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Triac dimmer switch to control various lighting fixtures

Triac (triode alternating current) dimmer is a type of widely used AC dimmer in the world, it is firstly designed to control the incandescent and halogen lights. Nowadays as LED lighting becomes more and more popular, they are also compatible with dimmable LED bulbs or triac dimmable LED drivers.

If you would like to control just your standard incandescent, halogen, or xenon lights – you should use a triac dimmer switch. This switch uses an electrical component called a triode alternating current switch, or a triac. To dim, the switch turns the lights on and off very rapidly, about 120 times every second. The flashing happens too rapidly for us to notice. This process is similar to how video works – the still frames move so quickly that what we see looks smooth and continuous. To adjust the brightness lower, the triac keeps the lights "on" more than "off." To adjust the brightness higher, they're "off" more than "on."


If you’re controlling an AC dimmable LED light, you can also use triac dimmer. But if it is a DC LED light, a triac dimmable LED driver is required between the dimmer and the light. Flickering is a problem when using a triac dimmer to control LEDs and dim to a low brightness level for example lower than 20%.


Traditional control units for triac dimmers are push button switch and rotary switch, which is not smart enough. Nowadays, many manufacturers develops smart control for triac dimmer.


RF/WiFi wireless control is an intelligent solution that drastically increases flexibility. The triac dimmer is designed with built-in RF receiver that receives wireless signal from a remote or smart phone. The transmission range can be over 20 meters, so you can control your triac dimmer anywhere in your house.


DMX512 control is another solution that is much better than traditional control units. The triac dimmer is designed with built-in DMX interface and accepts DMX signal input. A master controller should is required to send DMX signal to the dimmer. You can set DMX address on the dimmer, if it is designed with multiple output channelsScience Articles, you can control them separately with different DMX channels.

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Jerry Xu is a professional intelligent lighting control specialist from Hongkong Sunricher Technology who is specialized in triac dimmer and LED dimmer for smart home solution.

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