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Theatrelight announces new dimmer designs for LED bulbs


Theatrelight has designed new hardware and firmware for their reliable and rugged SCR dimmers to control a large number of dimmable LED bulbs per dimmer channel.


The hardware uses our same robust SCRs, but with circuit changes to cope with the highly capacitive load presented by LED fittings. The firmware changes include a stepless fade resolution from DMX or analogue input, and the provision of two new dimming curves for fast and slow LED dimming.  These products when used in large LED  installations provide a reliable and cheaper option than high power IGBT (trailing edge) dimmers.

The new products are
NebulaLED, a dimmable LED enabled version of the Nebula - a 3U rackmounting dimmer for large centralised installations. It is available with either Dimming firmware for control by DMX, or Environ firmware for use with DMX and Theatrelight Intelligent Wallplates. 


MeteorLED, a dimmable LED enabled version of the Meteor - a wall mounting dimmer for large distributed installations, with optional outputs for controlling 10 volt dimmable fluorescent fittings. It is available with either Dimming firmware for control by DMX, or Environ firmware for use with DMX and Theatrelight Intelligent Wallplates.  


QuasarLED, a dimmable LED enabled version of the Quasar - a wall mounting dimmer for smaller distributed installations, with optional outputs for controlling 10 volt dimmable fluorescent fittings. It is available with either Dimming firmware for control by DMX, or Environ firmware for use with DMX and Theatrelight Intelligent Wallplates.


MoodsetLED, a dimmable LED enabled version of the Moodset - a single dimmer unit for small installations requiring only a few dimmers. It is available with selectable incandescent or LED dimming curves, and is supplied with a 6 key Moodset Flushplate. It also features up to 100 minute fade times to emulate dawn and dusk. 


In all these products each dimmer channel has a selectable dimmer curve for incandescents, and a fast and slow fade curve suitable for LED bulbs.

 


A few provisos:

  • The chosen LED bulbs must be rated as mains dimmable and capable of working with leading edge dimmers (phase cut dimmers, SCR or Triac dimmers). Most  dimmable LED bulbs are specified this way as SCR or Triac dimmer are much more common than IGBT dimmers (trailing edge dimmers).

  • The type and quality of control chip used in mains dimmable LED bulbs varies with the bulb manufacturer, so it may be necessary to test the bulbs for satisfactory performance, dimming curve, and longevity. Theatrelight can provide assistance if provided with sample bulbs.

  • Fading up at low levels (below 10% level) may show a slight initial bump up. This is due to the control chip in each bulb powering on. However the fade out at low levels is smooth, and perfectly adequate for all architectural and mood lighting.

  • The total load able to be connected to each dimmer channel depends largely on the LED bulb design, and may need to be found out by trial. In any case LED load must be limited to 50% of the dimmer rating- ie a normal 2.5kw dimmer shd be limited to 1.2kw of LED load (eg 100 bulbs at 12 watts each).

  • Some dimmable LED bulbs may need a small resistive load connected in parallel with the LED load to ensure no flickering is visible at low levels. If found necessary, the simplest method is to connect a small incandescent bulb to the dimmer channel, with the bulb sited if necessary in an out of the way area. Typically a 40 watt incandescent bulb is enough for at least 20 dimmable LED bulbs, each of 13 watts.
Please contact us to discuss your needs.