Being one of the first UK businesses to manufacture LED lighting specifically for the UK market, we are frequently asked by architects and electrical contractors whether LED light fittings are dimmable. The short answer is yes – every led is dimmable, it’s the driver attached to the LEDs which will determine whether or not it can be dimmed.
Dimmable LED Lights
On the face of things, it seems an easy choice. But dimming first generation LEDs could cause problems, especially when trying to select a suitable dimmer. If you are trying to dim your LEDs using the same dimmer you used for your incandescent bulbs, it’s unlikely to work. Or if it does, the results will be extremely poor. If you are using an early design of LED dimmer it might work, or it might not. Or it might require a lot of trial and error to get your LEDs dimming as effectively as your old incandescent or halogens did.
LED Technology Still In Its Infancy
Originally LED’s were used in the aerospace, motor and other industries for many years, it was only when scientists discovered how to produce white light, that LEDs moved into the mainstream as a cost-effective alternative to incandescent / halogen lighting.
Mains dimming made easy
There are two common types of mains dimming, Leading edge and Trailing edge dimming. These two types of dimming methods should only be used if the LED drivers are compatible with mains dimming.
You should check LED downlights with integral (built in) drivers are compatible with mains dimming, This is done by checking with the dimmer / lighting manufactures regarding compatibility. It is important to ask for the minimum & maximum loads (LEDs) per dimmed circuit, this will aid you in your circuit schedule.
For best results, consider a purpose built trailing edge LED dimmer, which can be programmed to dim a variable number of LEDs and cope with the additional inrush current. Although LED downlights are dimmable, and can produce that extra ambiance you may want in the living room or bedroom, careful consideration needs to be given to the dimmer module itself, to make sure the overall setup is compatible.
If you require an LED dimmable option, consider Collingwood DM298FP & DM298Grid or please speak to one of our LED lighting engineers, you can also download our Electrical Contractors Guide to LED Downlights.