Controls, Lighting Design

How Dim-To-Warm Lighting Works

An article in Lighting Exchange breaks down how Dim-To-Warm lighting works. Warm dimming can also be referred to as dim-to-warm or black-body dimming.

Dim-to-warm simulates an incandescent ambiance by adjusting the LED color temperature as you dim. This type of lighting can be dimmed down to a relaxing amber tone, similar to that of a candle.  It provides the same warmth and glow as halogen dimming performance.

It is typically designed for 2700-3000 (Kelvin) at full output and decreases in correlated color temperature (CCT) as the output is reduced.  This output can go down as low as 1800K (the color of candlelight). The light color becomes increasingly warm in appearance (more yellow and red) as the product dims.

Light color and the dimming quality of fixtures are highly valued in hospitality settings such as restaurants, hotel lobbies, guestrooms, ballrooms, and theaters.  It is also an excellent addition to any residential space.

Dim-to-warm’s methodology can accentuate any area and bring out its best features.  The warm-colored lighting can create the desired look and feel that hospitality managers want their customers to experience.   The light is reminiscent of the warmth of home and can be an effective way to provide a calm, relaxing atmosphere for clientele.

Dim-to-warm lighting requires at least three LED primaries to dim along the black body curve like incandescent lighting. This type of product’s dimming is associated with the color change; therefore, there is only one control signal and, consequently, only one controller per group of luminaires that dim in unison.  Some systems can accomplish this function with a phase-cut dimmer, where the dimming information is carried in the voltage waveform.  This tactic may not have as much dimming resolution or smoothness as a control system using 0-10V, DALI, or DMX. The latter three require separate wiring for the intensity/color signal and luminaire power. Dim-to-warm luminaires can be equipped with a wireless receiver for control by a wireless transmitter using Zigbee, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, or hard-wired to facility power.

Read the full article here.

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David Shiller
David Shiller is the Publisher of LightNOW, and President of Lighting Solution Development, a North American consulting firm providing business development services to advanced lighting manufacturers. The ALA awarded David the Pillar of the Industry Award. David has co-chaired ALA’s Engineering Committee since 2010. David established MaxLite’s OEM component sales into a multi-million dollar division. He invented GU24 lamps while leading ENERGY STAR lighting programs for the US EPA. David has been published in leading lighting publications, including LD+A, enLIGHTenment Magazine, LEDs Magazine, and more.


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