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LED lighting is quickly becoming a popular solution for people looking to reduce their energy consumption. However, many LED lights can have difficulty when dimming. LightwaveRF Dimmer switches can work with LEDs if the LEDs are labeled dimmable, but there are guidelines that need to be followed:
IMPORTANT - An LED load is not the same as a standard load and must be treated differently. Although the Dimmer switches can handle 250/210W of halogen/incandescent load, this is not the case for LED lighting.
Maximum Loading: The maximum recommended LED load of when used with dimmers varies across the market; a common guideline is not to go beyond 10% of the maximum halogen rating of the dimmer switch. However, there is no specific rule as the many LEDs on the market have their own traits. Using 10x 5W LEDs from Brand A can give vastly different results from using 5x 10W LEDs from Brand B, despite both totaling 50W of load.
As a guide, we would not recommend going above 60W of LED lighting per gang on LightwaveRF Dimmer switches. Exceeding this may lead to damage of the LightwaveRF Dimmer switch. Some LEDs may appear to work initially with >60W loading, but this may cause damage to the Dimmer switch over time.
Minimum Loading: LEDs that are compatible with LightwaveRF may still need to have a minimum load on the circuit for operation. This typically cannot be attributed to a Watt value and instead relates to the number of LEDs in the circuit. We find that two lamps of any compatible LEDs is an absolute minimum requirement, with four lamps or more recommended.
Two/Multi Way Switching: Due to LightwaveRF switches requiring a small amount of power from the lighting circuit when operating, this can affect the LED performance. More power is required with every Slave/2 Way Dimmer switch installed, exaggerating this effect even with compatible LEDs.
This issue can be resolved by using of the LightwaveRF Wire-free switches together with the Dimmer(JSJSLW201/JSJSLW221) in place of the Slave/2 Way Dimmer units. These switches look visually similar to the Dimmer switches, but are battery operated thus not affecting the lighting circuit. Use of a resistive load (see below) can be another solution for this.
Compatibility: For trouble free LED dimming with LightwaveRF, we would strongly recommend using LED lighting that we have tried and tested with our dimmer switches. We have tried the following with success when two or more lamps are in the circuit:
- GU10 Luminox Dimmable, by SaveLightUK (~10-100% dim range)
- GU10 & MR16 LEDs, by IstoriaLED (~50-100% dim range)
- Fire Rated Downlighter ZEP1, by EcoLED (~25-100% dim range)
Resistive Load: If you have used LEDs other than the ones recommended above (or the above LEDs with Slave/2 Way Dimmer switches) which flicker when on and/or glow when switched off then this is an indication that there is not enough load in the circuit. Halogen and incandescent lighting give a resistive load equal to their stated wattage while LEDs do not. Having 20W of LED lighting does not necessarily give 20W of resistive load. As a minimum resistive load is required for LightwaveRF Dimmers to operate, erratic behavior can result when this resistance is not met.
A quick way to check if an LED problem you have is resistance related is to temporarily replace one of the LED lamps with a 50W halogen/incandescent lamp. If any problems are resolved then the fix required will be to wire a resistive load in parallel across the circuit. LightwaveRF recommend the Danlers 10W “RESLOADE”. In some cases two may be required.
Strip LEDs: Using Strip LEDs with LightwaveRF Dimmers is not recommended. The very small load produced by these strips mean they do not work with LightwaveRF Dimmer switches.
The full LightwaveRF Compatibility guide can be found as this articles attachment.
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