How to Dim LED Strip Lights 1
LED strip lights are nice lighting instruments for any challenge. However generally, you’ll want to have some stage of dynamic management over the brightness of an LED strip.

For instance, you would possibly need to use them at full brightness whereas studying a e-book, however then dim them down later for temper lighting.

If you’re confused about methods to get it finished, learn on to familiarize your self with LED strip dimming strategies!


First, to make clear: Just about ALL LED strips are dimmable

If you store for frequent family LED lights like A-style bulbs, you might oftentimes see NOT DIMMABLE listed beneath the product description. The rationale that some LED bulbs aren’t dimmable is because of the truth that {the electrical} circuitry contained in the LED bulb just isn’t designed to have the ability to interpret the dimming sign of a wall dimmer, which, in flip, is/was designed for a conventional incandescent bulb.

Alternatively, LED strips aren’t designed to be linked on to line voltage (e.g. a 120V AC wall socket), and require an influence provide to transform the upper voltage AC right into a decrease 12V or 24V DC voltage.



Subsequently, if a wall dimmer is concerned, it should first “discuss” to the facility provide earlier than any dimming can occur on the LED strip. Subsequently, the dimmable/not dimmable query is determined by the facility provide unit, and whether or not it may interpret the dimming sign produced by the wall-dimmer.

Alternatively, nearly all LED strips (as in, the strip itself) are dimmable. Given the suitable DC electrical sign (sometimes PWM), any LED strip’s brightness might be freely adjusted.

How can we be certain the LED strip receives the proper DC electrical sign to dim correctly? Under, we’ll go over the 2 most typical choices.


Choice 1: Utilizing a Conventional TRIAC Wall Dimmer + TRIAC Dimmable Energy Provide

In case you like the provision and elegance of conventional wall dimmers and are in search of a sublime, everlasting LED strip set up (e.g. beneath cupboard lighting), that is most certainly your finest wager.

Most wall dimmers which might be accessible as we speak use the TRIAC dimming sign, and as such, you’ll in the beginning must discover a TRIAC dimmable energy provide.

The TRIAC dimmable energy provide has a twin perform right here –

1) scale back and rectify the 120V AC sign to a 12/24V DC sign appropriate with the LED strip, and

2) interpret any TRIAC dimming alerts produced by the wall dimmer, after which translate that into the corresponding LED strip mild output.

The TRIAC dimmable energy provide connects on to the TRIAC wall dimmer, and the output finish of the facility provide connects to the LED strip. Since we’re working with inside wiring within the partitions, these elements will possible not have any plugs or connectors you’re accustomed to, and the facility provide will possible even be hid or hidden contained in the wall or {an electrical} field.

Moreover, to mitigate the impact of voltage drop, the facility provide unit must be positioned as near the LED strip as attainable.

Remember the fact that any resolution that entails a wall dimmer, together with this one, entails hard-wiring connections to mains electrical energy and must be solely carried out solely by certified and licensed people.  At all times observe security precautions when performing electrical work!


Choice 2: Use a Low-Voltage DC PWM Dimmer 

Intimidated by the prospect of messing up the wiring in your partitions? No drawback – another choice lets you use elements that solely draw energy from a daily wall output.

A DC PWM LED strip dimmer might be put in between an ordinary, non-TRIAC dimamble energy provide, and the LED strip. It often consists of a flip dial (potentiometer) that adjusts the LED strip brightness.

The ability provide might be any commonplace DC energy provide and doesn’t must be TRIAC dimmable. These energy provides are usually decrease price and available, in comparison with TRIAC dimmable energy provides.

It is a quite simple circuit design that can work properly for smaller or moveable installations the place the dimmer doesn’t must be constructed into the wall. In contrast to TRIAC dimamble energy provides, these commonplace energy provides will sometimes embrace commonplace 2-prong plugs that plug into any wall outlet.

DC PWM dimmers are sometimes quite simple to assemble and hook up with the facility provide and LED strip. Waveform Lighting’s FilmGrade LED Dimmer, for instance, contains DC plugs on each ends, permitting you to assemble every little thing in a matter of seconds with none instruments.


Merely join the 2 output wires from the facility provide to the dimmer unit, after which the 2 enter wires from the LED strip. The dimmer merely acts like a valve, and the facility provide unit will robotically present the rated present and voltage to relying on the dimmer’s knob place.

That is handy in the event you plan on incessantly shifting the LED strip set up, however maybe a difficulty if you’re in search of one thing extra everlasting or much less “cluttered.”

Additionally, one other important drawback of this method is that the PWM dimmer should be positioned comparatively near the LED strip. This is because of a phenomenon referred to as voltage drop that’s primarily a difficulty with low voltage DC purposes solely. A wall dimmer method (Choice 1) would assist you to keep away from this.

Closing concerns

LED strip installations and dimming might be made difficult by the truth that we presently straddle the most recent in DC electronics and legacy TRIAC dimming programs that proceed to be in style in present and new houses.

With many variable elements and mixture, we strongly advocate testing for compatibility previous to any everlasting or massive scale construct. Generally, surprising points like non-linear dimming or flickering can happen, and it’s best to catch these points as early as attainable.

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