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LED Dimming Systems

led dimmer

5 Channel RS232 LED Dimmer

Hometheatre

LED Star Ceiling

LED's are dimmed by removing part of the energy from the duty cycle of the power supply. This is most commonly achieved by Pulse Width Modulation or PWM dimming.

Dimming LED's with a PWM dimmer does require some care in the wiring. Unlike conventional lights which are wired in parallel after the switch, and can be run from either a daisy chain or star wiring topology, some LED lights demand series wiring.

The best bet is to determine what you are trying to light and how, then pick the fitting for the job, then wire it once you have a specific fitting in mind.

PWM Dimmers
You can purchase wal mounted PWM dimmers from various vendors ie www.collingwood.co.uk being a good example, or more commonly a PWM dimmer that is controlled via RS232 or DMX.

The benefit with the RS232 versions is that they are usually compatible with lighting control systems and can often handle 4 or more channels at once. These devices are remote mounted at a convenient location and don't then need to turn your feature wall into a electrical freakshow.

DMX PWM Dimmers
DMX is a Theatrical lighting standard that is robust and reliable and has been in use in the theatrical and more recently commercial lighting world for many years.

The benefit of DMX is that you can run a control bus around the house - picking up all the PWM dimming units and bring it back to either keypads or the central lighting control system to permit control of any led load from any keypad in the house - A simple interface is required to connect the DMX bus to the RS232 connector on the lighting system.

RS232 controlled PWM dimmers
These devices are great for smaller systems (ie a lounge or theatre) as they are connected directly to the lighting control system without the need for a dmx interface - check out www.gopronto.co.nz for a great example of these units.

The catch with this simplicity is that RS232 is a point to point protocol and will only permit the connection of one PWM dimming unit per RS232 port on the controlling system. Basically if you have more than a couple of LED circuits to dim - go with DMX. To see these systems in action be sure to visit www.aa.net.nz.

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