Dimmers for LEDs and LED lamps for 220V: functions, selection, connection

Dimmers for LEDs and LED lamps for 220V: functions, selection, connection


The ability to change the brightness of lighting and create different light scenarios becomes for a modern home the same necessity as connecting to the power grid or the Internet. Therefore, the luminous flux regulators or dimmers for LEDs are recommended to install wiring in the apartment with each update.


  • 1Functions of dimmers
  • 2How does the dimmer for LEDs work?
  • 3Compare the advantages and disadvantages
  • 4Varieties and characteristics of dimmers for LED lamps
    • 4.1Demonstration of work with different types of lamps
    • 4.2Classification of regulators
    • 4.3Popular manufacturers of dimmers
    • 4.4How to choose a device
  • 5Connecting yourself
    • 5.1Detailed instructions for connecting the dimmer (video)

Functions of dimmers

The dimmer with the functional illumination of the key is not only convenient, but it looks stylish in the interior

The functionality of dimmers depends on the complexity of the device. The simplest ones that can be made with your own hands are used only for a stepwise or gradual change in the intensity of the lamp's glow. More modern models equipped with microcontrollers can perform other tasks:

  • Fine-tuning the lighting. Dimmer helps to adjust the comfortable brightness of lighting devices depending on the intensity of the natural lighting throughout the day, the orientation of the room to the ends of the world, the decoration of the window opening, habits and preferences owners. This is much more convenient than selecting for each group of lamps lamps of the required power.
  • Automatic shutdown at the set time. This feature relieves the host from having to check every room before going to bed / exit and helps reduce electricity bills.
  • Save money on lamps. Working in the reduced brightness mode, LED lamps and incandescent lamps are capable of performing their functions 3-5 times longer than the planned time.
  • Simulation of the presence of hosts. The device turns on and off, and also changes the brightness of the lamps connected to it, simulating the actions of people living in the house. The program is designed specifically for those who regularly leave their homes and are afraid of penetration of robbers.
  • Remote control of light: through the console, voice commands, application on the smartphone. It is convenient not only in large rooms, but also bedrooms, when you do not want to get up from the bed in the evening.

Dimmers can be installed both for a single lamp / chandelier, and for a group of fixtures.More often for each group of lighting devices of each functional zone a separate dimmer is provided.

In addition to living rooms, this type of equipment is supplied with concert venues, theatrical halls, circus arenas and other rooms where smooth lighting adjustment is necessary for visual effect.

How does the dimmer for LEDs work?

The circuit demonstrates how the dimmer converts the normal AC curve

The principle of operation of the device is based on changing the voltage of the current in such a way as to cut off the front (" front ") or rear (" adjustment on the trailing edge ") the front of the sine wave of alternating current (" the principle of phase cutoff "). Thus, when dimming at 50%, the lamp uses only half the available power.


Dimming on the leading edge is used with low voltage lamps, luminescent and LED lamps at 230V, complete with electromagnetic transformers. The dimming on the trailing edge is applied to the same lamps in tandem with electronic transformers.

The task is performed using a rheostat or a set of electronic elements. Rheostat-type dimmers are characterized by low efficiency (efficiency) and, when the illumination is lowered, they do not reduce power consumption, so they gradually become obsolete. Electronic dimmers work by using a bi-directional thyristor and a PWM system (pulse width modulation) that delay the load activation signal. When operating at full power, there is no delay, at 10 percent luminosity it is 9 milliseconds. Thus, the dimming lamp is permanently switched off and turned on with a slight delay.

For normal operation, the device is protected against overheating and short-circuiting.


The dimmer is able to prevent damage to the lamp during regular voltage drops.


Compare the advantages and disadvantages

Details about the pros and cons of devices
pros Minuses
Allow to reduce energy consumption of the premises. Expensive, especially programmable models with touch and remote control.
Extend the service life of the lamps by reducing the intensity of operation, as well as a smooth start-up. They lead to malfunctions and destruction of lamps, if the instruments are picked up incorrectly.
Protect the premises from intrusion of strangers. Budget devices generate electromagnetic interference, which worsen the operation of radio engineering devices.
Provide a decorative effect and eye-pleasing illumination in any room. Unsuitable for working with fluorescent / energy-saving / halogen lamps, since the latter are equipped with a compensation system for stable luminescence.
Make the light design of the room more interesting and varied. If the load on the dimmer is less than the minimum permissible (for example, the incandescent lamp is replaced by an LED lamp), the device will quickly deteriorate without the possibility of replacement under warranty.

If you decide to use a dimer in your home or office, try not to save on appliances and Use the advice of a sales consultant to select the best dimmers that suit each other and lamps. Then you are guaranteed to avoid the appearance of unpleasant effects.

Varieties and characteristics of dimmers for LED lamps

Buying light control, keep in mind that devices for incandescent lamps, energy-saving lamps and LEDs are different. Therefore, you need to take either a specialized device, or for a standard selection of LED lamps labeled "DIMMABLE" / circular icon.

