How do I best dim LED lighting?

LED is increasingly used as an energy-efficient lighting solution. In addition to this benefit, you can also enjoy dimmable LED lighting to create an adapted light setting whenever you want. Here are a few things to consider when choosing your LED lighting to achieve an optimal light result.

Dimmability of a LED

First of all, it’s important to know that not every LED lamp is suitable for dimming. If in doubt, consult a dealer or manufacturer for professional advice. It’s also crucial to know that dimmable LED lamps may be connected to a non-dimmable circuit, or in other words without a dimmer. However, the reverse construction is not possible and causes problems that can damage the entire circuit and/or the lamp.

Dimmable LED lamps

Today you will find a wide range of LED lamps, each with different characteristics. For example, there are 230V LED lamps where the built-in electronics ensure that the operating voltage is reduced from 230V to 12V. The driver that takes care of this work and makes this lamp dimmable is not standard built into every 230V LED lamp. It’s therefore advisable to check carefully which lamps use this technology and which do not. For dimmable LED lamps of 12-24V, a transformer is used that converts the electric current from 230V to 12-24V. This is placed between the lamp and the dimmer for optimal functioning.


Types of dimmers

In order to use the maximum potential of dimmable LEDs, an adapted dimmer is required. This is not the same than with a halogen or incandescent lamp because the electronics in a 230V LED lamp work in a different way. There are two types of dimmers that you can buy, namely a leading edge or a trailing edge. The first variant has been in use for a long time and is relatively cheap. This dimmer uses a suppression coil and is compatible with most LED lamps. The trailing edge dimmer does not have this interference suppression coil, but works less quietly due to the built-in electronics. This type of dimmer works better with electronic transformers and is therefore better suited for 12V LED lamps.

Minimum load

The minimum load is the minimum power you need for the dimmer to work properly. This varies greatly depending on the type of dimmer you buy. In most cases the minimum wattage is between 20 and 30. For example, if you connect five LED lamps of 3 watts each (15 watts in total) to a dimmer with a minimum load of 20 watts, there’s a very high chance that the lamps will be fully dimmable.


maximum load

Dimmers also come with a maximum load. It’s important that the total wattage of all LED lamps that are connected must not exceed the maximum load of the dimmer itself. The 10% of the total wattage of your dimmer determines how much the maximum wattage of each lamp may be. Suppose you have a dimmer with a maximum power of 400W. The maximum load per LED lamp is therefore equal to or less than 40W (10% of 400W).


Aside from a more economical consumption, dimmable LED lamps offer several other advantages. Due to the low operating temperature, LED lamps also have a longer lifespan. In addition, you can dim an LED lamp from 1% to 100%, which gives you complete freedom of choice. Furthermore, LED lamps generally have a very short start-up time compared to other traditional lamps.

Would you like to know more about all the possibilities of dimmable LED lamps? Then contact our specialists who will be happy to assist you with professional advice.

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