Can I dim my new LED lamps with my existing dimmer switch?

Although LED products may be marked as dimmable, it is important to use a compatible dimming switch. Most dimmable LED's will work with trailing edge or even leading edge dimmers; there are various degrees to which LED products are compatible with incandescent dimmers. This needs to be checked and tested on a product-by-product basis. A dimmer switch allows you to achieve the exact light level that you desire in a room and consequently alter the mood, whilst at the same time conserving energy resulting in reduced costs. There are various types of dimming control devices available, but the most popular are 'phase control' (or phase-cut) dimmers. Phase control dimmers work by chopping out parts of the voltage and reducing power to the light source. The two types of phase control dimmers available are 'trailing-edge' and 'leading-edge'. These two product types work in different ways. Because they work differently, this ultimately affects their compatibility with certain light forms. Leading edge dimmers are designed for inductive loads, (e.g. magnetic low voltage transformers) and resistive loads (e.g. incandescent). Trailing edge dimmers are designed for capacitive loads (e.g. electronic low voltage transformers, LED drivers) and resistive loads (e.g. incandescent).

Which dimming switch should I use for LED lamps?

Leading-edge dimmers (TRIAC dimmers) are cheaper and simpler than trailing-edge, and were used originally to dim incandescent and halogen bulbs or wirewound magnetic transformers. They use a 'TRIAC' (Triode for Alternating Current) switch to control power, and are sometimes called TRIAC dimmers. Many existing leading-edge dimmer switches have a relatively high minimum load, which often rules out their use with modest LED or CFL lighting circuits. However, leading-edge dimmers are by far the most common dimming control in existence.

Trailing-edge Dimmers (Reverse phase dimmers) are more sophisticated than leading-edge dimmers, and usually use a MOSFET (Metal Oxide Semiconductor Field Effect Transistor) or IGBT (Insulated Gate Bipolar Transistor) switch rather than a TRIAC and coil. This benefits the user with smooth, silent dimming control, absent of any buzzing noise. A trailing-edge dimmer has a lower minimum load (often 10W) than leading-edge dimmers, making it a better choice for dimming modestly sized low-powered lighting circuits. Trailing edge dimmers can solve many issues you may be experiencing with your dimmable LED fitting, i.e. reduced dimming range, flickering and or inconsistent performance. These types of dimmers are particularly beneficial to the majority of dimmable LED lighting.

Can I dim my Lumineux slimline panel?

Yes you can but you will first need to make sure you have the appropriate dimmable driver. Our Lumineux slimline panels come with a standard on/off, non-dimmable driver. We do offer a dimmable driver solution which is designed for use with push to make (momentary) switches, i.e. press and hold dims up, press and hold dims down, short press on/off, etc.

Can I dim 2 or more slimline Lumineux panels simultaneously via 2 or more switches?

Yes, using appropriate dimmable drivers available from Lumineux you can group several panels together. Using 1 or more to make switches you will be able to dim them simultaneously. Please call our sales department for more information.

Why do my LED fittings keep tripping the circuit breaker?

This could be happening for a number of reasons; bad wiring, faulty unit, etc. The most common reason for nuisance tripping is inrush current often associated with LED's. When first adding power to an LED fitting the inrush current can be up to 40 times its actual operating current, depending on where its switched in the phase cycle. This only happens for milliseconds but can be enough, to trip for instance, a standard type B circuit breaker. If you multiply this by how many fittings you have on the one circuit you can see it's quite easy to exceed the circuit breakers tolerance, be it only for a short time. This can in most cases be resolved by swapping to a type C circuit breaker, which allows a little more time before tripping. In some circumstances where several high-powered floodlights are installed, it may also be necessary to up the amperes of the circuit breaker. It's best to start with the minimum amount of fixtures per circuit and work your way up, testing the circuit breaker as you do. As a rule of thumb, you could use the operating current and times that by 10 to get an average inrush. This, of course, could be lower or higher but using this equation helps in the planning/installation and is often not far wrong.

Can I replace a light source with LEDs in a retrofit scenario?

There are many elements to take into account when replacing with an LED retrofit:

  • The lamp base/holder screw fixing position.
  • The physical dimension of the LED lamp and how it fits into the existing housing.
  • The electrical characteristics of LEDs compared to the existing system (mains voltage, low voltage, control methods including dimmers).
  • The location and size of the light emitting surface in relation to the luminaire reflector and in comparison to the original light source.
  • The light distribution.
  • Lumen output and other photometric properties, like colour temperature in comparison to the original light source.
  • The heat generated by the LED during operation and the maximum operating temperature.
  • Why does my microwave sensor bulkhead switch on when no one is in the room?

    Microwave sensors work very differently to the commonly used PIR sensor; they transmit an inaudible microwave and monitor reflections from walls or objects in the room, irrespective of heat or light. Line of sight issues do not affect microwave sensors as any movement of solid objects changes the pattern of the reflections and activates the sensor. Microwaves can easily penetrate thin walls and ceilings. It may be you need to reduce the sensitivity of the sensor, this can be easily adjusted using a series of dip switches found on the sensor itself. Instructions on how to do this are on the sensor itself and in the end user manual.

    Why does my PIR floodlight illuminate when no one is about?

    There could be a number of reasons for this, movement of trees, birds or small animals, etc. In most cases reducing the sensitivity solves this. You can do this by turning the sensitivity dial anti-clockwise, try with the least sensitivity first (fully anti-clockwise) and gradually increase (clockwise). It may also be worth repositioning the PIR to ensure no inanimate objects could be obstructing the field of view.

    What Kelvin do I need?

    As a general rule, you would use a 3000k fitting (warm white) to produce a calm relaxing light for use in bedrooms, living rooms, dining rooms and restaurants. You would use a 4000k fitting (cool white) to produce a friendly, inviting light for use in office space, garages and work environments. You could use 6000k (daylight) to produce a crisp vibrant light ideal for display areas, security lighting and garages.

    How much money will I save changing to LED?

    The older type incandescent bulbs were extremely inefficient as most of the energy consumed was wasted in the form of heat. Lumineux LED fittings/lamps use up to 90 percent less energy and are still able to offer the same amount of light output. It has been estimated that if every household in the UK replaced just two incandescent light bulbs with LEDís, in a year the nation would save enough electricity to supply all of its street lighting. In addition, LEDís have an extended lifetime, lasting on average 30 to 50 times longer. You are therefore, not only saving on energy costs but also saving on replacement costs.

    Got a technical question not mentioned above?

    Please email us at technical@manby.com and we will be more than happy to help.

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