Installing a low voltage dimmer is a great way to reduce electrical usage and provides the option for additional ambiance when appropriate. While all dimmers work on the same basic principle, care must be used to choose an appropriate dimmer to handle the type of lighting it is connected to. Dimmers can also be used to control the speed of fans when desired.
TYPES OF DIMMERS
There is no “one size fits all” low voltage dimmer. Make sure to choose the dimmer that matches the type of lighting in use:
- Incandescent and/or halogen bulbs require the use of a forward phase control dimmer that is rated to handle periods of unequal positive and negative current resulting in a net DC voltage.
- Magnetic low voltage (MLV) lighting utilizing 6, 12 or 24 volts requires a symmetric forward phase control dimmer designed to maintain a consistent flow of positive and negative current.
- Electronic low voltage (ELV) lighting, also known as solid-state transformer supplied low voltage lighting, requires a reverse phase control dimmer able to maintain very balanced amounts of positive and negative current.
- Fluorescent bulbs require an electronic fluorescent dimming ballast rated and designed specifically for the type of fluorescent bulbs in use.
- Light emitting diodes (LEDs) must be connected to an appropriate low voltage dimmer that is matched to the type of LEDs in use.
DIMMERS DISSIPATE A PORTION OF THE LOAD AS HEAT
A low voltage dimmer will dissipate a portion of the load it is connected to as heat. Dimmers must be wider than a typical switch to provide enough surface area for heat dissipation, but they are often ganged together to fit within the wall space of a regular switch. According to the UL limit, a dimmer can dissipate no more than 20% of the load as heat, a figure that translates into 80% efficiency. Higher grade dimmers dissipate less than 10% as heat. All are designed to stay below the UL limit of 140 degrees Fahrenheit.
HIGH QUALITY DIMMERS FOR MULTIPLE INDUSTRIAL APPLICATIONS
Energy Recovery Products designs high quality dimmers and other energy saving devices in California. Those products are then manufactured in China and marketed to multiple industries, such as lighting, medical, computing markets, and more. Three to five year warranties are provided on the majority of our products to guarantee their quality production.