Mood light with dimmable LEDs
With dimmable LEDs, the technique must fit between the dimmer and the bulb for it to work. Not all products are compatible with each other.
Yes, it is possible to dim LEDs. But not every LED matches with every dimmer. The manufacturers of dimmers and LEDs have not been able to agree on which control system is uniformly applied. Therefore, the interfaces between dimmers and LEDs are not normalized.
What happens if the dimmer is inappropriate?
When a dimmer is connected to a non-dimmable LED, the bulb starts flickering and goes off broken in the worst case. Even if the dimmer does not match the LED bulb, the LED will flicker. The dimmer must be designed with the permissible load for the operated lamp. That is, the wattage of the LED must match the specified range of the dimmer.
When operating multiple LEDs simultaneously, the LED dimmer must be oriented to the lamp that has the lowest power. However, the maximum permissible load of the dimmer must not be exceeded, so that the light is uniformly lit.
If a dimmable lamp is connected to a non-matching dimmer, dimming will only work to a limited extent and, above all, damage the lamp.
The technology of a LED bulbs
LEDs operate on DC power and almost always require upstream electronics to convert the AC power from the grid. The lamp itself is not dimmed, but the interposed electronics. An LED is a so-called semiconductor. The material of the semiconductor determines the light color of the light source. In order to determine the brightness of the LED, the change in the current must be based exactly on the current-voltage characteristic of the LED, which is often not linear.
Which dimmers are suitable for which LED illuminant?
Older universal dimmers designed for incandescent or halogen lamps are often not compatible with LEDs because they have a higher minimum load. LEDs consume little power, but do not start to glow until they reach a certain forward voltage (1.2V for infrared LEDs and 4V for ultraviolet LEDs).
Most LED dimmers are a phase dimmer, as indicated by the dimmer icon on the right Packaging. In addition to this technique, there is the method of pulse width modulation (PWM), which converts the signal of a phase control using an evaluation circuit in a control current whose height determines the brightness of the bulb.
Another option is the DALI interface (Digital Addressable Lightning). In addition, various LED lights in the house can be networked and controlled, even using a smartphone. For example, this interface is suitable for warm white, cool white, or RGB light strips.
If you are unsure which LED with which dimmer works, ask the manufacturer best, they often compiled lists of recommended dimmers for each light source.