Most dimmable LED bulbs?

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Hi guys,

Hope this is the right place to ask. Sorry if I’m wrong…

I have installed 2 Fibaro dimmer2 modules in different places. Both are dimming a number of GU10 LED bulbs (11 and 5 to be precise).
My problem is I don’t think they are dimming enough!
There is no noticeable flickering or buzzing, but I would really like them to get dimmer.

Do any of you know of some really dim dimmable bulb’s?

Currently I have two different generations of IKEA’s 400lm dimmable GU10 bulbs installed. I like IKEA because they are cheap and I know they take safety seriously (I have heard too many stories about LED bulbs burst in to flames).
Just wish they would dim like good old halogens…

EDIT: I completely misread your question post - I read: “There is noticeable flickering and buzzing”

Disregard the below

When you wired up your dimmers did you have a Neutral wire or only the Active/Live?

Also, have you seen the dimmer bypass module for low loads?

https://www.amazon.com/Fibaro-FGB-001-Bypass-2-Dimmer/dp/B01N55LXY9

Hi,
I have many Philips dimtone bulbs and I really like them. The nice thing about those bulbs is that actually they behave like good old halogen bulbs - the darker you dim them the warmer the color temperature gets. Awesome!
Anyway coming back to your original question… For me those lamps dim down enough (I use them with qubino and fibaro dimmers), but I have no comparison with Ikea lamps.

Hope that helps.

Cheers,
Matt

Hi!

I have also had a good experience with the philips leds. They work best with neutral wire with the fibaro dimmer2. You won’t need a bypass2, mine actually work better without bypass2.

I recommend you test this one: Philips Led 60W A60 E27 warmglow nr: 238238. I have ikea tradfri bulbs and no they will not go down as much as the philips warmglow.

Regards S

Probably consider ZigBEE bulbs - probably even from IKEA (“Tradfri”)?
Use your zwave dimmer for something else and let the bulbs dim themselve :wink:

I know they are more expensive than “dumb” bulbs.
But dimming retrofit LED’s is always a compromise often with the result you mentioned…

I know: Not really what you asked for but this gives you no flickering and buzzing and you can even adjust the color temperature and dim every single bulb independently if you like :wink:

Really? Good to know :wink:

The advantage with a dimmer 2 apart from being able to dim a lot lower than tradfri is that you can continue to use your regular wallswitch to turn on/off/dim up and dim down. If you use a zigbee bulb and someone turn off the wallswitch it won’t work.

Ikea’s newer bulbs does the same.
This is the ones I have in my bathroom: https://www.ikea.com/gb/en/p/ledare-led-bulb-gu10-400-lumen-warm-dimming-dimmable-80363228/

But good to know about the Philips ones. I must try some of them!

Sorry I need GU10’s.
But still nice to know.

Yes the Trådfri is not very dim even at the lowest setting

I have Trådfri at some other locations already, but I need 11 bulbs at one location (Trådfri only goes to 10), they actually don’t dim very well either.
I have made a comparison with HUE here:
https://youtu.be/a-MaMloodoo

Very much agree with that!
That is also why it’s a big wonder to me why the “smart” bulbs dim so badly. They have full control and should be able to make it perfect.

And that’s exactly how I use it!
I installed the dimmer in the ceiling, and connected it to the normal wall switch.
It programmed for a toggle switch, and now it works exactly like before. In fact my family haven’t even noticed it’s there!

The idea is that it will work normally during the day, but at night it turns on at only 1%.
That is possible using the “force switch on brightness” feature of the Fibaro dimmer 2.
Not something you easily can do with Trådfri or HUE!

I actually have a different approach for that. I have motion detector and when it detects motion it will turn on and set brightness to the nightvalue (if it is night), if it’s day it will use the day value. The draw back is that it’s a slight delay, so usually motion detector fires, full light is on for about 1 second and then it’s dimmed down. In some places I use the lux value, if it’s very bright (high lux value), the motion detector is not activated. So for instance if it’s daylight and it’s really bright, the detector won’t start the ceiling light.

The Force switch on brightness was not exposed as a channel when I did my lightning code, so might have used that if it was available then.

For places I don’t have motion detectors if I don’t want full light, when turning on, I press and hold the light button, then it will start from the lowest and increase brightness.

Regards, S

That’s the issue with your electrical configuration and unrelated to Fibaro or ZWave in the first place. Any trailing or leading edge dimmer (actuator or non-smart) can linearly dim classic 220VAC (“incandescant”) bulbs. But LEDs work different. The voltage:lux relation curve isn’t linear.
Up to ~1,4V LEDs don’t emit anything, and then there’s a jump, then a somewhat but not fully linear increase.
If you replace your 220V LED bulbs by 12 or 24VDC powered ones and attach these to a LED actuator such as the Fibaro FGRGBWM-441, you’ll get closer to it and have more fine grained control, but even with most of these “native” drivers LEDs show that “jump” behavior.

