What is dimmer and how it works: the device and operation of the dimmer

Using dimmer, rarely think about its structure and principle of operation. However, small electronic or mechanical device is a fairly simple design can significantly increase the level of comfort.

If you understand what dimmer and how it works, you can manually connect or even raise a useful instrument in everyday life.

In this article we will explain what a dimmer and what it's for, and provides instructions for self-assembly of the device.

The content of the article:

  • What is a dimmer?
  • Pros and cons of the use of
  • Dimmable devices category
    • In a place of installation and a method
    • According to the structural features
    • By type of lighting fixture
  • Installation Instructions Dimmer
  • Conclusions and useful videos on the topic

What is a dimmer?

Word dimmer translates to English as "dimmer" which is completely untrue.

Compact electronic or electro-mechanical device is used to turn on / off and adjust the lighting power. In this regard, he received another common name - dimmer.

Lighting facilities - is not the only area where dimmers are used, but because of it, they began to demand at home.

It is very convenient to control the lighting load as usual by an instrument in structure and appearance resembles a switch.

Dimmers for Lighting Systems

Devices that change the light level in the room are designed for different types of lamps. For example, dimmers for LEDs differ from analogues for incandescent lamps

The prototype of the modern instrument has become a rheostat, invented in the nineteenth century German I. Poggendorff. The principle of operation was limited to the adjustment of the voltage in the loop resistance level.

The main disadvantage of the experimental units that had to reduce the voltage to decrease the brightness. This increased strength of the current and resistance, whereby the device becomes extremely hot and have a reduced efficiency.

efficiency factor could be increased through the use of auto-transformers with stable voltage and frequency. But it is bulky, inconvenient for home use installation. As a result, the best recognized electronic models - efficient, economical, small in size.

Rotary dimmer with a handle

A sample of single-channel dimmer with rotary control. The device is enclosed in a plastic body, power level LED strips is regulated by turning the knob made of aluminum

Many devices users find that the dimmer can dramatically reduce energy consumption and, consequently, to reduce spending to pay for it.

In fact, savings of around 15-18%, and in the foreground is still out comfort.

Here are just some examples of the productive use of a dimmer:

  • reduction of lighting, dimming light in the evening to create a relaxed atmosphere in the bedroom, nursery or living room;
  • the embodiment of design lighting patterns;
  • creating lighting for wall ceiling structures;
  • Work lighting system in different modes.

Increasing or decreasing the power ceiling or wall luminaire, you can reverse the surrounding interior.

Multicolored lights in the bar

Useful function actively used in public institutions, and entertaining (theaters, bars, nightclubs) for producing a sudden, a bright, colorful light effect

With the advent of electronic dimmers increased opportunities: you can set the flashing mode, ripple, smooth or sharp attenuation. There are programs that recreate the unusual light pattern only by changing the power of lighting.

Pros and cons of the use of

Before you buy a dimmer, it is necessary to properly assess the situation and decide whether or not it has become necessary.

Sometimes installing the dimmer in the house is really useful, because the device has notable advantages.

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Adjusting the brightness of the light in the room

The main function - increase / decrease the brightness of light - in itself is interesting. You can specify the "working" mode, which is visible to each mote on a table, or dim the lights to a minimum, to give rest eyes and relax

Extended range of modern models of opportunities

The electronic device allows the filling to increase its capabilities, making control even more comfortable ways. For example, on / off of cotton or a specific command, by sending a signal via radio or Wi-Fi

Smooth change of power and brightness

In contrast to the stepwise switching, smooth contour protects against sudden current surges which promotes a prolonged service lamps and the device itself. Use the handle to make a smooth adjustment more difficult, and the sensor device is in this sense an ideal

simulate human presence function

If there is a risk of robbery or for some reason you need to create an impression about the apartment, in which someone resides, set the device to simulate the function of presence. The light is switched on and off in different rooms

Adjusting the brightness of the light in the room

Adjusting the brightness of the light in the room

Extended range of modern models of opportunities

Extended range of modern models of opportunities

Smooth change of power and brightness

Smooth change of power and brightness

simulate human presence function

simulate human presence function

However, there are disadvantages. The main ones are related to installation works. Perhaps, for the installation will have to change the wiring, and then do cosmetic repairs. Some devices can disrupt the sensitive instruments, as cause electromagnetic interference.

