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December 10, 2015 8:59 am

LED Lighting Basics Part 2 – Dimming for Dummies

All things light dimming

This Infographic is a quick guide on basic things you need to know about LED light dimming:

 

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Infographic Text Version

 

IT’S ALL ABOUT CONTROL

Light is nature’s way of transferring energy through space.  We see light everywhere and it always surrounds us. When we use a light dimmer, we take control over nature and change the light source’s radiation!

Or simply put, we control the light’s intensity.

LED LIGHT SOURCE – This is the most common electrical symbol for an LED (Light Emitting Diode).

 

WHO INVENTED THE FIRST DIMMER?

Granville Trailer Woods, an African American, self-taught mechanical & electrical engineer who held more than 50 patents.

In 1896, he patented his “Safety Dimmer,” which greatly reduced wasted energy by matching desired demand to the amount of energy generated rather than burning off unwanted energy [1].

 

63 YEARS LATER

In 1959, Joel S. Spira invented a dimmer based on a diode and a tapped autotransformer.  This innovation not only saved energy but also revolutionized the dimming industry by allowing the dimmer to be installed in a standard electrical wall box. Two years later he founded the Lutron Electronics Company [2].

 

SOME BENEFITS OF DIMMING

SAVING ENERGY – LOT’A’MULA

Every dimmer saves up to 9% in electricity costs compared to a standard on/off switch.  The more lighting dimmers you use, the more you save.

 

BETTER LIVING SPACE

Light can directly affect your mood via ambiance. Dimming gives you the control to change the visual appearance of your living space.

 

INCREASED PRODUCTIVITY

Dimming means reduced energy consumption but can also positively contribute to productivity.

For Example:

By utilizing traditional dimming technologies with poultry, farmers can reduce stress and mortality and substantially increase the production of eggs all while dramatically reducing energy use and other input costs [3].

 

COMMON DIMMING-RELATED TERMS

If you want to appear as a dimming expert, you’ve got to know the following terms:

DAYLIGHT HARVESTING

Utilizing the ambient (natural or artificial) light present in a space.  For instance, dimming the lights down on Sunrise and increasing the light at Sunset. During these transitions, we keep the light level constant by utilizing a dimmer on our light source to add or subtract light radiation and compensate the natural sunlight.

 

DEAD TRAVEL

When changing the dimmer setting produces no visible shift in the light source’s intensity or light level.

 

DIMMING RANGE

The minimum to maximum light output that the dimmer can reach (considering that there is no dead travel).

 

FLICKERING

Flickering is unsteady light intesity (an important LED topic discussed in a dedicated infographic).

 

DIMMING PROFILE

The relationship between light output level and dimmer control position. Also called “Dimming Curve.”

Here is a general dimming profile

 

 

References:

  1. Grainville Woods. (n.d) In wikipedia. Retrieved December 6, 2015, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Granville_Wood
  2. Dimmer. (n.d) In Wikipedia. Retrieved December 6, 2015 from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dimmer
  3. Ken Marrin. (2014, June 5). Properties of LED light can boost poultry production and profits LEDs Magazine. Retrieved from http://www.ledsmagazine.com/articles/print/volume-11/issue-5/features/agriculture/properties-of-led-light-can-boost-poultry-production-and-profits.html

 

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