Can LED Lights Be Dimmed?
This has been one of the greatest obstacles to LED light being fully adopted throughout the world. The reason is a lack of understanding and application of the proper dimming systems to compliment the LED lights. Yes LED lights can be dimmed, but you must check first that they are dimmable LED lights; don’t assume that they automatically will be. There are many different applications for many different light fixtures, so choose carefully and know what your desired end result should look like.
As with any product user, optimization and customer satisfaction is the key to widespread adoption and application. The LED light retrofit market is a huge market but unfortunately, there has been a lot of misinformation/poor quality or just wrong type of LED fixture for the dimming system. The reason that has to do with drivers, dimmers and power loads. You see traditional lights are much less efficient than LED lights when it comes to power consumption. A traditional dimming switch is designed to allow a lower amount of volts to enter the light thus dimming the fixture. LED fixtures already draw a much smaller amount of power so the dimming protocol is completely different which can lead to flickering in the fixtures.
Advantages of Proper Dimming
Dim lights spark creativity.
Albert Einstein was quoted in an interview in 1929 as saying “I am enough of the artist to draw freely upon my imagination. Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.” Our minds are the greatest tools at our disposal but there are a lot of factors to consider when operating or mental facilities at optimal levels. Poor diet, lack of sleep, stress all play a part in hindering our mental prowess. Lighting can also be a hinder or help us when it comes to mental agility. According to a recent study at the University of Stuttgart and the University of Hohenheim “These results indicate that dim illumination heightens perceived freedom from constraints, which in turn improves creative performance,”
Diming can create the desired atmosphere.
We work a lot with designers and creative people to bring the best look that a particular space can have. Whether it’s a beautiful home a highrise apartment complex or a restaurant/bar & hotel. The lighting has to be just right. Different times of the day require a different mood and every establishment has its own idea of what that mood should look like, as with LED light design, dimming options should not be obtrusive but complementary to the overall look and feel that a space is looking to convey.
Automation and Transition.
Consider LED lights as your loyal servant. With a well-designed system and proper controls, you can ‘set and forget’your lights to do what you want when you want. With several of our clients, we have automated their entire lighting system to function differently at different times, without the need for anyone to touch a switch. It even gets better than that – with the right controls and programming in place our lights can gradually adjust through the evening and night. Your customers won’t even notice the subtle shifts as they enjoy their night. Then at 4 am ( or whatever designated time ) the lights can come back on to full bright white so the cleaning crew can get their work done.
Zero to Hero.
The wrong LED lights combined with the inappropriate dimming switches and drivers can be a disaster when it comes to lighting design. You should be able to control your dimmable LED lights from 0% to 100% without fear of flickering or sub performance. Some LEDs that claim to be dimmable do not have a full range of dimming capabilities, this will cause problems so do your research. Don’t purchase your lights without figuring out the dimming requirements first. All dimming switches have minimum and maximum load requirements. Creating zones and allowing for the appropriate number and type of dimmers to be installed will help you make the best of your lighting needs.
Planning and Proper Install Will Save You Big $$$
We all know that LED lights are on a different level when it comes to saving you money on your utility bill every month. With savings of up to 80% on traditional lights and life spans being sufficiently long, it makes sense to add dimming to the equation. Proper dimming should not only save on power being consumed but it should extend the lifetime of the fixtures themselves.
Suggestions for Dimming LED Lights.
Do your research
It is necessary to know that you are getting the right fixture for the right application. Not all lights are created equal and not all lights dim properly. You must know the range of dimming that you are looking for and work from there. It is a good idea to look for the lamp with the highest lumen output, that will give you the best range to work from.
Talk with an expert. It is great to research online but speaking with a lighting expert will cut through a lot of the confusion. Online searches can be overwhelming and contradictory at times, its also very hard to flesh out an idea without speaking with the right people and having back and forth conversations to make sure your vision and reality are in alignment. There are a lot of different aspects to consider when looking at LED lighting, you don’t have to go it alone, get guidance and choose wisely.
When choosing the right dimmer, be careful not to choose a standard dimmer switch. It is important to be vigilant here as labels can be deceiving. As with most products you see on the supermarket shelves, if you read the indegerients you will find that the claims on the front are a little different from the reality on the back. The criteria for dimming might be very narrow, this can cause flickering and strobing to occur. We have seen this effect many times and it can lead to a lot of frustration and a negative effect on how people perceive LED lights.
- Cut energy consumption up to 80%
- Provide a brighter / higher quality light
- Cut down maintenance Costs
- Expected ROI between (1.5 – 3 years)
- 5 Year Warranty
Want to attract more business?
Smart LED Concepts will work with your contractors and designers to create and illuminate custom lighting that will make your business shine.
Because Smart LED Concepts used LED fixtures in the venue, the running and maintenance cost is 70% less than venues that use traditional lighting methods.
Categories: Blog, Business, Commercial LED, Commercial Lighting, Electric, going green, Restaurant LightingDecember 18, 2018Share this post
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