By | May 25, 2018
ight-dimmer installation melbourne electrician

Light Dimmer Installation

One common question we get asked a lot is  …. Do light dimmers save power on your energy usage when switching on a light bulb?

A light dimmer lets you adjust the levels in an area, for any occasion. For instance, you may want to add a little romance to an intimate dinner, create the right mood for a movie, or leave just enough light on to navigate your way to the bathroom.

In commercial environments too, light dimmers have an almost endless number of applications. Auditoriums, restaurants and boardrooms are just a few of the possible locations in which a dimmer will offer you full control of lighting to suit any occasion.

Tips: Candles can be dangerous when left unattended, use a light dimmer instead of separately switched circuits for a softer overall effect. Dimmers can also reduce your lighting power bill therefore saving energy.

less power usage

less power usage

Light dimmers can be easily installed to existing lighting control and switches, there are no pre-wiring when building your home or renovating your commercial property to consider. There are a limit to the number of light points a dimmer can control at once. Dimmers typically indicate the maximum power they can operate i.e. up to 450 Watts, this figure will depend on individual manufacturers. Although the limitation is indicated in Watt, the actual technical limitation is the current that will flow in the dimmer, measured in Ampere.

Example: If considering a low voltage downlight, transformers must indicate their dimming capabilities first, if each current transformer rating equates to 60 watts and the total dimmer rating of 450 watts, then 7 down lights may be controlled on the one dimmer.

Dimmer load compatibility can be important, you may hear a humming or buzzing noise if you light dimmer is not compatible to the lighting load your controlling. There are four compatible loads to consider –

  • Incandescent lighting and 240 volt Halogen lamps
  • Low voltage lighting with iron-core transformers
  • Low voltage lighting with electronic transformers
  • Exhaust fans (shaded pole induction motors) and Ceiling Fans (split-phase induction motors)

Many large manufactures have designed compatible dimmer controls to suit all four electrical loads, to overcome the humming and buzzing caused by non-compatible components. Important notes to remember, Iron core low voltage transformers may produce audible nose (buzz) at some stage or all light level settings, this is generally a function of the transformer design and manufacturer, the effect can be exacerbated by mounting the transformer on a ceiling panel or joist that acts as a sound amplifier. The effect can be minimized by isolating the transformer from the structure material around it. Do not wrap insulation around it, possibly using a alternative manufacturer may solve the problem.

Can light dimmers reduce your power bill?

The various electrical characteristics of the dimmer, its wiring, transformer and lamp occasionally form a tuned circuit that can cause the dimmer or lamp to emit a high pitched audible noise. Usually any noise from the dimmer is very low and can only be heard when very close. Lamps can emit a sound that is audible to someone standing under it. Some lamp makes are more prone then others. Changing to a premium brand of lamp usually solves this problem.

Dimmer Features And Benefits

  • Plaster wall or architrave mounting options
  • Wide range of plate styles and color variants available
  • Suitable for 1- way or 2- way switching
  • Suitable for a wide range of load types ( 12volt downlights and incandescent light bulbs)
  • Soft stat operation can benefit and extend light bulb life.

Domestic Applications

  • Master Bedroom – Adjust the lighting for romance or reading.
  • Kids Bedroom s – Night-lighting to help the kids feel safe and secure at night.
  • Dinning room – Create a romantic atmosphere for intimate dining experience.
  • Lounge Room / Family Room / Entertainment / Games Room – Relax and watch a movie or enjoy the complete home theater experience.
  • Bathroom – Soft lighting for that relaxing bath.
  • Hallway / Stairwells – Navigate your way to the bathroom or kitchen during the night in safety, but without blinding yourself in the process.

Commercial Applications

  • Auditoriums
  • Restaurants
  • Boardrooms
  • Conference Rooms
  • Convention Centers
  • Theaters
  • Hotels

A dimmer uses an electronic circuit to regulate the amount of average power applied to the load. The lower the average power, the lower the light intensity, the higher the power the brighter the load becomes. Most dimmers use a wave chopping technique known as phase control to achieve dimming control over various loads. There are two main types of phase control.

Leading Edge Phase Control and Trailing Edge Phase Control.

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