LED – Energy savers with a bright future and little quirks.

Switching and dimming LED lights: The right controls are decisive.

The general guidelines for lamps apply for LED lamps, from the type of socket to the measurement setup for the luminous intensity. However, what happens in between is not recorded. As opposed to a classic lamp with a simple spiral-wound filament, LED lamps include a lot of electronics for control purposes. Every producer can decide the layout of this themselves. The respective standards currently only exist as a draft. Manufacturers of switching and dimming devices currently do not know what type of electronics they are controlling and how the LED lamp will behave.

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No standards for LED loads?

Theben do their own tests!

If special switching loads for LED lamps and discharge lamps are not specified on a product, one can assume that the product has not been approved for these. However, the specifications for LED loads are not always helpful. Which switching currents does the device manufacturer assume? These may differ from lamp to lamp. You should also be careful when adding several LEDs with a low rated output together on one circuit they may have a higher combined switching current than one single LED with the respective total output.

In order to be able to specify the load specifications for switching devices and dimmers, Theben conduct ongoing measurements on all conventional retrofit lamps. During these tests, the switching devices run through at least 40,000 switching cycles. This allows us to make reliable statements for the switchable loads.


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For lamps (lights) DIN EN 55015; VDE 0875-15-1:2014-03 (emitted interference), DIN EN 61547; VDE 0875-15-2:2010-03 (immunity to interference), DIN EN 61000-3-2; VDE0838-2:2015-03 (harmonic current emissions) and DIN EN 61000-3-3; VDE 0838-3:2014-03 (voltage fluctuations and flicker) apply. For incandescent lamps and lights for incandescent lamps, in accordance with EN 55015, no requirements apply for high-frequency emitted interference, however, they do apply to LED lamps and LED lights, as the electronics in these devices can often cause high-frequency interfence. For this reason, EN 55015 defines threshold values from 9 kHz to 300 MHz.

In terms of low-frequency interference, in accordance with EN 61000-3-2, for LED lamps with an effective input power < 25 W no threshold values apply, whilst for lamps > 25 W class C threshold values apply in accordance with EN 61000-3-2. Low-frequency interferences refer to harmonic oscillations, that is, multiples of the basic frequency 50 Hz of the supply network, which do not arise from non-linear power input from the network, which is normally the case of LED lamps in contrast to incandescent lamps.

All of these standards are described by the EMC requirements. Special requirements for this are also contained in the product standards DIN EN 60598-1; VDE 0711-1:2012-11 for general lighting and DIN EN 62031; VDE 0715-5:2013-09 for LEDs, as well as the standards for pre-switching devices, which these lamps may also be fitted with (these requirements are then included in the standards of the DIN EN 61347-1; VDE 0712-30:2013-11 range). Alongside these standards which refer to electronics, DIN EN62471; VDE 0837-471:2009-03 (photobiological safety) is of course also to be observed, as well as DIN EN 62493; VDE 0848-493:2010-09, which describes the threshold values for the EMC (“electrosmog”).

LED compatible solutions from Theben

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Time switches and staircase light timer switch

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Presence and motion detectors

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Universal dimmers and KNX dimming actuators

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