LED strip lights are a great solution for any lighting project calling for low-voltage lighting. While these lights are great at adding additional brightness to any room, sometimes there is a need for dynamic brightness control. For instance, LED tape light installed as under cabinet lighting in a kitchen can be used to enhance visibility and brightness in the room. However, there are times when full brightness may not be necessary. Having the ability to dim the LED lighting lets the user determine the exact level of brightness needed.
Unlike standard A-style bulbs, which are often non-dimming, LED Tape Lights and LED Tape Light Kits are designed with dimmability in mind. These products feature the technology needed to be fully dimmable from 0 to 100% brightness. With that in mind, there are a few different methods for achieving fully dimmable LED strip lighting.
Option 1: Armacost Lighting LED Tape Light Kits
The first and easiest method is to look at the Armacost Lighting LED Strip Light Kits. These strip light kits are designed to be easy-to-install and come with the components needed for dimmable LED lighting right out of the box. While each kit offers slightly different functionality; all of the Armacost Lighting RibbonFlex Pro and RibbonFlex Home kits are fully dimmable.
Option 2: Traditional Wall Dimmer + Dimmable Power Supply
While LED light kits are convenient, they are limited in that there is very little customization available. For a custom, or component based dimmable LED lighting solution where a traditional TRIAC in-wall dimmer is preferred, it must be used in conjunction with a universal AC dimmable power supply.
In this LED tape light setup the dimmable LED power supply reduces and rectifies the 120V AC signal to 12/24V DC signal that is compatible with the LED strip lights. The LED driver is able to interpret TRIAC dimming signals from the TRIAC in-wall dimmer to adjust the brightness of the lights.
This solution may require some professional expertise, if you are uncomfortable with electronics or need help feel free to reach out to Armacost Lighting Support or contact a local electrician.
For more information about how to select the right LED driver for you, check out: How to Select an LED Power Supply.
Option 3: Low-Voltage DC PWM Dimmer
A third option to dim LED strip lights is to use a standard LED power supply with a DC PWM (pulse width modulation) dimmer. The benefit to using PWM dimmers and non-dimming power supplies is that it does not involve wiring to a standard dimmer switch (which often times involves new in-wall wiring). Using a DC PWM dimmer with a standard LED power supply avoids in-wall wiring for nearly all installations and is a simpler and more flexible way of achieving dimmability. Dimming on the DC side of the power supply allows for a variety of dimmer types from which to choose, these include manual dial, remote control, capacitive touch and touchless. In this installation the PWM Dimmer is installed between the LED tape lights and the standard power supply. The LED driver is then plugged or hardwired directly into the 120V AC output.