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.

SORAA® Constant Current LED MR16 vs. 12Vac LED MR16

In one of our previous videos, we looked at the Backward Compatibility issue between the LED MR16 (aka. GU5.3) and the 12Vac Electronic Transformers (ELV). Such incompatibility is common and can be recognized as soon as the Halogen bulb is replaced by the LED MR16 bulb and found flickering even when no dimming is involved (only On-Off).

Besides the compatibility issue, dimming performance of the 12Vac/dc LED MR16 bulbs would be largely limited to the integral LED drivers. In this video, we look at an alternative solution, which requires the use of Constant Current LED driver instead. This solution suits for professional lighting applications or anyone who simply wants a better lighting effect for his or her applications.

In this video, we use the SORAA Constant Current LED MR16 bulb ( SORAA Model # SM16C-CC1-36D-927-03 ) & a HEP 10W Dimmable Constant Current LED Driver to compare its performance with a 12Vac ELV approach side-by-side. Given the SORAA bulb has a typical operating voltage of 28V and it’s capable of driving at 350mA (MAX), we use a 10W model from HEP to drive the bulb ( HEP Model # LMTC10W350-Z ) to drive the bulb.

With this combination, we can maximize the lumen output (10W vs. 7W of the typical 12Vac LED MR16) and maintain the typical 1:1 connection (one driver, one bulb) for standard MR16 installation. Furthermore, the Live-in/Live-out wiring from the AC Mains to Phase Dimmer (DZ3G450DIAL) and from the Phase Dimmer to the live inputs to the 12Vac Transformer or the LED Drivers remain the same. Another reason why this particular Constant Current LED driver is selected is that of its similar size to the 12Vac ELV transformer.

The difference between the two approaches is that the 12Vac ELV approach would require a Dimmable LED MR16 bulb, while the Constant Current approach would require a Dimmable Constant Current LED Driver instead.

Since both bulbs have different specifications, our intention is to introduce the dimmable Constant Current LED MR16 solution and to demonstrate the lighting effects when both approaches are connected to the same phase dimmer, DZ3G450DIAL. The contrast between the two approaches is obvious and thus, for professional applications, such as Retail Lighting applications, where High CRI performance is a critical design element, it’s suggested to consider the use of Constant Current LED MR16 instead.