3 Considerations when buying an LED dimmer
In previous blog posts, we've suggested the use of attenuators to provide ambient lighting and save energy, but it takes a lot more to choose a dimmer that you create.
Have you ever installed a dimmer to discover that it shortens the life of your bulbs or does not work at all?
You've probably chosen the wrong attenuator for the light sources you're using or the type of wiring you have in your home. As good as it would be to be able to install a dimmer with any lighting system and make it work perfectly, it is simply not the case.
There are many types of dimmers, all designed to be compatible with certain light sources and lighting systems. When choosing a dimmer for your lights, here are the important factors to consider.
Type of dimmer
How many switches control your lamp? That's the first question to ask when choosing a fader. Here are the four basic types for your lights that you can choose from:
Single-pole attenuator: The single-pole attenuator is designed for single-attenuated lighting fixtures in your home. In other words, this dimmer is the only switch used to turn the lights on and off, as well as to dim.
Three- or four-way attenuator: These attenuators are for lamps that are controlled with a single regulator, plus one or more on/off switches elsewhere in your home.
Multi-location attenuator: If your lamp uses multiple complementary attenuators, you will need a multi-location attenuator. The use of multiple attenuators allows full attenuation control from more than one location.
Pluggable attenuator: Plug-in attenuators are used to dim your table bulb and floor lamps. Many of these lamp regulators are compatible with incandescent bulbs, CFL and LED.
Type of bulb
Incandescent/Halogen: If you are using standard incandescent or halogen lights in your home, standard incandescent attenuators are what you'll need to reduce brightness. These regulators work in a very interesting way.
Many people may think that attenuation involves reducing the electric current, but in reality, the intensity regulators quickly turn off and on the light bulb circuit at much faster speeds than we can see (usually more than 100 times per second).
- Leviton IllumaTech Dimmer
- Leviton IllumaTech Dimmer
Once you know what type of light source you are using, you need to make sure that the power of your bulbs is compatible with your light attenuator. That said, you should also consider the number of bulbs you use in a dimmer.
Some people assume that just because LEDs consume fewer watts, the same incandescent regulator can be operated with more LED bulbs that consume a fraction of the wattage of an incandescent. Because of something called input current, or the maximum instantaneous input current that an electrical device takes when it is turned on for the first time, using more LEDs than incandescent on a attenuator will only make the attenuator ineffective.
Once you've overcome all the technical elements and narrowed your options, you can start focusing on the more superficial things, such as the appearance of the fader. The attenuators come in different colors and styles, making it a matter of personal preference. The styles of the intensity switches are varied and come in as varied options as switches, rotary switches and even touch-sensitive attenuators.