Light Reading Dimming Basics

January, 2016

What used to be a fairly straight forward proposition dimming incandescent fixtures has been made more complicated by the fact that the new LED technology is different about how it is dimmed.

TRIAC Forward Phase Dimming

All RBW standard spec light fixtures work with Forward Phase Dimmers, also known as TRIAC dimmers, which operate on 120V AC (standard residential wall voltage in the US and Canada). TRIAC dimmer controls are the most commonly installed dimmers and are traditionally used to dim older incandescent or halogen light sources. We recommend these controls for use with all RBW LED products. All Lutron C-L series controls have a small adjustment dial on the side of the housing which allows for fine tuning of the dimming range of the light fixture. 

0-10v Dimming*

Used as an early fluorescent dimming system and still used today, 0-10V dimming has been adapted to become a reliable LED dimming control protocol.
0-10 V is one of the earliest and simplest electronic lighting control signaling systems; simply put, the control signal is a DC voltage that varies between zero and ten volts. The controlled lighting should scale its output so that at 10 V, the controlled light should be at 100% of its potential output, and at 0 V it should at the lowest possible dimming level.

*optional for Branch, Gala and Queue only

Magnetic Low Voltage (MLV), Electronic Low Voltage (ELV)

Low-voltage lighting uses a transformer to reduce a 120VAC line voltage to 12VAC or 24VAC. This lower voltage is then used to power an incandescent low voltage lamp. RBW fixtures are incompatible with low voltage dimming.