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In our previous blog, Are Dimmable LED lamps as Mythical as Unicorns, we examined whether retrofit LEDs can successfully dim using lighting control technology designed for incandescent light bulbs. Due to the continued scrutiny surrounding LED lamp dimmability, today we’re examining another element of LED dimming: leading edge versus trailing edge dimming.
The rising cost of energy is certainly driving consumers, retailers, and commercial property owners alike to seek out energy-efficient lighting technology—the most efficient of which is LED. There is very little tolerance, however, for energy-efficient products that detract from the look and feel of the space. Dimming is one such lighting feature that can deliver that desired ambiance. Our retail customers are certainly unwilling to sacrifice store presentation to save on energy, as it ultimately affects their bottom line of sales! We’re even starting to field more questions about the compatibility of our products with various dimmers and dimmer technology. Dimming is important!
This week, for example, we were asked whether our PAR lamps are compatible with trailing edge and leading edge dimmers. So let’s take a closer look at these two dimming technologies specifically for retrofit LEDs running off the Mains voltage.
Trailing edge dimmers (aka “electronic dimmers”):
Leading edge dimmers (aka “triac dimmers” or “incandescent dimmers”):
Trailing edge dimmers are a better fit for LED lamps. However, because LED retrofit lamps are more likely to be installed on existing dimmers used for incandescent or halogen lamps, many manufacturers design and test their LED lamps to be compatible with leading edge dimmers. Leapfrog Lighting is no exception.
So the short answer as to whether our PAR lamps work with trailing edge or leading edge dimmers is that they work with both. However, we’ve gone through great lengths to test with many different dimmers and only claim compatibility with those tested dimmers, even though they’ve been found to work with quite a few others.
If you are concerned about dimmability of your LED lamp with your existing dimmers, always consult the manufacturer’s product datasheets or contact the manufacturer directly. They should be able to provide you with test reports indicating compatibility.