Learn More About Dimming

A different way of dimming classification

Along with the popularity of dimmable light fixtures, more and more dimming methods are available in the market. Today, let’s learn a different way of dimming classification and the role that a LED driver plays---a translator.


From a wider perspective to classify dimming methods, they can fall into two groups: external interface dimming control and LED driver internal dimming control.


1. External interface dimming control is the general dimming method that we  always mention, such as DALI, DMX512, KNX, Zigbee, bluetooth, Wifi and etc. They are various kinds of communication protocol and control standard formulated by different organizations, which play a role of communication language and management system inside the intelligent lighting system.


External interface dimming control can operate wireless or with wires. Wired signals are transmitted by conventional cables, while wireless signals are controlled remotely by signals of different frequency range.


2. LED driver internal dimming control can be understood as the dimming control principle, including PWM digital dimming and CCR analogy dimming. The dimming IC inside the LED driver receives a control signal from the dimming terminal and converts the signal to current. With different output current, the LED driver can control the brightness and color of the light fixture.


PWM and CCR also have their own classification. For example, phrase-cut dimming is one of CCR analogy dimming. 


So how to understand the relation among external interface dimming control, LED driver internal dimming control, dimmer, LED driver, light and current?


The light can only understand its mother language (current switching), but various dimmers speak their own language (external interface dimming control: signals from bluetooth, wifi and etc). So a translator (LED driver) is necessary for communication. The circuit inside the LED driver translates the foreign language to internal dimming control signal (PWM/CCR), then the LED driver’s IC receives the PWM/CCR signal to switch the output current. The light changes according to the current switching.


Above are today’s sharing about classification of dimming. The LED driver plays a role of translator during the dimming realization process. That’s why we can communicate with the lights.


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