ELV stands for Electronic Low Voltage. An ELV dimmer is known by a number of names. ELV dimmers are also called simply “electronic dimmers”, as well as “trailing edge dimmers”. These names come from the way in which this dimmer transitions your LED’s luminosity.
An ELV dimmer works like this: the electrical load is turned off at the end, or trailing edge, of the Alternating Current (AC) waveform. Power to the load can be controlled, and this is done by a variance being applied to the ratio of on/off time, called the “duty cycle”, which exists in conjunction to the voltage as related to the load. Resistive and capacitive loads are compatible with an ELV dimmer precisely because of its trailing-edge functionality. Meanwhile, a leading edge dimmer only has compatibility with loads that are either inductive or resistive.
While trailing-edge dimmers are more complicated than other options, their increased compatible nature coupled with their energy-saving design makes them ideal for LED technology, making ELV dimmers in many cases the dimmers of choice. ELV dimmers are often used with LED drivers because they have a great track record for improving an LED’s ability to conserve energy while providing luminosity in a functional, sustainable way.
Another advantage of the ELV dimmer is that it is not going to be party to a massive voltage influx allowing in too much current too quickly. Also, there is no buzzing sound associated with dimming, meaning ELV dimmers are recommendable aesthetically.
When you’re purchasing an LED system of illumination, it is integral that you get the right kind of dimming technology. The advantage of the LED is its ability to conserve energy while providing trustworthy illumination for a longer period of time than is commonly associated with filament bulbs or fluorescent lighting. LED technology is taking off because it can provide the same amount of light from a lowered quotient of energy. But since it does initially cost more than traditional lighting motifs, if you don’t have the right kind of dimmer, you’re going to waste money. Granted, some LED applications require no dimmer whatsoever; but in a good number of them, being able to dim the light is desired.
Whatever you choose to use in conjunction with your LEDs, be sure to get your LEDs and their surrounding electrical accessories from a trusted source known for its acumen in electricity. Make your LED an investment.