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What are trailing and leading edge dimmers?

In principle there are two types of phase cut dimmers available they work in different ways. The difference between a leading - edge and trailing - edge as well as how to best use them will be explained here.

Phase cut leading-edge and trailing-edge dimmers work by regulating and alternating switching power, with this switching method the load-bearing capacity of a lamp can be controlled via a dimmer switch.

Leading-edge dimmer:

Dimmers with a phase-cut at the begining (leading-edge) has RL on the dimmer switch, these are dimmer switches that are suitable for incandescent and 230V halogen bulbs, but can also sometimes be used with LED bulbs. This has to be mentioned on the dimmer switch, either on packaging or product description. A leading-edge dimmer switch has a dimming capability range of 40%, this isn´t much at all! With his type of dimmer switch the light can never be completely dimmed.

Trailing-edge dimmer:

Dimmers with a phase-cut off at the end (trailing-edge) has RC on the dimmer switch, these types of dimmers are suitable for incandescent, 230V and 12V halogen bulb, dimmable LEDs aswell as energy saving bulbs such as CFLs. A trailing-edge dimmer is energy efficient with a dimming capability range of 100%, which means you can completely dim a light until its off. Almost all of our lamps that are dimmable can be used in conjunction with a trailing-edge dimmer based on the cut-off phase principle.


Note: There are LED dimmers that can be used via trailing-edge and leading-edge dimmers, these have the RL and RC printed on the dimmer switch, of course using either one of those still dims your light. However, in our range we mainly have RC dimmers with a phase-cut off at the end which is a trailing-edge dimmer, these are actually the best type of dimmer switches for your LED lights.

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