8 Completely Different Ways To Dim LED Strip Lights


Triac_dimming_led_strip_lightIf you're looking to learn more about Dimming LED Strip Lights and dimmable drivers, then this article is for you. It's easy to be overwhelmed by the sheer volume of information on the internet. To complicate matters, a lot of it is wrong, out-of-date, or just plain mixed up. And what's worse is that almost all of it assumes that you already have some knowledge and experience in electronics.

In this article we'll cover the many different ways you can dim your LED light strips, including TRIAC and pulse-width modulation (PWM) dimmers. BASICS Why do we need a method to dim our LEDs? Even if your LEDs were designed for outdoor or commercial use, it doesn't mean that you can use them like that all the time. If you're planning a party, for example, it'd be nice to increase or reduce the brightness of your lighting as needed. The same goes for an office environment: some people work better in bright conditions and thrive during daytime-like levels of illumination, while others can't concentrate unless there's enough subdued light.

Benefits of Dimming LED Strip Lights

Dimmable lighting gives you the option to match the lighting to your particular activity. You may want a bright light as task lighting, but a dim, relaxing light during evening dines.

Dimming also sees extensive use within commercial and industrial spaces. For example, dimmable lighting offers flexibility to your office space. It allows for optimal lighting that suits your employees’ needs.

This is especially important if you have multiple workstations within one room. By being able to adjust the brightness of each desk lamp, you can ensure that each employee has enough light while they work without making others feel uncomfortable or under-lit.

 

1. Are all LED Strips Dimmable?

The answer is yes, all the strip lightings are dimmable, the brightness can be adjusted by providing a compatible DC signal. The LED Strip Light has two ways to dim it: one is to use a dimmer controller and another one is to use PWM control method. The first way is using a dimmer controller that directly adjusts the voltage of power supply. The second way is to use PWM control method (Pulse Width Modulation) which directly controls the duty cycle of each pulse.

2. Factors You Need to Consider When selecting a Dimming Method

When selecting a dimming method, you should consider the following factors:

Your Project’s Size: The size of your project is an important factor that will determine the type of dimming system you choose. The larger your project, the more likely it is that you will need a dedicated circuit to control its lighting elements. In addition, if you are planning to install several different types of lights on one circuit (such as incandescent and fluorescent bulbs), then you might want to consider using a different type of dimmer.

The Type of Dimmer Interface You Prefer: Some people prefer using a toggle switch while others prefer using a rotary knob. If you are looking for convenience and ease of use, then it is best to choose a rotary knob light dimmer as this allows users to adjust the light intensity by simply rotating their wrist. On the other hand, toggle switches are easier to install than rotary knobs because they require fewer wires and connections.

Your Budget: Dimmers come in various price ranges; therefore, it is important to ensure that you get one that meets your needs at an affordable cost.

3, Different Dimming Methods

Since LED strip lights are now becoming increasingly popular, many people are curious about them and want to know more about the different dimming methods for LED strip lights. Today, we will introduce some dimming methods for LED strip lights.

3.1 Triac Dimming

Most wall dimmers available today use the TRIAC dimming signal. You’ll need to find a dimmable power supply for these wall dimmers.

  • The TRIAC dimmable power supply has two functions:
  • Change 120V/220V AC to 12/24V DC signal for led strip lights.
    Interpret dimming signals produced by the Triac wall dimmer and then translate that into the LED strip’s output.

You’ll need to connect the TRIAC dimmer to the dimmable power supply, then link the power supply’s output to the LED strip.

To avoid voltage drops, ensure that your power unit stays close to your strip lights. Here are the two types of Triac dimming options.

Triac_dimming_led_strip_light

 

3.2 Low-Voltage PWM Dimming

PWM, or “pulse width modulation” is a dimming method used for many LED strip applications. PMW is a digital signal that “talks” to your strip’s power supply to adjust brightness. You can install a DC PWM dimmer between a standard, non-dimmable power supply, and the LED strip. It usually has a turn dial (potentiometer) that adjusts the LED strip brightness. The power supply can be any standard DC power unit and does not need to be dimmable.

Compared to TRIAC dimmable power supplies, these cost cheaper and are readily available. This simple circuit design works well for portable installations where you don’t have to build a dimmer into a wall. DC PWM dimmers are very simple to assemble, easily connecting to the power supply and LED strip.

