How to connect a dimmable driver

2024/04led strip light source

Why dimmable drivers?

Dimmable drivers offer superior dimming and control to inexpensive PWM dimmers that install on the low voltage (12V or 24V DC) side of the circuit. They’re a permanent and elegant solution that keep wires hidden away inside your walls, and dimming control where you expect it - right at the switch.

What is a dimmable driver?

Regular transformers and power supplies are not designed for dimmer switches, and perform unpredictably when dimmed. At best, you might have some measure of dimming control with inconsistent dimming or flickering, at worst, your lights might not work at all. The solution is a power supply designed for use with a dimmer switch : a dimmable driver.

How to install a dimmable driver

A typical dimmable driver installation is shown above. Please review the materials provided with your dimmer switch and dimmable driver to make sure it matches.

A dimmable driver installs almost identically to a non dimmable power supply. On the DC (output) side, you’ll connect the positive and negative wires to the LED Light Strip (or other low voltage lighting product). On the AC (input) side, you’ll connect the neutral and ground wires directly to the power source. The live wire from your household power source will connect to the input of the dimmer switch - and the output of the dimmer switch will then connect to the live wire of the dimmable driver.

NOTE : Review the materials included with your dimmer switch and dimmable driver, as many installations will also require connecting the dimmer switch to ground.

Connections can be made with wire nuts, butt splices, or any other connectors that meet code in your location. Make sure to run your wires through walls, where possible, to conceal them both from view and from accidental contact.

Now we’re dimmable!

A quality LED light strip installation that includes a dimmable driver is far superior to plug-in dimmers, and allows your lights (in some cases) to be controlled by higher end automated dimmers that can connect to your security or home automation systems. If you’re an electrician or installer, it proves that you know what you’re doing - and it justifies your client’s expenditure on your services.

More information

Magnitude Lighting, the manufacturer of most of our dimmable drivers, has a selection of informative videos available on youtube that walk you through the above process visually. They also provide lists of compatible dimmers, though most dimmers marked ‘LED’ or ‘Low Voltage’ compatible should work just fine.

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