Dimmers for 220V LED lamps: a step on the way to a “smart” home
In order for the interior lighting to work according to the selected scenario, special devices are used to adjust the brightness of the glow. Such electrical installation devices allow you to stepwise or smoothly change the load applied to light sources. Dimmers for 220V LED lamps not only control the light flow, but also contribute to energy saving and a long service life.
Dimmer: what is this device and how it works
Dimmer is a multifunctional switch designed to control the intensity of the luminous flux of incandescent lamps, fluorescent light sources and LED lamps. Initially, such devices were controlled mechanically, and their functions included only changing the brightness of various light sources. Modern dimmers are equipped with microchips (microcontrollers) designed to perform a number of functions:
- changing the glow level;
- smooth switching off and on of the light source;
- the effect of presence in the house (this function allows you to maintain a scenario of simulating the presence of the owners in the home, periodically turning on and off the light);
- automatic disconnection from the network;
- support a series of flashing and dimming modes;
- possibility of electronic, remote and acoustic control.
Dimmers can be installed individually or as a group, controlling the operation of one or more lamps, respectively. If several light sources are combined to illuminate a certain area, they can be connected to a single light regulator. With its help, it will be possible to change the brightness of the glow using a special remote control panel.
The dimmer device is based on the principle of rheostat. By changing the resistance of the circuit, you can change the value of voltage or current. The higher the resistance index, the lower the voltage of the electric current. In the device of the light regulator there is a set of resistors by means of which the intensity of the glow is regulated. Using a dimmer, you can adjust the comfortable level of lighting, taking into account that at different times the lighting requirements of the premises may be different.
Thus, the use of such devices makes it possible to implement not only a variety of design solutions, but also significantly reduce energy consumption costs.
Pay attention! Operating in a soft muted mode, incandescent lamps and LED lamps are able to work 5-10 times longer.
Dimmers for LED lamps
Depending on which light sources the light regulators are used for, they are classified into:
- dimmer control for incandescent lamps;
- dimmers for LEDs;
- light regulators for 220V LED lamps;
- dimmers for energy-saving lamps (fluorescent).
It should be noted that unlike LED strips and designs, semiconductor lamps can be connected to a 220V household network without using voltage converters. Their power is up to 40W. When replacing conventional incandescent lamps with LED light sources, it is necessary to familiarize yourself with the technical characteristics of the latter: voltage, power, color temperature, type of base, service life. All these data are available on the product packaging.
LED lamps are equipped with a base adapted to a standard lamp holder. They are available with caps of type E, MR and G (pin). The presence of threaded sockets of dimmable LED lamps E14, E27, makes them convenient for connection to a household 220V lighting system and allows them to use standard light regulators.
Not all control devices are compatible with LED lamps. In order for the buyer to understand whether it is possible to adjust the brightness of the purchased products, manufacturers put an indication of this possibility on the packaging and in the passport of the LED lamp. It can be either a corresponding inscription or a symbol.
By purchasing a dimmed LED lamp, you can save on the purchase of a special light regulator. For lamps whose device does not have a dimming function, dimmers for LED lamps are used, working on the principle of pole-width modulation (PWM), which are quite expensive.
Dimmers for 220V LED lamps: types, circuits and connection of devices
Connecting a standard dimmer under LED lamps of unregulated design requires a certain amount of power up to 45W. So, the power of one incandescent lamp can be given out by two or even three 220V semiconductor lamps. If the load is not enough, the LED lights will not work correctly and will quickly fail without the possibility of warranty replacement.
Classification of light regulators
You can choose a model of a light regulator that would maximize energy saving and increase the service life of LED lamps by familiarizing yourself with the classification and technical parameters of dimmers. They differ in design, current load, control principle, installation method and other characteristics.
According to the control method , the light regulators are classified into:
- touch (contact) – control of such devices occurs through contact with the touch panel;
- rotary-push – start occurs due to pressing the handle (a large round button), and brightness control – by turning. The main feature of such devices is that you can turn off the lighting in the selected mode without bringing the handle to its original position;
- keyboards are models with buttons or keys that adjust the light level. Usually in such dimmers there is a disconnect button from the mains, like a conventional switch;
- remote – the light output is adjusted using the remote control or via a wireless channel (Wi-Fi).
