What is a dimmer? Dimmers or what else they call dimmers - these are special devices with the help of which you can control lighting devices. In addition to turning on the light, dimmers can also be regulated from very bright to dim. This is done by changing the flow of light, which is created by lamps of certain types. In addition to the positive atmosphere created by the light, dimmers allow saving: the cost of electricity reduces the dimmers, as well as increases the life of the lamps. This happens due to the fact that undervoltage is applied. Often dimmers are used to design different room designs and space zoning.
- 1 Dimmer principle
- 2 Dimmer design features
- 3 How does the dimmer work?
- 4 Install dimmer switch
- 5 Switch replacement with dimmer
When it comes to choosing a dimmer, it is necessary to take into account the type of lamps with which the dimmer will work. The power adjustment of different types of lamps (halogen, incandescent, fluorescent, and others) is different, respectively, and dimmers have different schemes:
- the heating of the filament depends on the magnitude of the voltage supplied from the dimmer. From this there is a change in the brightness of the glow. This scheme refers to halogen lamps and incandescent lamps, in which 220 V is the operating voltage;
- the use of a transformer that converts the voltage level delivered by a dimmer to 12–24 V. This circuit applies to halogen low voltage lamps. It should be understood that the transformer that is used in this scheme must be regulated and electronic, as well as provide a “soft”, phased switching. This is a prerequisite for the lamp thread to warm up. Considering that initially the current is small, there is no overload;
- with the use of fluorescent lamps, which in the composition has an electronic choke. The dimmer is constructed as a follow-up electronic circuit: mains voltage conversion in the range of 0–10 V. The voltage is applied to the electrodes of the lamp and regulates the power created between them electrical discharge, he, in turn, controls the power of gas emission.
There are four ways to control the operation of the dimmer:
The mechanical method is the most simple and common. Here the potentiometer is provided in the circuitwhich is included in the low-voltage circuit of an element that is power - a choke, a thyristor, a rheostat, and others.
Dimmer, whose electronic control (sensors and buttons) has many different sensors in its composition.
Remote control involves the regulation of lighting with the help of the remote, it happens on the basis of infrared signals or radio channels.
To control the acoustic dimmer sound signals are used (voice commands, claps and others). When choosing such a dimmer take into account the total power of the lampsthat connect to it. Forty to a thousand watts is the standard power of household dimmers.
Dimmer design features
By design, dimmers can be divided into:
- modular device. Mounted such regulators in the distribution cabinet. The devices work with systems that use incandescent lamps, as well as with halogen lighting devices, then a down-type transformer is needed. These dimmers are controlled with a single key or button;
- dimmer switchto be installed in an installation box. To install a dimmer of this type is necessary when wiring is performed. Can be used with halogen lamps.whose electronic or step-down transformer;
- monoblock devices. Such devices work as a switch. A two-wire connection is required, it is made in the breaking of the phase wire circuit that goes to the load;
- monoblock tilt-push dimmer. Such a knob is activated by pressing a key, and the brightness is adjusted by turning the key;
- rotary control. Control and activation of the dimmer is a rotating button. When enabled, the brightness level is always the minimum;
- keyboard dimmers. By holding the key, the adjustment is made;
- touch type devices. Regulation takes place by touching the touch screen.
It is necessary to separately allocate overhead dimmers. Often they are used as an aesthetically-decorative control electrical accessories, which is mounted on the wall surface. As an example, walls lined with ceramic tiles are suitable for this.
There are tricks for arranging lighting systems. Passing dimmer is one of these tricks. The mechanical dimmer that adjusts the brightness is mounted from the corners of the room, which are opposite to each other, the most A convenient option is to use two pass dimmers.which are connected in parallel, and each device is responsible for its half period. If one device is fully involved, the second does not participate in the regulation of participation.
For the version with a pass dimmer. The best solution is to use a touch dimmer. If two such electronic devices are used, synchronization can easily occur.
How does the dimmer work?
Dimming is performed by using a “phase cut-off”, with it one part of the sinusoid is cut off, which reduces voltagethat feeds on lighting. If the cut-off occurs at the beginning, then this is called “regulation along the leading edge”, and if at the end, then “along the rear”.
These methods are suitable for regulating the lighting of lamps of various types: “on the falling edge” is better suited for lamps with low voltage halogen or LED type and electronic transformers are used. “On the leading edge” is recommended for low voltage lamps and the use of electromagnetic transformers, as well as 230 V LED and fluorescent lamps. For incandescent lamps of 230 V and halogen lamps, both methods are equally well suited.
For the device to work stably, you need to use a wire that has three wires: for phase, ground, and zero. This is necessary to move the point through 0. If small dimmers are used, then wires with two conductors will be quite enough.
There are protections in the dimmer device:
- from overheating. It works when the device is turned off. Re-activation will be possible after the regulator is cooled and only manually;
- from short circuit. The output where the closure occurred is disabled. The work takes place through the phase cut, if within seven seconds the work is not established, the device automatically turns offif the time is more than seven seconds, then the regulator can be turned on only manually.
Also in the devices there are special terminals for connecting the light level control and wires.
Install dimmer switch
Almost always the connection of the dimmer in the circuit of the lighting system is the same. There are two or four terminals on the dimmer; special marking carries information about the assignment of these terminals. Two terminals are present in monoblock dimmers. Only the broken phase of the lighting circuit is connected to such regulators. As for dimmers having four terminals, the broken phase of the lighting circuit is connected to two terminals, and to the other two they carry out the control button.
Switch replacement with dimmer
If you imagine replacing a simple switch with a dimmer, the process will look like this:
- you must remove the switch and disconnect it from the electrical wiring;
- need to examine the terminal markings. As a rule, there are arrows on them that indicate the outgoing and incoming phases;
- from the two wires of the former switch, you need to choose the phase that is coming - the tester starts to glow when it comes in contact with it;
- it must be connected to the corresponding terminal of the dimmer, and the second wire is connected to another contact;
- dimmer should be inserted into the box and there it strengthened with screws or antennae.
A simple dimmer switch can be made independently; many electrical circuits are presented on the Internet that can be assembled quite easily. For each type of lamp has its own scheme. The main thing - the correct selection of the variable resistor. Further you need to build a dimmer into the case new switch. In the case of modern lamps it is necessary to solder and create a new circuit.