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Hi mstormi,

Yes I know how LED’s work (I’m a trained electronics mechanic).
They need constant current and that is why there is a driver in every LED bulb.
That’s also why not every LED bulb is dimmable, and the reason I assume it must be the bulb driver that is the biggest factor in how well it will dim.
Basically I assume the driver detects it’s being dimmed and regulates the current to the LED’s accordingly.

Is that something you have experience with?
Because I would assume since there is still a CV -> CC (Constant Voltage / Constant Current) conversion going on in the bulb’s driver, the driver would still be the determining factor in how well it will dim.

Actually I think 12/24 volt LED bulbs are stupid, then you have a chain of two drivers in series (one for the 12 volt line and one in every bulb).

Now if I replaced the bulb’s with bare LED’s, connected in series and driven directly by an adjustable CC driver…
But that is certainly outside the scope of this project!

Nice setup!
Personally I have bad experience with PIR (and even microwave) detectors. It like they often won’t turn on when you want them to, and often turn on when you don’t want them too.
But maybe I just bought too cheap sensors :roll_eyes:

The nice thing about using the “forced switch on brightness level” is that it’s super intuitive, the light switch works just the way it always has, and the dimmer won’t suddenly dim the light while on.
Also it will still work perfectly even should OH be down.

But if you have good experience with some motion sensors I’m all ears! :grinning:

Well I’m no electronics expert but yes I have some of those actuators running and powering a couple of RGBW stripes. Putting several raw LED bulbs (w/o any driver) in a row should be the same.
You can separately control the channels so you could also use one actuator to run 4 mono-color channels.
And yes even there it’s not working well in the lower voltage zone close to the LED’s breakthrough voltage [not sure of the proper English term to this I’m no native speaker]. The PWM frequency is 244Hz IIRC that’s effectively limiting the resolution so there’s again a jump like (not measured, just guessing) 1% results in 10% brightness, 2% = 15%, 4% = 20% and it’s only linear from there on.
We would probably need a PWM frequency well beyond 1kHz to be able to get to a near-linear behavior but I have not yet seen any COTS hardware to offer that.

BTW I also have the “night mode” lights (no matter if you use a PIR or hit the switch) and feel the minimum setting to still be too bright.

Is it ? Well that’s what I run and what I’m suggesting here.
That Fibaro actuator is actually using PWM to control brightness, i.e. “full” constant current 24VDC but pulsed. Strips have no driver builtin. BTW it also works to power/dim non-LED bulbs with PWM.

Ahh yes with light strips. But yes the lack a real driver, and is relying on a simple resistor in series.
I have one LED stripe, it is controlled by a “Magic LED” controller flashed with Tasmota.
It works reasonably well, but as you wrote it is not completely linear.

Yes I would love to replace the 230Volts GU10 spots with some “raw” LED spots connected in series. But have you ever seen any of those?
Good point about the frequency, that might have som influence I guess…
Tasmota seems to be using 880Hz default, but is adjustable up to 4kHz:
https://github.com/arendst/Sonoff-Tasmota/wiki/Commands#management
(going all up to 4kHz probably has some unwanted side effects though).

I have, in my kitchen, the Ikea GU10, (two groups of 5 and 9 leds) connected to two Quibino, and they dim very low. Lower than the HUE. But also the above mentioned Philips warm glow goes down very low (not GU10) with Qubino dimmers.
The Ikeay GU10 can, however start flickering after a while in the very low regions, so best to learn where this windows is, and led OH trim away from it.
Could it be that there’s a difference between Fibaro and Qubino dimmers?

The v1 Fibaro was a leading edge dimmer, v2 and the Qubino work on trailing edge. And the Fibaro v2 provides the capability to put an extra resistor in parallel to better adjust behavior to loads in the low voltage range.

Qubino will go even lower than Fibaro Dimmer2 + bypass2 on some leds, especially on Leds with really low wattage.

I have a bit of mix of Qubino and fibaro dimmer2 (with and without bypass2), I do prefer Fibaro, it’s more versatile and it will work without neutral wire (I don’t have neutral wire in a couple of places).

Some pros and cons when I have compare fibaro and qubino dimmers.

  • Qubino can be factory reset using the wall button, whereas Fibaro you have to disconnect it from the wall.
  • Qubino has much better terminals compare to Fibaro, a lot of electricians prefer Qubino just because of this.
  • Fibaro will automatically calibrate and detect settings, whereas Qubino will have to be configured.
  • Fibaro has more settings (for instance burnt out bulb detection), in general more versatile than Qubino
  • Fibaro works without neutral led, although it will not dim as low without neutral led.
  • Qubino can with proper config dim lower than fibaro+bypass on some leds.
  • Qubino support temperature readings via adding a DS18B20.
  • Qubino is thinner than Fibaro, might be an issue if don’t have that much space behind your wall button.

Regards S