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All About TRIAC Dimming for LEDs

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All About TRIAC Dimming for LEDs

Dimmers have become the fundamental parts of various lighting systems and applications around us. It will not only enable you to adjust the brightness of the light around your home but also help you to significantly reduce the electricity bills when paired with the LED light source.

What does TRIAC mean?

The full form of TRIAC is Triode for Alternating Current. It is a switch that we use to control the power. When TRIAC is used in lighting systems, it is generally called TRIAC dimming.

TRIAC dimmers, also known as phase-cut dimmers are probably the most commonly used dimming control systems. In the past, building an ideal structure of LED lights with phase-cut or TRIAC dimmers has been a challenge. However, with the development, new TRIAC dimming drivers have been created for LED lights making the configuration much easier and simpler.

TRIAC dimmers have a broad range of applications and are commonly used in AC power control solutions. TRIAC circuits can switch high voltages and high current levels in the two components of an AC waveform. TRIAC dimmers are semiconductor devices same as a diode.

They are frequently used as a way of dimming light in different lighting solutions and applications as well as act as a power controller in motors.

How does TRIAC dimming work?

It is a physical dimming that begins from AC phase 0 and the input voltage is cut down until the TRIAC dimmer is turned on. The basic working principle is to regulate the angle of conduction for each half-wave of the AC to transform the sinusoidal waveform and then adjusting the effective value of AC to achieve the dimming purpose.

TRIAC dimming controllers function as fast-speed switches and are utilized to regulate the quantity of electric energy moving across the LED light. A trigger tells about the point where the product will begin conducting the electricity particularly splitting up the voltage waveform and hence preventing the voltage to be given at full load. A TRIAC controller for LED light works by adjusting the light intensity. Thus, the slow switch reactions result in the conduction of less power and the bulb will be dim.

The speed at which the switch reacts depicts the released power. Quick switch reaction means more released power and slow switch reaction means less released power. It results in the dimming of the LED light. With TRIAC dimming, the chances for half-wave on failure or Hz flicker are less, thus TRIAC dimming doesn’t greatly reduce the lifespan of the LED bulb as compared to Thyristor dimmers that are the most common dimmer.

TRIAC control operates through a gate electrode when opposite charge voltages are applied. Activating the TRIAC circuit enables electricity conduction until the fall of current below the edge. In such a case, the circuit enables the high voltage to move across with very low control currents. With a phase control, the TRIAC circuit can regulate the current percentage flowing across a circuit load.

When configuring a TRIAC dimmer with an LED bulb and sourcing the TRIAC dimming LED driver, you need to ensure that the TRIAC dimming device is a version of the TRIAC semiconductor device. Various kinds of TRIAC dimmers are created for resistive loads. In case the TRIAC dimmer is used in the wrong way with an LED light source, it can lead to the faulty performance of the bulb including humming and flickering and if left unattended, these issues will reduce the lifespan of LED lights over time.

Why choose TRIAC?

TRIAC works to switch high voltages that make it a perfect option to utilize in various electrical control solutions. It implies that TRIAC can work to fulfil our everyday light control requirements. The uses of TRIAC circuits are not limited to household lighting applications; they can also be used in controlling small motors and fans as well as other control applications and AC switching. TRIAC is a multipurpose control that is a very useful protocol for users to fulfil their various needs.

Advantages and disadvantages of TRIAC dimming for LED

TRIAC dimming comes along with the benefit of high efficiency, high adjustment accuracy, and lightweight, small compact size, and easy remote control. In the market, TRIAC dimming is dominating the form of dimmer and many products are designed with this kind of dimmer. The huge benefit of TRIAC dimmer is that when you use it with LED light, it has a low dimming cost.

The drawback of TRIAC dimmer is that the dimming performance is quite low that resulting in a constricted range of dimming. As the TRIAC switch functions to turn on the current, it is unable to turn off the current completely even at the lowest; there is a weak current flowing. It is a difficult issue faced in the present LED dimming method.

How to wire a TRIAC LED control system?

Wiring TRIAC dimmers to the LED drivers can be a challenging task but you don’t have to worry, we will tell you the right way to perform the task. Read on to know the stepwise procedure to wire TRIAC dimmer with LED driver.

The most commonly used TRIAC dimmer is the general forward phase dimmer. It consists of a TRIAC and a resistance circuit. A potentiometer is connected to control the resistance and RC time controls the delay time created prior to starting up of a TRIAC that is the firing angle.

When the TRIAC is active, it is known as the conduction angle. It will give rise to a voltage waveform that is a ‘sinusoid’ i.e. a phase-cut sine wave. A general switch converter is utilized to control the output with no limitations on the input voltage. In such a case, the phase-cut waveform given by the phase dimmer is first translated and that information is utilized in regulating the reference for output regulation.

You need to be aware that leading-edge dimmers use the TRIAC switch to control the power while trailing edge dimmers make use of IBGTs in controlling power. Therefore, it is essential to make sure that your dimmable LED driver is in line with the dimmer switch before making the purchase.

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