Most of the dimmers are not universal, that is operating with only one kind of lamps, for example, with conventional incandescent lamps 40 watts or 60 watts.

If you want the efficiency of the device reached its maximum, just the use of incandescent lamas must be avoided. Most returns expected from lighting on LED light sources.

Dimmable devices category

There are different classifications of dimmers based on the method and place of their installation, structural features and types of lamps which they serve.

Every year there are new modifications that increase the list of existing devices. Consider the species most common in everyday use.

In a place of installation and a method

User, far from electricians, is dimmer as a device that replaces the switch. This is true, but on the wall of packaged devices variety of dimmers ends.

There are three types, which differ in appearance and method of connection, and the nuances of the adjustment functions:

  • modular devices, which are installed in switchboard on DIN-rail;
  • monobloc Wall construction with knob, button, or other adjustment device;
  • Instrumental (Boxed) model, which is inserted into the mounting box and connect directly to the switch.

First come to the rescue when existing conditions are not suitable for installation in the switch box. Instead of a few models serving different lighting circuits in the apartment electric board placed a multi-channel device, acting on all the lines.

But this requires plenty of space on the board, as the dimmer is usually rather big size compared to the same circuit breaker.

Multichannel dimmer switchboard

Total instrument regulating the work of 2-3 circuits, ideal if the load exceeds the individual lines 230-300 watts, which threatens to overheat mounting boxes

The second type - this is a "smart" replacement of the switch. Plastic candy bar is set in the same way as usual electrical installation for the on / off lights. He has a one-piece body, and an electronic mechanism is hidden inside it.

External operating elements are terminals for connecting cores and a pen or key management. Along with the mechanical-type devices can be met and remote sensing.

Monoblock key dimmer

Monobloc unit mounted in a convenient place for permanent use - at the door to the living room or hallway, next to the bed or the sofa designed for a night's rest

The third kind of size less than other counterparts. It is a small box of a rectangular or round shape, equipped with convenient terminal block for wires.

If the room has a false wall, the partition of the drywall or suspended structures, the product can be installed for them, without the use of additional equipment - mounting box. Devices located in the zone of inaccessibility, are controlled with the remote d / y.

Connected to the switch standalone dimmer

Dimensions embedded dimmer allows without problems to put it in the Escutcheon. First connected and inserted into the mounting box dimmer, and then repeat the same manipulations with a switch housing

According to the structural features

Apparatus embedded devices do not differ substantially, and monobloc construction models with external panels are usually divided by the process control, electro-mechanical or electronic.

Thus, the following types of devices:

  • rotary;
  • rotary pushbutton;
  • push (keyboard);
  • touch;
  • remote.

you can find the first category of the round pen, which to adjust the lighting just turn on / counterclockwise.

The second - a successful combination of two types of actions - of pressing and turning. To turn on / off the instrument lighting, press the button to reduce / increase the brightness - to turn it on the axis.

Keyboard solutions externally repeat switches and may have one or two keys - depending on the number of connected tubes.

Push dimmer in the interior

To bring light into the action button is pressed and immediately released, to adjust the brightness of the required delay, ie longer hold down the key

You do not need anything for touch control model to rotate enough to touch the front panel, and stay until the illumination reaches the desired level.

But the most convenient recognized remote devices, which are controlled from a remote point with the remote d / y. However, the mechanical method (rotary or pressure) is also stored.

System Control Panel

Lighting network, equipped with remote controls and control panels, is often a part of the "smart house" system, effectively a "team" and other instruments and devices

Selecting the dimmer is really wide, but before purchasing do not forget: the more comfortable and more functional device, the more it will cost to purchase and install.

By type of lighting fixture

As already mentioned above, there are no universal models. If you meet the construction, declared as universal, their functioning with different types of lamps is limited.

