An ordinary evening at home: Spotlight on the kitchen to prepare the meal and a softer brightness to enjoy this good little dish simmered with love and finally a dim light to enjoy a television show… This is the dimmer switch that allows you to play well with the light.
Why and how to use a dimmer switch?
The dimmer switch is not just a gadget. It is interesting to be able to vary the intensity of light in the house. It’s a question of comfort and aesthetics. As much for cooking or reading, you need bright light. So much to enjoy a quiet moment in the living room or to watch television or to listen to music, a dim light is ideal. The idea with a dimmer switch is to allow you to create beautiful lighting moods and to adapt the intensity to your specific needs. It is, therefore, mainly in the living rooms that he will find his utility. But in the bedroom, it can also be used to create an atmosphere conducive to rest while keeping the possibility of more durable light if needed.
Dimmer switches have been around for many years. You started to find them on mood lights or large halogen lamps. Many wall switches now have a dimmer function. Replacing a standard switch with a dimmer switch is easy. Not to mention that you will thus make substantial energy savings while increasing your quality of life.
The different types of dimmer switch
In addition to the dimmer switch placed on the wire of the floor lamps, it is in the category of wall switches that the variety is the largest:
- Dual dimmer switch: A button on one side to turn the bulb on and off, the dimmer on the other, or press the button to turn the lamp on and off and dim the intensity by turning the dimmer switch.
Some more sophisticated models have LEDs indicating the intensity of the variation.
- Touch dimmer switch: A touch is enough to turn on, off, or dim the brightness.
- Infrared dimmer switch: The infrared receiver allows you to control the dimmer from the remote control of your TV or DVD player. It is compatible with most remote controls. He is the favorite of kings of zapping!
- Wireless dimmer switch: Thanks to home automation, you enter the era of wireless and centralized control of your electrical installation.
Which dimmer switch for which type of bulb?
All bulbs are not dimmable. This Anglicism, which means “darken,” indicates that not all bulbs can be associated with a dimmer. In French in the text, it is said that these lamps are not dimmable, but dimmable is most often used. This feature and inscribed on the packaging of the bulb.
The problem often arises for compact fluorescent light bulbs. Initially, none accepted a dimmer. Today most are gradual. Similarly, for LED lamps, remember to check their characteristics.
Also, individual dimmer switches only control certain types of bulbs.
Fortunately, there are universal dimmers. Again, we must check the qualities of these products.
But remember that if you use a light bulb always limiting its power and therefore never at full potential, you will shorten its life. If the brightness seems too strong, change to a lower power bulb and use the dimmer only to create beautiful moods.
Good to know: There are wall dimmers without a switch. It should be understood that a simple dimmer continues to consume a little electricity even when the bulb no longer gives light. An insignificant consumption but a consumption anyway …
How does a led dimmer switch work
Instead of diverting the energy of the bulb to a resistor using a potentiometer, as was done until recently, modern dimmers quickly close and turn off the power. The circuit of light to reduce the total amount of energy flowing through the circuit. The bulb circuit turns off many times per second.
A modern dimmer “cuts” the sine wave of alternating current that we have in homes. Automatically turns off the light bulb circuit every time the current reverses the direction, that is, whenever there is zero voltage in the circuit. This occurs twice per cycle or 100 times per second. V RESOLVES to turn on the light circuit when the voltage goes up to a certain level.
We already know that the voltage wave in alternating current is a sine wave, well, the dimmer cuts part of the sinusoidal waveform of the network voltage to a greater or lesser extent to attenuate the luminous flux even from 1% to 100% (this value depends on the dimmer and the controller).
In the majority of the light regulators, the central element is an alternating current or trip switch. They are based on the power control that is achieved by varying the driving angle of the TRIAC, from 30 degrees to 160 degrees, when the current flows through a potentiometer that has the function of decreasing the intensity of the current. Usually, a deal sends the current to the door of the triac to control it.
Many dimmers work only for incandescent lamps and are not prepared to be used by LED lamps, so you have to ask when buying a dimmer if we want to regulate the light of our LED lamps. Also, there are LED lamps that do not serve to be controlled with a dimmer, even if it is a dimmer for LEDs, make sure to buy dimmable LED lamps.
Some of the problems that a dimmer connection with an incompatible LED lamp can give are:
– Blinking: the lights will flash (it can also happen if a non-dimmable lamp is used)
– There is no light output at the end of the regulation scale of the dimmer
– Dead travel: the light of the lamp does not dim, although we turn the dimmer or press the button.
– Load below the minimum: the power load of the LED lamp is below the minimum required by the attenuator.
– Different LED models may have different controllers since the controllers behave. Differently, this could cause attenuation problems. It is best to buy the dimmer and the LED of the same brand.
There are dimmer LEDs to 220v in alternating and led dimmer to 12v and 24v in direct current, with a remote control or with the wheel, with tactile control, etc.