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Dimming - What should I watch out for if I want to replace my halogen spotlights with LED lighting?

If you wish to convert a lighting circuit with low-voltage halogen lamps into an LED lighting system, our first recommendation is as follows:

  1. Always use 230 VAC LED lamps. Warning: in most cases, the cabling between the transformer and the low-voltage halogen lamps is unsuitable for 230 VAC applications.If you do not possess the relevant knowledge, consult an installer.

  2. Remove the existing transformer from the lighting circuit.

  3. Connect the dimmer directly to the lighting circuit that contains the 230 VAC LED lamps.

  4. Configure the dimmer using a lamp profile that corresponds to the electrical profile of the lighting circuit (in the case of universal dimmers, you can choose between 8 lamp profiles). After that, set the minimum dimming level.

  5. If flickering can be seen when using a two-wire dimmer, configure the dimmer using a lamp profile with reverse phase control. If the flickering of the lamps is still visible, this means that you have very capacitive LED lamps. In this situation, fit an LED compensator within the lighting circuit (ref. 310-05000 or ref. 09-016-10).

If you still decide to replace 12 V halogen lamps with 12 V LED lamps, we advise you to proceed as follows:

  1. Replace the existing external transformer with a Niko ferromagnetic 35-W transformer (ref. 320-00001 or ref. 320-00002):
    1. if the existing transformer is of a different type.
    2. if the total electrical load of the lighting circuit is no greater than 35 VA.

  2. Connect the dimmer directly to the primary circuit of that transformer and configure the dimmer using a specific profile for LED and halogen lamps in phase control (LED2). If this doesn't solve the problem, configure a different lamp profile in phase control.

    Note: the 310-0490x and 310-0280x dimmers are unsuitable for applications that make use of a ferromagnetic transformer.

  3. If one of the lamps is still flickering, fit a resistive load, such as 09-016-10, to the lighting circuit.

    Note: do not use LED compensator ref. 310-05000 for that purpose, as it does not have any electrically resistive properties. Leaving one to two halogen lamps in the lighting circuit can also cause the dimming stability to be improved.

If you cannot replace the transformer because it forms an integral part of the equipment, for example, and you do need to replace the 12 V halogen lamps with 12 V LED lamps, we advise you to proceed as follows:

  1. Find out whether the existing equipment includes a ferromagnetic transformer or an electronic transformer.
    If it has an electronic transformer, configure the dimmer first of all with a specific profile for LED and halogen lamps with reverse phase control.

  2. If that profile does not have the desired effect, configure the dimmer using a specific profile for LED and halogen lamps in phase control (LED2). If this doesn't solve the problem either, configure a different lamp profile in phase control.
    Note: a lamp profile in phase control can cause voltage peaks that may activate the overvoltage protection of a universal dimmer. The dimmer will then be switched off and a red LED behind the central panel will start to flash.

    Note: Dimmers 310-0490x and 310-0280x do not have an LED.
    The 310-0490x dimmer is unsuitable for applications that use a ferromagnetic transformer.

  3. If one of the lamps is still flickering, fit a resistive load to the lighting circuit. Note: do not use LED compensator ref. 310-05000 for that purpose, as it does not have any electrically resistive properties. Leaving one to two halogen lamps in the lighting circuit may cause the dimming stability to be improved.