Choosing the correct dimmer switch can be a simple or complicated task depending on the type of light source you want to dim. Dimming halogen or incandescent lighting loads is straightforward as most dimmer switches will function perfectly well. However, dimming CFLs (Compact Fluorescent Lamps) or LEDs (Light Emitting Diodes) can be tricky as both the dimmer switch and the light must be compatible.
Choosing an LED compatible dimmer switch used to be difficult as the dimming technology differs from LED to LED and the wattage is much lower. Varilight have now solved this industry wide problem with their V-Pro range of trailing edge dimmer switches which now have a minimum load of just 2.5 watts when used with LEDs. Downlights Direct works closely with both lighting and dimmer switch manufacturers to provide expert advice and pre-sales support. Our advice is based on extensive testing, research and feedback from our customers.
Trailing Edge Dimmer Switches
Trailing edge dimmer switches have a much lower load than leading edge and inductive, usually as low as 10 watts (or 2.5 watts for LED). This allows dimming of low energy lights such as LED and CFL that have considerably lower loads. Trailing edge technology provides a much smoother dimming function and because it contains no transformer or coil, they are virtually silent. No buzzing whatsoever!
Although trailing edge is ideally suited to dimming LED lamps and integrated LED downlights, they will also dim halogens and CFL lamps as well. By choosing a Varilight V-Pro you can make sure your installation is future proof. The latest V-Pro dimmers can also be reset and reprogrammed, this allows them to function better when different types and quantities of LEDs are used on the circuit. So far we have not found an LED that the V-Pro doesn't work with, the loading recommendations are one to ten LEDs but we have known many instances were up to twenty GU10 LEDs have been dimmed using just one switch.
Analogue Dimming 0-10V
Although used less frequently due to the arrival of mains dimmable LED drivers 0-10V dimmer switches are still commonly used with fluorescent ballasts. We offer them in plate switch and grid switch format.
Grid Switch Dimmers
A grid switch system is made of various mounting and switching components which allow you to mix many types of switches all on the same plate. This can be effective when you want a dimmer switch and an on/off switch on the same face plate. However, this doesn't look good and can work out expensive, a better way of mixing dimmers with switches is to order 2 gang dimmer switch and replace one of the dimmer modules with a 'dummy dimmer module'. This type of module looks like a dimmer switch but performs the same way as an ordinary on/off switch. This combination can is ideal for use in bathrooms with one switch used to dim the lights and the 'dummy dimmer' used to switch a fan.