Knowledge LED Lighting: What is Warm Dimming or Dim-to-Warm?

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Knowledge LED Lighting: What is Warm Dimming or Dim-to-Warm?


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Warm dimming or dim-to-warm refers to the ability to reduce the color temperature of a light source in proportion to the intensity. Warm dimming is designed to mimic the color characteristics of incandescent lamps when dimmed. The color temperature of light emitted by an incandescent lamp at full rated power is usually within the range of 2700 K - 3300 K. However, when the lamp is dimmed, the color temperature drops in proportion to the intensity to as low as 1700 K, approximately the color of a match flame. For decades, this inherent characteristic of incandescent lighting has been utilized as a feature to create an inviting and intimate environment in restaurants, hotels, theaters, homes, etc.

In contrast, LEDs by nature do not change color when dimmed. To duplicate the "warm glow" dimming characteristics of incandescent lamps with LED lighting, dim-to-warm LED systems based tunable LED technology have been developed. Dim-to-warm LED systems incorporate a color mixing LED module which consists of LEDs of at least different color temperatures. Each LED channel is independently controlled to ensure light emitted by the 2-channel module can be mixed in different proportions. A smart LED driver translates the control input and varies the proportions of the luminous flux from each LED channel accordingly. While calling up a desired color temperature within the mixing range, the driver still be able to dim the overall luminous flux of the LED system in line with the change in color temperatures.