Besides energy saving, controllability is the next highly expected feature of LED Lighting over Traditional Lighting. However, such a control aspect seems to be missing in daily applications. Since 2015, we've been developing & marketing Phase Dimmers* and related products to address LED dimming control

Driven by our project field experience, we developed a new type of Tunable White control using Phase Dimming & 0-10V technologies, which gives our Tunable White Controller (DZ1G300TUNE) & Dynamic Lighting Controllers (DZ2G300TUNE_TOGG / _PUSH). It's our goal to lower the technical and costs barriers for different Circadian Lighting or Commercial applications that desire Multi-Purpose Lighting.

* Our 450W / 220-240Vac Single Live-wire Operational Trailing-edge LED Phase Dimmers released to market includes DZ2G450DIAL & DZ1G450CAPS (2015), DZ3G450DIAL (2017), DZ4G450MULT (2018). In 2017, our DZ3G450DIAL was listed as a SORAA® Compatible dimmer. In Q2 2021, an Enhanced version of DZ3G450DIAL has been available.

In this Application Video Library, we shared a number of interesting topics on LED dimming or how our products can be applied in different scenarios.

Dimmable LED MR16 with 12V Magnetic Transformer Backward Compatibility (MLV)

Using dimmable LED MR16 bulbs to replace the Halogen bulbs is definitely a good energy saving practice to reduce the energy wastage. However, some installers might have bad experience with the replacement due to the varying performance of LED MR16 bulbs with the transformers already installed.

When using dimmable LED MR16 bulbs for Halogen replacement, several considerations must be aware before project implementation. First of all, Halogen bulbs are designed to operate at very hot temperature without degradation in performance, whereas LED are sensitive to heat and thus, heat dissipation for the LEDs must be done properly. Furthermore, the LED MR16 bulbs are required to work with the 12V transformers originally designed for Halogen bulbs that pose a much higher minimum power requirement for LEDs and require a resistive load to complete the circuit (LEDs are non-resistive). 

In this application, the 12V transformers are further classified into magnetic (MLV) and electronic (ELV), which operate by different principles. Due to the size and weight difference, the MLV transformer is less common than ELV transformer in the market today. However, as the MLV transformer’s working principle is easy to understand that it only produces a low-frequency step-down waveform from the mains voltage, so the dimming performance of a few dimmable LED MR16 bulbs using the MLV transformer is used as the baseline for our comparison when changing to some commonly available 12V electronic transformers in another video. In this video, we would select a few dimmable LED MR16 bulbs to connect with a magnetic transformer to show how the individual bulbs perform.

This difference in performance leads to the "Backward Compatibility of the LED MR16 Bulbs" topic, which presents a technical challenge to the LED driver IC manufacturers. Without a proper understanding of the issue, installers may run into mysterious flickering issues with their LED MR16 bulbs when installers only expect a drop-in replacement for the Halogen.

At the end of the video, we’ve concluded several key points:
  1. Size and weight difference of the MLV and the ELV transformers
  2.  Acoustic noise and dimming performance difference with the TRIAC and the Digital LED Dimmers
  3.  All the few dimmable LED MR16 bulbs we used in this video give reasonable dimming performance with the 12V MLV transformer