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Thread: Dimmable LED Lights?

  1. #1
    Automated Home Guru Geps's Avatar
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    Default Dimmable LED Lights?

    Hi Guys,

    I have a bank of the DIN rail quad dimmer modules and am looking to move across to LED GU10 lighting.

    I thought a while back there was a firmware update for Idratek modules to allow them to support LED lights but I can't find any mention of it by searching.....am I imagining it?

    Has anyone got any feedback they can offer with respect to bulbs that work well with Idratek?

    Thanks,

  2. #2
    Automated Home Ninja Andrew Millne's Avatar
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    I've been using these with some success in my kitchen and bathroom

    http://www.ecat.lighting.philips.co....9000164101_eu/

    I sampled about 5 or 6 different gu10 LEDs and this one gave a good colour temperature and particularly even, wide beam angle.

    The dimming is a bit "flickery" for want of a better word and certainly not as impressively smooth as dimming a regular filament or halogen bulb but definitely usable for general lighting. I have them supplemented by a central halogen light in each of these rooms which allows me to set a couple of different moods. The LED units are now 3 years old so it's possible there are more suitable products available but with a claimed 25 year lifespan and the cost of the bulb I don't think I'll be changing mine anytime soon

  3. #3
    Automated Home Legend Karam's Avatar
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    We do have alternative firmware which tends to work better with dimmable LEDs, but to some extent its somewhat experimental in the sense that we found different LED brands can differ quite widely in their characteristics so we may yet find other changes to make. However anyone wanting to try the present firmware is welcome to contact us directly and we can supply and provide instructions. The other thing you might require is a different power mapping table (again a kind of firmware update). This provides a curve more suited to the average LED.

    If you have an incandescent in the same circuit as the dimmable LED/s then you should find that the behaviour of the LED will be quite different (relatively normal) as compared to that of a circuit which has only LEDs - hence some suppliers have taken to supplying 'resloads' which are nothing more than the equivalent of a 10W incandescent. Not only that, but the characteristics can also vary with the number of lamps in the circuit for LED only circuits. The alternative firmware should allow you to work without resloads or incandescents.

  4. #4
    Automated Home Jr Member
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    Hi,

    I've been testing GU10 LED's in my bathroom using the SLD. There are 6 in total but if I use 6w LED lights in all 6 sockets I get bad flickering. I assumed this was because of the load requirements so changed one of the LED lights back to a normal 40w GU10 and viola all lights dim perfectly.

    Would the alternative firmware solve this for me ?

  5. #5
    Automated Home Legend Karam's Avatar
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    The SLD uses 'trailing edge' switching whereas the QLD uses 'leading edge'. This refers to how the mains is 'chopped' during each mains cycle. My feeling is that leading edge tends to work better in more cases with LED lamps, possibly because manufacturers are betting on more people having the leading edge dimmer types. In principle we could make the SLD operate in a leading edge mode but no such firmware has been developed yet. The only firmware updates available are presently for the QLD. I think it is true to say that with a 10W resistive load (could be an incandescent bulb) in parallel with an LED circuit any dimming problems are usually removed whether trailing edge or leading edge dimmers are used. But even 10W is a bit of a waste especially if you are just dimming a couple of LEDs.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Karam View Post
    The SLD uses 'trailing edge' switching whereas the QLD uses 'leading edge'. This refers to how the mains is 'chopped' during each mains cycle. My feeling is that leading edge tends to work better in more cases with LED lamps, possibly because manufacturers are betting on more people having the leading edge dimmer types. In principle we could make the SLD operate in a leading edge mode but no such firmware has been developed yet. The only firmware updates available are presently for the QLD. I think it is true to say that with a 10W resistive load (could be an incandescent bulb) in parallel with an LED circuit any dimming problems are usually removed whether trailing edge or leading edge dimmers are used. But even 10W is a bit of a waste especially if you are just dimming a couple of LEDs.
    At this stage I am not too concerned about a 10W resistive load as before switching to LED's I was using 240W. Even with the 10W resistive load I would be using 46w. If a trailing edge firmware ever does come about I will happily test, but I can live without it and on the plus side I get an extra 10w of heating lol !

    Chris.

  7. #7
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    I'm currently using simplyled.co.uk's NxtGen (NextGen II - haven't tried their latest NxtGen III's yet) GU10's throughout several rooms in the house. When used purely on their own (ie no incandescent or Halogen bulb on the ciruit) they did tend to 'flicker' and flash on and off at 100% brightness, limiting the max value to 95% pretty much cured it.

    Karam has since sent me a new mapping curve which has helped to provide a more even fade through the on or off cycle.

    As GU10's - they're a perfect fit - matching exactly the original halogens in shape and I find the "warm white" offers almost identical colour and feel of halogens also.

  8. #8
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    Hi Cliff,

    Strange that you should reply to this today as just tonight I noticed the lights started flickering off while at 100%, then back on again.. then off again about 10 seconds later and so on. Logging into Cortex and looking at the logs it shows something along the lines of "Mains interruption ?" then re setting the light level.

    As soon as I reduced it to 95% everything was fine again. Thanks for the feedback on the simplyled GU10's as I plan on purchasing a few more soon.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by kdf View Post
    Hi Cliff,

    Strange that you should reply to this today as just tonight I noticed the lights started flickering off while at 100%, then back on again.. then off again about 10 seconds later and so on. Logging into Cortex and looking at the logs it shows something along the lines of "Mains interruption ?" then re setting the light level.

    As soon as I reduced it to 95% everything was fine again. Thanks for the feedback on the simplyled GU10's as I plan on purchasing a few more soon.
    No Probs - think the added resistance of the dimming effect is enough to keep the SLD's happy that there's power flowing and not try to reset.

    FYI - simplyled.co.uk have a Black Friday Sale today (only) with 25% off everything so if you're looking to order something . . .

  10. #10
    Automated Home Jr Member
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    You're a star !

    I'll order today !

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