Installing a dimmable LED bulb

On or off? dimmed light is better! There are many situations in which we would like to have a specific type of light in a room, either to create atmosphere or for the needs of a specific task, but do you know how to install a dimmable LED bulb?

In addition to the advantages already discussed in this blog, LED lighting is making sure that LED products have the same features as traditional lighting solutions. One of the most interesting features is dimming.

What do I need to install a dimmable LED bulb?

Before answering the question of how to dim the LED bulbs, we will briefly explain how a dimmable bulb works and the negative effects of an incorrect installation. The first thing to bear in mind is the generational leap between technologies, from the old incandescent bulbs, through halogen bulbs, to today’s models with the possibility of changing the colour of the light in the RGB spectrum. So even if you have a modern LED bulb, it will be difficult to achieve good results with older installations, as the power/consumption ratio has completely changed.

install a dimmable LED bulb

To begin with, we must be aware of the voltage the bulb works on. As you already know, the electrical installations work with alternating current at 220V, and it is the appliances and devices that use a transformer to convert it into direct current in order to adapt it to their required operating voltage. If the current reaching the LED bulb was alternating current and we wanted to adjust the brightness, we would encounter the issue of the bulb flickering when the brightness is lowered. This happens because the electrical wave that generates alternating electricity oscillates constantly between the poles, but this change of polarity is so fast that the human eye is not able to perceive it. If we were to lower the intensity, we would be lengthening the length of the electrical wave, which would slow down the change of polarity and we would perceive an annoying flicker.

This flickering of the bulbs would already occur in an installation with a transformer that was not compatible with to LED, as the old transformers are not prepared for the very small working voltage with which LED bulbs work, so when they do not detect sufficient “load”, the circuit goes into a loop, closing and opening the circuit continuously. For this reason LED bulbs already have an internal driver that transforms the voltage to be able to work, but not only that, but we already have LED bulbs with a built-in dimmable driver. Now it is clear that a transformer is not needed in the installation for the LED bulbs to work.

Dimmer for LED bulbs

If the internal driver of the LED bulbs is in charge of adapting the input voltage to the bulb’s needs, why haven’t we said from the start? The answer is that we think it is interesting for you to know how the bulbs work, and how important it is to have quality products such as those we have at Ledkia. We already offer an installation without a transformer and we have dimmable LED bulbs, the next aspect to take into account is the type of dimmer you are going to use. There are two types, magnetic and pulse. The latter are not designed to work with LED bulbs, and are often guilty of melting the internal driver of the bulb. Imagine that you want to use an installation with a dimmer for halogen bulbs and replace them with dimmable GU10 bulbs. The average consumption of a halogen lamp is around 50w, so an installation with 5 of these lamps would require a dimmer of at least 300w.

Now let’s suppose that the old dimmer has a minimum working intensity of 30w and you install 5 dimmable LED bulbs of 6w, which would be about 30w in total, by lowering the intensity to the minimum, the bulbs would continue to receive the maximum power, so despite having the dimmer at the minimum, the bulbs would not lower their intensity. The solution is to change our old dimmer for a new dimmer that is prepared to work with LED bulbs.

In short, to install dimmable bulbs, you need the current to be continuous, something that is already taken care of by the internal driver of the dimmable bulb itself, and that a dimmer designed for products with LED technology. This is the easiest and simplest way to achieve dimmable lighting in any room. Do you dare to create a special atmosphere for special moments?