The Evolution of LED Dimming

A 12V LED Dimmer as Part of DImmable LED LightingDimmable LED lighting, which includes dimmable LED power supplies, switches and lights, combines the best of modern  lighting technology with the high-quality features of LEDs. It offers more opportunities to light homes, offices, and commercial spaces precisely while cutting energy consumption.

Modern dimmers have moved away from the old technology, which rerouted some amount of power to an extra circuit and thus decreased the flow of electricity to the dimmed light. This is the mechanism that also produced the distinctive humming of dimmable lights. The new technology rapidly cycles the light circuit on and off, reducing the total amount of power delivered to the LED light circuit, so that dimmed lights consume less electricity; however, this benefit is less important with LED lights because a decrease in consumption from 3 watts to 2.7 watts has a minimal impact on total energy consumption and electricity bills. The result is a dimmed LED light with no humming. With incandescent bulbs that use a filament, rapid switching of the light on and off can still produce some humming, and also significantly reduces bulb lifespan. Neither of these are the case when the process is implemented using dimmable power supplies.

The dimming process occurs in the switch, not the lights themselves or the power supply. In contrast to a few years ago, LED dimmers now deliver seamless, smooth dimming from 100% to 0% brightness, as opposed to the flickering and even loss of light quality that used to result from connecting conventional dimmers to LED lighting. Lights specifically designed to dim, and dimmers designed to work with them, remedy this problem. These dimmers use pulse width modulation to control the brightness of LEDs, a process which also protects the LED lights from the damage that could result with older dimmers that actually reduce the voltage flowing into the bulbs.

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