Low-Voltage PWM Dimming for LED strip

3.2 Low-Voltage PWM Dimming

PWM, or “pulse width modulation” is a dimming method used for many LED strip applications. PMW is a digital signal that “talks” to your strip’s power supply to adjust brightness. You can install a DC PWM dimmer between a standard, non-dimmable power supply, and the LED strip. It usually has a turn dial (potentiometer) that adjusts the LED strip brightness. The power supply can be any standard DC power unit and does not need to be dimmable.

Compared to TRIAC dimmable power supplies, these cost cheaper and are readily available. This simple circuit design works well for portable installations where you don’t have to build a dimmer into a wall. DC PWM dimmers are very simple to assemble, easily connecting to the power supply and LED strip.

Low-Voltage PWM Dimming for LED strip

3.3 RF Dimming

RF or “radio frequency” dimming provides a remote way to adjust your strip brightness.

Unlike the wired inline LED dimmers, you can dim the led strip by remote control, the distance can get as far as 20 meters in diameter.

RF_dimming_wiring_of_led_strip_light

3.4 WIFI Dimming

A smart dimmer allows you to control your LEDs remotely via a WiFi connection. When setting up a “smart” home or office lighting system, these dimmers are necessary.

You can operate the dimming by using a mobile app. This feature lets you adjust brightness using Alexa or Google Assistant voice controls.

WiFi_dimming_wiring_of_led_strip_light

3.5 0/1-10V Dimming

0-10V dimming lets you adjust brightness by altering DC voltage powering your strips.

It can vary voltage between zero and ten volts – zero being “off” and ten at 100% brightness output.

0-10V_Dimming_for_led_strip_light

3.5 DALI Dimming

DALI dimming is a step further from the 0-10V system. Like the 0-10V, this dimmer allows you to adjust many LED strips over a wide area using a central controller.

This method also allows individual users to adjust brightness for specific zones using smaller LED dimmers.

dali_dimming_wiring_for_led_strip_light

3.6 DMX Dimming

“DMX 512” also works by regulating voltage in the transformer to reduce brightness.

Despite being an old dimming method, DMX is still used today. Applications include large-scale installations, such as concerts, theatres, and other performance venue lighting. This method allows for independent control of different areas of the lighting project. It can run up to 512 DMX receivers, also called channels.

There are two ways to wire this dimming system: daisy-chaining and splitting.

The Daisy Chain method requires connecting the wires of each fixture from a loop of the previous one. By wiring this way, you’ll get a line of fixtures that connects to the receiver, decoder, and console of the DMX system. It has a limitation, though. You won’t connect more than 32 fixtures in one chain. Going over this limit will hinder the signal strength required for DMX communication.
DMX splitting is needed if you need to connect more than 32 fixtures. Splitting allows you to expand the communication network by duplicating the DMX output many times.

DMX Dimming wiring for led strip light

 

Regarding LED lighting systems, you may be confused about the terms “controller” and “dimmer.” Simply put, both terms mean the same thing. Both devices allow you to manipulate the settings and brightness of your installation.

Controllers are often used to manage multiple lights at once, while dimmers can simply turn lights on and off.

A controller is a device that allows users to change the color temperature of a light installation with a touch of a button or remote control. Controllers have become increasingly popular in recent years as more people are looking for ways to customize their homes with unique colors and effects. LEDs can be controlled using software that allows users to save and recall presets for different moods or occasions.

Dimmers are devices that allow users to adjust the intensity level of light sources like incandescent bulbs or fluorescents by turning them up or down manually. They work by altering an electrical signal from its source so that more current flows through it when turned up — making it brighter — while decreasing current flow when turned down — making it dimmer.

Conclusion:

Reading through this article should have given you an excellent idea of what dimming LED strip lights and drivers are all about. LED light has finally entered the mainstream for home illumination, but there are still a lot of people who don't know much about them. It's important to learn as much as you can so that you can make informed decisions when there's no one else around to rely on.

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    Manager Director-Jerry

    About Author
    JerryHu
    Founder of Lightstec.Engineering degree.More than 13 years working experience in led lighting business.Familiar with producing led lighting products.This blog share you knowledge and solution in led lighting.Welcome sourcing led lights from China.

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