Suppose, some devices are designed for LED and energy-saving lamps, and they are designed for 12 V, others - for halogen and incandescent lamps, 230 V

Simple dimmer for incandescent lamps

Sample simple pivoting device which is able to control one lighting circuit. Lamps in chandeliers or lamps must be halogen or incandescent filament

There are some nuances that need to clarify before buying. For example, halogen lamps network 220 should not be confused with galogenki 12/24 connected via a step-down transformer.

In addition to traditional light sources - lamps - sold a lot of modern LED versions, which are also connected via a transformer, bundled.

Installation Instructions Dimmer

Electrical Legrand brand has long proved to be reliable and the "long-playing", so look at how to install a dimmer renowned French manufacturer.

The device can be put into a wiring box or simply a wall instead of a conventional circuit breaker, thus additional wiring or installation site preparation is not necessary.

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Step 1 - Getting Started with dimmer

Unpack the unit, disassemble it, if it is assembled, and are familiar with the connection mechanism. On the front side there is a panel for mounting the two keys, large and small

Step 2 - the terminal assignment

For convenience, wiring connections with each terminal device has a unit designation: 1 - incoming phase 2 - issuing phase, B - for the electrical connection of additional (as required)

Step 3 - analysis scheme

Scheme - a mandatory part of the instruction. All the nuances related to the wiring or connect live, indicated in the diagram must be observed. If the device is sold without instructions, he probably poor quality or fake

Step 4 - Wiring

We remove the insulation from the ends of the veins and insert them in the terminals: white on the input to the output blue. If you do not plan to connect other devices, this work is considered complete with the terminals. Tighten terminal screws

Step 5 - Installation of the housing box

Make sure the wires are connected correctly and firmly held in the sockets, dimmer insert body into the back box. Two mounting bolts should be tightened in the holes located on the sides, but do not tighten until the end

Step 6 - Check the horizontal position

To adjust the horizontal level of use, attach it to the top of the housing. You can use any suitable tool, magnetic, water or laser. By setting the correct position, tighten the fasteners

Step 7 - Set of decorative frames and keys

The last step of installation - Installation of decorative elements. And putting a first push the frame - place, then in the same way anchoring key. All carry lightly, trying not to damage parts

Step 8 - Testing the device

Alternately, check the work small and big keys: they need to move freely. Connect the lamp is supplied with current and see how light reacts to manipulation

Step 1 - Getting Started with dimmer

Step 1 - Getting Started with dimmer

Step 2 - the terminal assignment

Step 2 - the terminal assignment

Step 3 - analysis scheme

Step 3 - analysis scheme

Step 4 - Wiring

Step 4 - Wiring

Step 5 - Installation of the housing box

Step 5 - Installation of the housing box

Step 6 - Check the horizontal position

Step 6 - Check the horizontal position

Step 7 - Set of decorative frames and keys

Step 7 - Set of decorative frames and keys

Step 8 - Testing the device

Step 8 - Testing the device

If you have any problems, be sure to turn off the machine again, carefully disassemble the switch with a dimmer and check whether the wires are inserted into the terminals correctly. If the device is OK, check the connection of an additional lamp.

Do not forget that the connection diagrams for different devices have different, and sometimes the principal, so be sure to first study the instructions and the diagram, and then proceed to action.

We have an article on our website, where we are told in detail about how to build a dimmer with your hands. Read more - go on link.

Conclusions and useful videos on the topic

Regulators of light - not a novelty in the Russian market, so even more information about the device, functioning and connected devices can be gleaned from the YouTube video in the network of experts and amateurs.

About dimmers and benefits of their use:

Helpful hints for choosing an experienced user of the device:

How does a dimmer switch, clear and understandable to the video review:

To select the connection or the dimmer does not need to study electronics to thoroughly grasp the principle of operation. Usually, the necessary characteristics are known, even a superficial acquaintance with the model. The main thing - to choose the appropriate network parameters of the device, carefully study the chart and make installation strictly according to instructions.

If you can supplement the material interesting information relating to the selection or connect dimmersPlease leave your comments in the box located below. Here you can ask questions or participate in discussions on the subject of the article.

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