A Quick Guide to the Dimming Types


Dimming LED’s

“I assumed my dimmer would work with your downlight” how many times have we heard that! If you don’t feel quite familiar with the dimming types, this quick guide will definitely help you. Six are the dimming types that are compatible with LEDs:

1) Mains     2) Push    3) 0-10V     4) DSI     5) DALI     6) DMX


So called, as the mains power is reduced in some way therefore less power reaches the light and it dims. It uses standard mains wiring L,N & E. There are two main sub-types: a) Trailing Edge: generally more accepted in LED based products b) Leading Edge: will work but check. Leading Edge was more common when dimming resistive loads, Halogen etc.


So called as the only control required is a push to make/momentary action switch. No ‘standard’ exists, so various wiring methods depending on driver manufacturer. This type is limited to small numbers of luminaires on one switch. Push/switch dimming can use existing mains wiring or the addition of one or two extra wires depending on driver variant.

0-10V (1-10V)

It uses a separate control signal to tell the driver what level to dim to. 1V on the control feed-lights dim to minimum, while 10V on the control feed-lights ramp to maximum. Virtually any 1-10V dimmer will work with any 1-10V driver. 0-10v allows dimming to zero (OFF) and consists of standard mains wiring plus a signal pair.


A Tridonic/Zumtobel protocol that uses a separate control wire to tell the driver what level to dim to. It’s a digital protocol so the dimming level is sent as a number in 1’s & 0’s. Easy to install and set up, it can run hundreds of devices, needing standard mains wiring plus two control wires.


Similar to DSI but DALI is produced by many manufacturers: Tridonic, Helvar, Osram, Eldoled etc. Each is individually addressable so they can all run from one power supply but dim individually if required. DALI controls tend to be used on larger complex systems


Originally a theatrical protocol now often used to control LED colour changing. DMX is a digital protocol, where devices can be individually addressed and controlled. Some devices use more than one DMX identity e.g. an RGB luminaire uses 1 address for each colour. DMX needs careful consideration in terms of wiring, connectors, shielding etc and is often used in complex large scale applications.

There are also some special dimming types RICOMAN uses with some of our products:


This is compatible with our Centorio All In One Downlight and requires the R09-882 wireless control to smoothly dim from 100% down to 3% (night mode) light output.

We are always here to help with any technical question on dimming:

Sales and Support: 0161 451 5913

Technical and other enquiries: support@ricomanled.com