Such an icon on the box means that the LED lamp will work with a universal dimmer. The minimum luminance level may or may not be indicated

Demonstration of work with different types of lamps

Classification of regulators

Dimmers with different control principles

Depending on the principle of control of devices, dimmers for LED lamps are:

  • Rotary-pressure. The most common type of dimmer, such instruments are easy to operate, they are characterized by low price and simple construction. The control is intuitive: the brightness is changed by turning the knob, turning on / off is done by pressing. Users appreciate the ability to turn the light on and off without changing the selected brightness parameter.
  • Keyboard. Devices resemble conventional switches, which allows you to choose the most suitable dimmers, switches and sockets for design. The desired degree of brightness is set by pressing the + key / turning on and off by pressing the I / O button (or without a key).
  • Sensory. Instruments are controlled by means of a tactile sensitive screen, to which auxiliary information can be output. Dimmers of this type differ actual, sometimes even futuristic design, so they are often installed in modern interiors.
  • Remote. Such devices are not installed in the user's direct access area, they are mounted near a lamp or in the electrical panel of an apartment. Control is done using the remote control or from any gadget via WiFi (you will need to download and install the corresponding application).

Choosing the right type of dimmer depends on your convenience, the design of the room and the budget allocated to the devices.

Types and schemes of connecting dimmers

Instruments are also classified according to the installation method:

  • Modular are intended for installation in a distributive board on a DIN-рейку (near to protective automatic devices). Such devices can be mounted or replaced at any time, you only need to provide a separate wire for it.
  • Wall mounted in the same way as the sockets and switches directly in the room, where the light flux will be regulated. Installation is carried out at the end of the repair simultaneously with the specified devices. Add such a dimmer after the repair is very difficult, as it will require the strobing of the wall and the destruction of the finish coat.
  • The remote ones look like miniature (2-3 cm long) blocks with three control sensors. Since they can be remotely controlled, they are installed under a hanging / tension ceiling next to the chandelier or inside the housing of the lighting fixture. Dimmers of this type can be mounted simultaneously with a luminaire (walls need not be shrottled, therefore, repairs are not required).

If you plan to equip a smart home system, modular models will suit you; plan to repair without clever at home - prefer wall-mounted; If the repair is already done, there is no risk of finishing only remote.

Popular manufacturers of dimmers

Among the most popular and authoritative brands of regulators of LED lamps are:

Marking dimmers produced by Legrand
  • Legrand (Legrand). The French company offers products of European quality, certified in accordance with GOST. Advantages of dimmers Legrand: ease of installation, reliable work, attractive design (colors: ivory, white, aluminum). The manufacturer offers models of rotary, push-button and touch types.
Marking dimmers manufactured by Schneider Electric
  • Schneider Electric (Schneider Electric). The German manufacturer is known for the quality and high reliability of manufactured dimmers. Several series of instruments with different designs and seven variations of colors have been developed. The devices are equipped with mounting feet and guides, which facilitate the installation procedure.
Marking of dimmers produced by Makeel
  • Makel (Makel). The Turkish brand has a more loyal price policy than the European producers. Masters recommend using this brand in areas with low load, where they demonstrate sufficient reliability.

Each manufacturer applies to its dimmers information about their compatibility with lighting devices of various types. It is usually provided by brand representatives or consultants at points of sale.

How to choose a device

When selecting a dimmer, it is necessary to take into account such parameters:

  1. Planned load (total power of connected lamps). The documentation for the dimmer indicates the load capacity of the device, it must be one-third greater than the sum of the luminaires it controls. To make a power reserve is no longer worth it, as this will lead to a dimming of the dimmer.
  2. Voltage in the mains. LED lamps are designed for circuits of 220V or 12V (working through a transformer). Dimmers for them are issued different, so make sure that the box was marked with 220V.
  3. Compatible with the lighting device. In the instructions to the device it should be written that it works exactly with LED lamps (not diodes or ribbons), but not with incandescent lamps.

The choice of dimmer by type of installation and brand is written above. For maximum compatibility of devices, we recommend buying a set of dimmers and lamps at the same time and checking their joint work in the shop.

Connecting yourself

Demonstration of correct wire connection

The installation of a dimmer switch is not difficult for an ordinary electrician and even a person who is only slightly familiar with such work. To connect a remote dimmer, just connect the wires by connecting one side to the wiring, and the opposite one to the luminaire (so that the "phase" and "zero" are not messed up, all the wires are labeled). Modular, as already mentioned, are mounted on the DIN-strip in the electrical panel. It is better to assign this work to a professional, so as not to accidentally disrupt the work of neighboring elements.

Pay attention to the location of the contacts for connecting the wires

The procedure for mounting the wall regulator is similar to working with an ordinary outlet. We will describe in more detail the work rules and safety requirements:

  • determine the phase wire by the indicator screwdriver;
  • Turn off the power supply to the room / apartment (depending on the capabilities of the shield);
  • connect the phase conductor and the dimmer wire with the marker "L and connect the zero wire to the wire marked "N". This can be done by twisting (provides a large contact area of ​​conductors) or special clamps (more convenient and faster, especially for beginners).
  • place the device in the jar and adjust its position with the help of adjusting bolts;
  • Install the decorative cover;
  • Connect the power and conduct the experiment.

If your dimmer allows you to turn on / off the light, it is put instead of a standard switch; if the model It supports only the mode of changing the degree of illumination, it is mounted in series with a switch (before him).

Detailed instructions for connecting the dimmer (video)

With this knowledge, you can easily find a suitable dimmer and make your home more comfortable and technically advanced.

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