Pay attention! Due to the absence of moving elements in the design, sensor light regulators are the most reliable and high-quality relative to other models.
Depending on the installation location, dimmers are divided into the following types:
- wall–mounted – mounted at the location of the switch in the rooms where it is planned to control the light flow;
- remote – have the form of a small unit installed next to the lamp;
- modular – they are installed in the switchboard on a DIN rail, to which RCD, automatic protection switches and other devices are attached.
According to the method of electrical installation, dimmers are divided into devices for outdoor and concealed wiring.
Dimmer circuit for 220V LED lamp
The first simplest light regulators were used only to change the brightness. Their device included a rotary knob and a connection pin. Such devices worked without saving electricity, since the released power simply disappeared in the form of unnecessary heat. With the advent of semiconductor electronic devices (dinistors and triacs), the functions of dimmers have significantly expanded.
The principle of operation of the dimmer circuit on the triac is to pass current through it. In such light regulators, the main regulated element is a triac. The power of the load connected to such a circuit depends on its parameter. Due to the appearance of voltage between the electrodes of the triac A1 and G, the light bulb lights up.
The charge rate depends on the value of the potentiometer R, which is charged at the beginning of a positive half-wave. When the resistance indicator on the triac reaches the minimum value, it opens and the lamp glows until the end of the half-wave. The same pattern is observed in the case of a negative half-wave, since the current in the triac is transmitted in both directions.
Thus, the voltage on the active load is a section of negative and positive half-waves, going one after the other with a frequency of 100 Hz. With a very weak brightness of the light bulb, its flickering may be observed. This is due to the fact that the lamp power is very short segments.
The circuit of various triac light regulators for LED lamps is almost identical everywhere, and may differ in additional elements for stable operation at “outputs” with low voltage. In some cases, details are added to the circuit for smoother control of the light flow and elements that reduce the level of interference in the network.
How to connect a dimmer
Recently, many people have been replacing conventional switches with light-regulating devices to control lighting. The dimmer, like the switch, has two clips and is mounted in place of the mounting box using the same wires that were used for the household switch. With the help of a fairly simple dimmer connection scheme, anyone can install a light regulator.
Pay attention! Installation of the dimmer must be carried out, adhering to the safety rules during electrical work.
The procedure for connecting a dimmer for 220V LED lamps with your own hands:
- using a screwdriver indicator, it is necessary to determine the phase;
- to de-energize the household electrical network;
- guided by the dimmer circuit for LED lamps, the phase wire should be connected to the output of the light regulator with the designation “L”, the second wire to the connector with the designation “N”;
- to obtain a reliable connection, the wires need to be well clamped;
- after assembling the entire circuit, with the help of adjusting bolts, the position of the device body should be corrected;
- install a decorative cover;
- connect the power supply. If the system is functioning, it means that the connection is made correctly.
The process of connecting the dimmer with the switch is performed sequentially. Some light regulators are endowed with the “start” function/shutdown”. If you have purchased just such a model, then when installing the dimmer, the switch is completely replaced by this device.
Adjusting the light from several places: the principle of operation of the pass-through dimmer
Quite often there are situations when it is necessary to organize a lighting system in a large house or a large apartment. It may be necessary, for example, to turn on the light in a long and narrow hallway and, after walking through it, turn off the lighting. The need to dim the brightness of the light may arise if you have already gone to rest or watch TV, but you do not want to get out of bed at all.
Pass-through switches will help solve the problem of turning on lighting from several points. But you can adjust the luminous flux from several places by installing a pass–through switch at one point, and a rotary dimmer at the other. This arrangement of devices will allow you to only turn on the lighting in one place, and only adjust the brightness in another.
However, there are models of light regulators that provide pass-through dimming. These include sensor devices that, thanks to electronics, can synchronize with each other. For pass-through dimming, satellite devices are connected to the light regulator. Depending on the type of dimmer, from 5 to 10 satellites can be connected to it. Using a satellite device as an independent device is not possible.
Pay attention! To install light regulators with satellites that provide pass-through dimming, you will need the help of qualified specialists.
