The different types of Dimmers and why they are important…

The different types of LED Dimmers

Everyone wants to have a home that’s not only functionally optimal, but is also welcoming, attractive, and inspiring. Lighting is one of the areas that most homeowners overlook yet it is a key factor in a house’s décor and ambience, as well as practicality. Whether you live in a studio apartment or a sprawling farmhouse, a strategic investment in lighting can have a profound impact on the warmth and affability of your space.  Once you have refit your lighting with modern, energy efficient, aesthetically pleasing fittings; adding dimmers is a way to take the transformation to another level.

Lighting dimmers can be centralized and ‘smart’ as in a lighting control system such as C-Bus or Dynalite, or they can simply be push button or rotary dials and easily fitted on walls in existing light switches. In the case of the latter they take as much space as a normal switch. As for the former, check out our blog for articles regarding the incredible world of Lighting Control and Home Automation. 

In layman’s terms, a dimmer regulates the amount of light that a bulb or light fitting gives off. Different lighting circuits can be dimmed to create different moods or even layered to create a sophisticated composition of atmosphere and emotion. Your power bills will also go down by up to 25%, but in contrast to the sweeping change in the aesthetics of your home, we’ll just call that a bonus.

Now talking about the different types of dimmers can get technical but that’s not what we are going to do.  It’s more important to understand what dimmer you already have, or are required to buy, and match it with the light fittings you have or want to get.  Compatibility is the primary concern. Therefore, we’ll keep it simple.

 Leading edge or ‘Triac’ LED dimmers

These dimmers are the most common and were very popular in years gone by to dim regular incandescent lights.  They are usually low cost and widely compatible.  Many new LED lights are being designed to work with Leading Edge dimmers.  Lights to suit are here...

Trailing edge LED dimmers

These are an electronic dimmer like leading edge but almost in reverse.  They were widely used for Halogen lights and some fluorescent lights that had electronic ballasts.  Will generally suit some early and some current LED lights. Lights to suit are here...

 Universal LED dimmers

Essentially a universal dimmer is a trailing edge and leading edge all in one.  It analyses the load and chooses which type would be the best to use.  “So why wouldn’t I automatically get a Universal Dimmer then?”, I hear you asking... Logical right?  Unfortunately, it’s not quite that simple.  Sometimes a universal dimmer acting in Leading Edge mode may not work as well as a standard Leading Edge dimmer.  Other times it may choose the wrong type.  Also, they cost more!  Lights to suit are here...

The bottom line is that regardless of what it says on the side of the box, some LED lights work better on one type of dimmer than another, or in some cases only work on one type period.  All the lights you see on moodLED, have been tested on both, and the results are right there in the description so you know exactly what type to get. 

For the sake of ‘full disclosure’, we should mention that there are other types of dimming out there such as 0-10V, DSI, Dali, etc.  They generally have a lot less to do with a modern residential home and come into play more in a commercial environment or with old Fluro’s.

Having read this article and collected info about our light fittings on our webpage, you will be one step closer in your decision to transform your house into the perfect home by creating the perfect mood for a dinner party, a nice ambience to read a book, and a romantic atmosphere to well… be romantic.

The different types of LED Dimmers


1 comment

  • mr gopal krishna

    dimming led lights for ballroom

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