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How To Dim LED Strip

By October 26, 2011 News No Comments

Dimming LED strip is a simple process so long as you have control gear that can provide a PWM (Pulse Width Modulation) output signal. I prefer using PWM for dimming LED strip as it it silky smooth from 0-100% and the LED driver doesn’t have to be closely matched to the load as with 1-10V dimming systems.

The first method I’m going to explain today is a 24VDC stand alone system. By stand alone I mean it is not part of a smart lighting control system like Dynalite, Crestron or C-Bus.

I’m going to use our 3000K, CLC-SuperFlex LED strip which consumes 9.6W of power per meter. So the total power consumption of our 4m roll is 9.6 x 4m = 38.4W. The input voltage of the SuperFlex strip is 24V, so dividing 38.4W by 24V gives us the current of the 4m length which is 1.6A. We need to know this information to ensure our load doesn’t exceed the rated output of the PWM dimmer, but our Dim Master has 4 x 5A channel outputs at 12-24VDC, so technically we can dim up to 48m of SuperFlex with this dimmer. 1.6A per 4m roll x 12 rolls (48m) = 19.2A.

For a 4m length of SuperFlex LED strip rated at 1.6A/4m length you will require a 24V LED power supply rated higher than 38.4W. Connect a 2 core low voltage cable from the positive and negative of the 24V power supply to the input +/- of the Dim Master. This input voltage powers up the dimming unit to provide the PWM signal. Now run a second 2 core low voltage cable from on of the 4 output channels of the Dim Master to the +/- of the LED strip. And that’s it!

The Dim Master has a large chrome rotary knob which is depressed for ON/OFF, and simply rotate the knob in a clockwise direction to ramp up to intensity of light, or anti-clockwise to dim. The Dim Master will provide smooth 0-100% dimming of the 4m length of SuperFlex strip.

If you have LED strip lighting installed that you would like to dim, please contact us today and get your Dim Master shipped straight to your door.

The second method I’m going to explain involves using a 240V Triac Dimmable LED driver, but it requires a licensed electrician to complete the installation. Have your electrician purchase a dedicated 240V LED dimmer, preferably a DIGINET LED Smart phase adaptive dimmer optimised for LED loads. The benefit of this way of dimming the LED strip is that you can have a dimmer which neatly fits your 240V wall plate, compared to mounting a PWM wall plate beside the existing switch plate.
The Triac Dimmable Driver converts the 240V output dimming signal from the 240V DIGINET dimmer to a 12VDC or 24VDC PWM signal to dim the LED strip.

For our example I’m going to use the PDV-75-24 which has an output of 75W, far exceeding the 38.4W required by the 4m of SuperFlex LED strip. The 240V switch wire from the DIGINET dimmer is connected to the input of the PDV-75-24, along with a neutral wire from the same lighting circuit. Connect a 2 core low voltage cable from the positive and negative 24VDC output channel to the LED strip and that’s it! The LED strip will dim smoothly from about 10% up to 100% full intensity.

Creative Lighting Concepts sells a full range of Triac Dimmable LED drivers from 30W loads up to 360W loads, in both 12VDC and 24VDC output voltages.

If your load exceeds the 20A of the CLC Dim Master PWM wall plate (more than 12 rolls of Superflex), or the 360W of the Triac Dimmable Driver (more than 9 rolls of Superflex), you can use one of our LED Signal Repeaters (CLC-LSR-4-20) to inexpensively expand the PWM dimming signal by taking the load off of the PWM wall plate or Triac Dimmable Driver and placing it across the LED Signal Repeater. Each LSR has 4 x 5A channel outputs at 12VDC – 24VDC and they can be daisy chained infinitely to deal with whatever size load the project demands.

To wire the circuit, connect a 2 core low voltage cable from the positive and negative of the 24VDC power supply to the input +/- of the Dim Master PWM wall plate. This input voltage powers up the dimmer to provide the PWM signal. Now run a second 2 core low voltage cable from the power supply to the +/- Power Input of the LED Signal Repeater. Both of our control devices now have 24VDC power to them. Run a 2 core low voltage cable from the +/- output of the PWM wall plate to the PWM Input +/V and -/RED (R) of the LSR. The LED strips are low side switched, so the negative is RED, GREEN, BLUE. This provides our PWM dimming signal. Now connect a single loop from the RED terminal to the GREEN terminal, from the GREEN terminal to the BLUE terminal and from the BLUE terminal to the WHITE terminal. The LSR can operate on fixed colour or RGBW and because we are only using fixed colour, we need to bridge the dimming signal across the other 3 input channels, otherwise we will only having dimming on the RED output channel.

Now connect 3 x 2 core low voltage cables from the V+ and RED (-) output channel to 3 x 4m lengths of Superflex (4.8A). Repeat this procedure with 3 x 2 core low voltage cables from the V+ and GREEN (-) output channel to the next 3 x 4m lengths of Superflex (4.8A) and 3 x 2 core low voltage cables from the V+ and BLUE (-) output channel to the last 3 x 4m lengths of Superflex (4.8A).
Run a 2 core low voltage cable from the +/V and -/RED (R) of the LSR to the PWM input +/V and -/RED (R) of the second LSR. Connect a 2 core low voltage cable from the positive and negative of the second 24VDC power supply to the input +/- Power Input of the LSR. Repeat the procedure of connecting 3 x 4m lengths of Superflex (4.8A) per output channel as was the process for the first LSR, and the wiring is done!

Turn on the 24VDC power supplies and the 20A PWM wall plate will comfortably dim 38.4A of load because we have removed the load from it and placed it across a secondary device.

If you have LED strip lighting installed that you would like to dim, please contact us today and get the control gear you need shipped straight to your door.

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