Manufacturers of light regulators: where to buy dimmers for 220V LED lamps
Guided by the opinions of experts, it is better to buy dimmers for LED lamps from proven manufacturers of electrical installation devices. Leading manufacturers of dimmers for LED lamps: Legrand, Schneider, Makel. They offer a full range of equipment: from household switches to lighting control systems.
Legrand dimmers for 220V LED lamps
All products manufactured by Legrand are developed on the basis of advanced technologies and meet the requirements of European quality. The main advantage of electrical installation devices of this manufacturer is ease of installation, trouble–free operation and excellent design. All products are certified and meet the requirements of GOST.
You can purchase Legrand dimmers for LED lamps by ordering the device on the official website of the company or in online stores specializing in the sale of such products. The cost of the Legrand Valen dimmer with a power of 400 watts of the rotary type is 2080 rubles. The price of a 400–watt push-button type light regulator is 4000 rubles. A rotary dimmer with a power of 1000 watts will cost 6160 rubles. Legrand dimmers are presented in the catalog in the following colors: aluminum, white, ivory.
Before buying a dimmer for an LED lamp, you should familiarize yourself with the device compatibility data available in a special table. As a rule, the points of implementation of lighting equipment have this information. Ideally, having bought a dimmable LED lamp, it is better to immediately check its compatibility with the purchased light regulator.
Schneider Electric Dimmers
Another world-renowned manufacturer is the Schneider Electric company. Dimmers from this manufacturer are presented in several series. The devices have an elegant design and are made in seven color options. The duration of operation of the devices is due to the use of proven and high-quality materials. The light regulators are equipped with protection against short circuit, overload and overheating.
Thanks to special guides and mounting tabs, the devices are easily and quickly mounted. All products are guaranteed by the manufacturer for 18 months. Flexible conditions for the exchange and return of devices have been developed. The company is constantly working on the creation of new devices with more advanced functions.
The price of the Schneider Electric rotary dimmer of the Unica series TOP color Graphite for halogen lamps and incandescent lamps is 4200 rubles, the cost of the Schneider Electric rotary dimmer of the Unica series with a power of 400 W Aluminum color for halogen lamps is 4050 rubles.
There are also more budget series of Schneider dimmers, the price of which does not exceed 1500 rubles. Thus, it is possible to purchase a rotary type light regulator of the W59 series with a power of 300 watts in Matt chrome color for concealed installation for 1400 rubles.
Useful advice! To warn yourself against counterfeiting, you should not buy devices at random points of sale.
Making a dimmer with your own hands
Anyone who considers himself to be an amateur radio operator and has at least some skills in this matter can make a light regulator independently. Since the dimmer circuit for LED lamps is very simple, it will not be difficult to deal with the device, provided that you have a soldering iron and electronic components. Radio components can be purchased separately or purchase a ready-made kit-constructor for assembly.
To make the device with your own hands, you will need the following parts and tools:
- copper wire;
- triac (triac);
- capacitors – 2 pcs;
- constant and variable resistors;
- soldering iron, solder.
Electronic components are placed on a printed circuit board and connected with a wire using soldering. When connecting radio components, they are guided by the light regulator circuit. The operation of the assembled circuit will consist in the fact that an alternating current of a resistor will be applied to a non-polar capacitor. And the capacitor, charging, will transmit power to the lamp.
After the homemade device is assembled, it needs to be tested. To do this, you can use a lamp holder with a lamp. You need to connect the device to the cartridge using wires and connect it to the network. Since there is a life-threatening voltage in the circuit, all connection points should be carefully isolated. In addition, it is forbidden to touch the exposed areas of the printed circuit board where the conductors are located.
If everything is assembled correctly, and all the radio components are in good order, the light regulator will work: when you turn the control element of the device in one direction, the light bulb will light up brighter, and when you turn it in the opposite direction, the intensity of the glow will decrease, until it turns off.
Dimmers are successfully used by designers for interior lighting design. After all, experimenting with lighting, you can give the room different shades: from muted and mysterious to bright and invigorating. With the help of light regulators, you can set convenient illumination scenarios and change the familiar environment, getting completely unexpected effects.