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Dimming technology has revolutionized the way we illuminate spaces, offering the ability to adjust the illumination levels. Dimmers play a pivotal role in creating the desired lighting effect. However, not all dimmers are created equal.

In this article, we look at ELV dimming, its functions, benefits, and considerations when integrating it into your lighting system.

What is ELV dimming?

Electronic Low Voltage (ELV) dimmers, also known as Trailing Edge or Reverse Phase dimmers are prominent for their precise brightness control, longevity, and quiet operation.

Originally developed for 12V MR16 halogen lamps, ELV dimmers have evolved to meet the demands of modern lighting systems, particularly LED applications.

How ELV dimmers work

ELV dimmers are designed to work with electronic transformers commonly used in LED lighting systems. They operate by generating PWM signals (pulse width modulation). The PMW signals generated by the dimmer are fed into the electronic transformer. The transformer converts these pulses into a constant voltage output, which is supplied to a light fixture.

Essentially, PWM signals are rapid pulses of electrical current. These pulses control the average power sent to the fixture by adjusting the ratio of the pulse’s “on” time to its “off” time. The duration of the on and off cycles (duty cycle/frequency), determines the brightness level of the LED. A longer on-time compared to off-time results in higher brightness, while a shorter on-time results in dimmer light.

ELV dimmers precisely adjust the frequency (duty cycle) to achieve the desired dimming level.

Installation considerations

ELV dimmers deliver smooth and accurate dimming, enhancing energy savings and sustainability ultimately extending lamp lifespan. They provide flicker-free dimming without noise (buzzing or humming). In addition, ELV transformers are smaller, lighter, and more efficient.

While ELV dimmers offer unparalleled advantages, it’s essential to consider certain factors before implementation. These dimmers require a 3-wire setup, including a neutral wire, which may necessitate additional wiring.

Compatibility issues with specific switch boxes and the absence of a neutral wire in older buildings can be a challenge. Additionally, ELV dimmers may be more expensive than other dimmer types.

While most integrated LEDs work well with ELV dimmers, some European brands utilize the 0-10 volt system. There’s no one-size-fits-all rule for LED dimming. It is thus imperative to understand specific device requirements.

To Sum Up

ELV dimming technology stands as a beacon of innovation in modern lighting. Whether it’s for residential spaces, commercial establishments, or landscape lighting projects, ELV dimming paves the way for energy-efficient, customizable, and aesthetically pleasing illumination.

See you soon folks!

George Gitau

Meet George, an advocate for traditional craftsmanship. I will provide you with educational content, techniques and ideas for your next garden and home improvement project. Together, let's create beautiful spaces that are not only beautiful but also functional

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