Specifying dimmers – what should you consider? | MK Electric
Emma Segelov, EMEA Marketing Operations Manager at MK Electric, discusses the key considerations when specifying LED dimmer switches.
1. Trailing or leading edge
When a residential, hospitality or light commercial environment requires mains LED dimming, there are two key types available – trailing edge or leading edge.
Dimmer switches using leading edge technology – commonly referred to as TRIAC dimmers – cut off the front edge of the half cycle of each AC wave, whereas trailing edge dimmers cut off the second half of each half cycle. Due to the components used, leading edge dimmers can cause unwanted buzzing and noise.
Conversely, trailing edge dimming offers a number of key benefits that can improve the overall user experience, such as flicker-free, silent dimming, thanks to the latest digital technology used in MK’s new range of trailing edge LED dimmers.
Many LED lamps today are designed to operate with trailing edge dimmers, although some can operate on both options. Not all LED lamps are dimmable, so check with the lamp or fitting manufacturer as to what is the most suitable technology.
2. Lamp limit
Some dimmers have a lamp limit due to LEDs having a higher start up (in rush) current that can cause the internal overload to operate. MK’s trailing edge dimmers don’t have this and can control any number of lamps up to their rated wattage. In fact, they can use the full 120W output without de-rating due to inrush current – 2 x 120W for double dimmer switches.
3. Start-up power
Some LED lamp types have issues with switching ON at very low dim values, as their drivers struggle with low start up power. In these cases, MK’s dimmers offer an adjustable start level that will power up on a higher value and then dim down to the last set level.
What’s more, they’re easily adjustable with min/max setting for a smooth and linear dimming range over 270° rotation of the dimmer knob.
Some lamps use much more power than their nominal rating, so check with your lamp manufacturer and include the power drawn by the lamp power supply when calculating the total load.
4. Product guarantees
By taking the aformentioned factors into account, you can ensure that users can enjoy full and proper control of their lighting levels and achieve the desired ambience in the room, whilst also offering ease of installation and minimising the risk of call backs, meaning installers can get straight onto the next job.
MK’s trailing edge dimmers come with a manufacturer’s guarantee of 10 years and with a broad range of styles and finishes available to suit all interiors, including Grid Plus modules for increased flexibility, there’s a solution for every project.