that needs to be done is to look at the packaging, if the lighting device is new and it has been preserved.
Otherwise, you need to carefully examine the LED lamps themselves, since most manufacturers point out all the main characteristics to them.
When choosing a dimmer for more than one light fixture, it should be borne in mind that their minimum power is 25-40 watts. Therefore, when it is planned to use several low-power LED lamps that do not collectively reach the indicated values, then you will have to install a suitable device for each of them separately.
When choosing a regulator, preference should be given to a product capable of providing luminosity at the minimum level. The reason is that all LED lamps have sufficient brightness, so the dimmer can not effectively reduce it, and the consumer, accordingly, will not receive the maximum effect from using the device.
Before buying, a potential buyer should first of all pay attention to the products of well-known manufacturers. This will ensure the stability and quality for many years, although their cost is significantly higher than that of similar instruments made in China by other little-known market participants.
Often pick up the LED lamp and dimmer will only experimentally. As a result, initially it is necessary to install control equipment, and only then choose lighting devices.
And the seller should find out whether it is possible to return the purchased LED lamp, if it is incompatible with the dimmer.
Lighting devices should also be produced by popular manufacturers, among which are fairly well-known names: Siemens, Osram, Philips, Gauss, Schneider Electric, LEGRAND and others.
When buying LED lamps, Chinese companies, in most cases, should be ignored. Since to reduce the cost, they are equipped with low-quality crystals, the degradation of which will begin almost immediately after the start of use.
As a result, this feature will lead to a significant clouding of the lighting and, if in a conventional lamp this is leveled by the stability of the operating mode, then with regulation you can expect a clear deterioration in performance, which will reduce economy, comfort.
To reduce the likelihood of incompatibility of LED lamps with a regulating device, the customer should have some knowledge, carefully study the information specified by the manufacturer on the packages.
Advice from an experienced seller will be helpful. Since the incompatibility problem is urgent and specialists regularly meet with such cases, therefore, they possess a significant set of knowledge. As a result, their opinions may be helpful.
Conclusions and useful video on the topic
Rules for choosing a device to adjust the brightness of lighting devices:
The following video footage is a review of a large number of dimmers:
This material clearly shows the effect of dimming LEDs:
Dimmer for any manufactured 220V LED lamps is easy to choose, but a potential buyer must have at least basic knowledge of this topic. Otherwise, the person risks getting an unpredictable result that may not coincide with his expectations. That is, to save electricity, to increase the comfort of living effectively will not work, as well as to achieve other goals.