As a lighting specialist that deals with mostly restaurant clients, Brandon Melton faces the topic of LED dimming almost daily. Brandon has many years in the lighting world and works with some of Regency's largest restaurant chain customers to eliminate common LED dimming issues and properly light their spaces. Here's Brandon with more:
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Dimming LEDs can be tricky for a variety of reasons, and it can sometimes be difficult to pinpoint the source of the particular issue you're facing, like flickering. In this post, we'll zero in on one particular issue: a lack of load resistance.
Conventional (TRIAC) dimmer switches –– the ones designed to work with incandescent and halogen light bulbs –– require a certain amount of "holding current," or wattage in non-electrical-engineer terms, in order to work properly. When paired with an incandescent, the bulb draws enough voltage for the dimmer to work with and reduce. The control cuts the voltage, sending less to the lamp, or bulb, resulting in reduced light output (dimmed lighting).
Dimming LEDs may be getting easier and easier, but problems still can –– and often do –– surface when you try to run LED lamps on dimmer controls.
Unfortunately, there's no easy answer. Diagnosing LED dimming issues isn't all that unlike diagnosing a sickness.
You start by checking vitals before looking at the symptoms of the issue.
In a dimming scenario, the vital check is pretty simple:
When LED lamps first started to make their way to the market, early adopters experienced a great deal of frustration when they attempted to get them to dim. In most cases, the technology just wasn’t far enough along, and problems persisted for years. So, in a setting like a restaurant, where
The lighting industry has waded through the often-choppy, often-murky waters of LED dimming over the last several years and, while a lot of the problems have been solved, flickering and strobing and early burnout still happens all the time.