How to Dim LED Strip Lights?

LED strip lights are fantastic lighting appliances for just about any project. However, you might consider dimming if you desire to control how bright your LED strip. As such, you will now be in control of total amount of light needed for different ambiences. If you do not know how it is done, here are top ways to learn how to dim LED strip lights.

What you need to follow in this tutorial?

You will need some tools to complete this tutorial with various solutions for the problem. Here they are:

  • Screwdriver
  • A power supply
  • LED strip lights
  • Dimmer

Basic knowledge for dimming the led trip lights

To begin with, it is important to clear up that almost all LED strips can be dimmed. This is because they are just LED circuit sheets and can take a number of electrical inputs that range from zero to max control. As one builds the information electrical current to a LED from 1 mA to its most extreme, the light output will keep on increasing also.

When looking for LED like A-style knobs, you will frequently observe that NOT DIMMABLE is indicated under the item description. The main reason why some LED lights are not dimmable isn't because of the LED itself but since its capacity supply is inherent and it is simply the power supply that isn't fit for shifting its voltage and output current. LEDs are really fit for taking any voltage or current level as long as it is below the highest rating.

Another more typical method for achieving dimming is through Pulse Width Modulation or (PMW). This technique works by keeping the info voltage at most extreme power (e.g. 12V) yet turns the electrical input on and off at a rapid rate such that it is so fast that the "flash" isn't distinguishable by people. For example, to accomplish 50 percent brightness effect, the LED strip could go off and on after each other microsecond. If the on-off rate is too quick, this strategy will not cause any issues with respect to the flicker.

PWM is the most favored strategy for dimming LED strips because of its generally simple piece of digital electronics. The first strategy necessitates that the input voltage be "split" between the dimmed voltage and the voltage. For instance, lessening a 12V power input to 10V you will need a method to use the rest of the 2V. This can be fairly difficult as well as inefficient from a proficiency viewpoint. In the event that a LED strip can be controlled carefully to turn on and off utilizing PMW, the LED strip will just expend power amid intervals in which it was switched on.

How to dim LED strip lights?

LED strip lights

Step 1: Deciding where to place the strip dimmer

Having gone through the means you can use to dim your lights, how about we dig deeper to find out how you can do this by yourself. This is how to configure your dimmers, LED strips and power supply.

The main query that you have to answer is if you should dim your strips from the low side or high side. What does the low side and high side allude to? It is pretty basic. The power supply for any LED strip configuration regularly changes over 120/240V AC to 12/24V DC, and any segments, for example, dimmer switches situated on the 120/240V piece of the circuit is viewed as the "high side" because of the higher voltage, while all segments associated with the 12/24V DC part of the circuit is viewed as the "low side."

By and large, dimming LED strips from the high side is more confusing and in that capacity we prescribe dimming on the low side where it is doable.

A third alternative, which is examined below, utilizes a different dimming circuit to control the power supply unit.

Option 1: Dimming your LED strips from the high side

A large number of the high-side dimmers are initially made for incandescent lighting and made for built-in walls. These kind of dimmers are associated specifically to the mains circuit and utilize TRIAC innovation, which abbreviates some portion of the AC flag. This functions perfectly for incandescent bulbs, which are just high resistance wire coils. Anyway this change of the AC flag can mean ruin to a power supply that isn't intended to "interpret" this AC flag configuration.

Accordingly, when utilizing a dimmer on the high side the power supply should be adaptable with the dimmer. This sort of dimmer must be in position to decipher the 120/240V AC TRIAC flag and after that have the capacity to change over this to a 12/24V DC PWM flag to diminish the LED strip. On the off chance that you utilize a typical power supply, you will wind up ruining the power supply unit and make a horrendous flickering impact with the LED strip.

In spite of the fact that power supply selections are more constrained, this technique permits LED strips to be introduced and use existing diminishing framework.

Option 2: Dimming you LED strips from the low side

A low-side LED strip dimmer basically sits between the power supply and LED strip. It is totally confined on the 12/24V side of the circuit, and for the most part comprises of a dial (potentiometer) thus changes the PWM rate.

Essentially, connect the two output wires coming from the power supply to the dimmer unit, and afterward the two input wires from the LED strip. This dimmer essentially acts like a valve, and the power supply unit will naturally give current and voltage for the dimmer setting.

This is an exceptionally straightforward circuit outline and one that will function admirably for more versatile or smaller configurations where the dimmer shouldn't be incorporated into the wall.

Option 3: Dimming your LED strips using 0-10V dimming

The other choice we have is zero to ten volt dimming. This is an innovation that was first produced for some types of fluorescent lighting. It uses a detached, isolate circuit that goes about as an input signal that goes into the power supply. The power supply will decipher the signal which could go anyplace between 0V to 10V and then convert over it to a proper 12/24V PWM output signal.

This strategy considers the utilization of current zero to ten volt dimmers and needs a connection to a zero to ten volt power supply.

For more tips on how to dim LED strip lights use a Dimmer, watch this video:

The Tips you should know before you dim LED lights

The first step is to buy a dimmable LED

It helps to know that even if most LEDs can be dimmed using a dimmer, not all can. So when making your purchase, choose a lamp that the manufacturer deems as dimmable. The truth is that the driver circuitry should be made in such a way that it can be dimmed. Note that this does not guarantee good dimming performance but it is a good starting point.

If you can, do not use the standard dimmer

While most manufacturer’s will claim that their dimmable lighting can make use of any common dimmer, take this claims with a pinch of salt. This may be achieved by a standard dimmer but the results will be poor as they are often underloaded, have flickering and strobing effects and will not last long.

Buy recognized brands

Do not fall prey for cheaper brands with the hope that they will perform just as good. Often, these fail to achieve the stability of output and brightness range you desire. Unbranded lamps might also label lamps as dimmable while they can only deliver a minimal change in brightness. Besides quality, you are looking at having better warranties, customer support and longer life.

Enquire from you manufacturer about compatibility

Dimmer switches are usually tested by manufacturers and their results published on their websites. However, if in doubt please consult them. They will be happy to discuss the lamp’s performance under different loads and their performance.

It may seem obvious, but do not buy your LED luminaires without buying the dimmer

This will avoid any compatibility issues. You do not want to exceed the maximum load on your lighting configuration either. Therefore, purchase a good dimmer that can withstand the maximum wattage and the number of lamps you want to dim.

Read the label to know how much brightness you can achieve

As a rule of the thumb, the brighter the LED the better the dimming range you can achieve with it. To get the best retrofit comparison, buy a lamp with higher lumens per watt.

Conclusion

In the end, it is best to test your LED strip configuration and guarantee that it works and dims as expects. In some cases, unforeseen issues like non-linear glimmering or dimming can happen. In the event that this happens, think about another setup or using a different dimmer.

Just be careful and remember to ask for professional help if you feel that you cannot handle the task. We hope you liked this post. Let us know if you have any additional information on the topic or comments. Please share with others who may find this useful.

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