Solid state design allows low profile two-wire LED dimmer
Amber Solutions in California has launched a low profile, flicker-free solid-state two-wire LED dimmer that works without a neutral wire and is compatible with most types of LED lighting. The 1000W design allows LED dimmers to be easily added to older wiring systems
“Amber’s newest solution underscores how its core technologies enable a fundamental restructuring of common electrical product architecture, significantly transforming their capabilities, reducing returns and support requirements and enhancing value,” said Thar Casey, founder and CEO of Amber. “Our solid-state redesign embeds intelligence that enables a substantially better quality, flickerless dimming experience in a form factor that is slimmer for easier install and is fully compatible both with existing building infrastructure and a substantially broader range of LED bulbs.”
The design combines Amber’s patented solid-state AC-DC Enabler and AC Switch for digital control of electricity that enables the two-wire dimmer to intelligently monitor and control the flow of electricity. This eliminates all the mechanical elements in the dimmer.
The digital surge protection is non-sacrificial, so there is no degradation of components no matter how many times a surge necessitates power interruption. A single Amber two-wire dimmer can dynamically support leading edge or trailing edge dimming, or both, in a single device.
“Our two-wire dimmer solution brings new technologies and functions to buildings’ previously outdated infrastructure that has been problematic for installation of smart lighting systems,” said Casey. “As the transition to more efficient lighting continues to accelerate, our smooth zero percent to max power dimming capability will become the standard expectation. And the owners and installers of these dimmers will also benefit from native surge and short circuit protection, energy savings through reduced power dissipation, and the optional integrated wireless control sensors that even enable over the air updates to sustain compatibility with the latest lighting bulbs.”
The approach replaces TRIACs, which have traditionally been used to enable two-way current control with silicon MOSFETs and a microcontroller. This allows the depth of 19mm to fit into almost all gang boxes of any age in any building worldwide. This also allows room for Amber or third-party manufacturers to add sensors and other smart functions.
The two-wire dimmer can handle up to 1000W and is input voltage independent, so a single dimmer architecture is compatible with every electrical grid. “Looking forward, our two-wire dimmer architecture will enable 3-way dimming using only a traveler wire, offer intelligent autodetection of load types and birth a premium “C-wireless” architecture that will eliminate the need for C-wires or batteries in devices such as smart thermostats and smart doorbell cameras,” said Casey. “As Amber continues to develop advances for LED lighting fixtures and power control, the benefits and functionality will grow exponentially as users find just how powerful a true 21st-century light switch can be.”
The two-wire dimmer follows the company’s first LED lighting fixture architecture, intended for commercial projects that demand high lumen solutions – or reduced energy usage. Similar to the two-wire dimmer redesign, Amber shrinks component-size for its LED lights, such as the power supply, which is just one-tenth the size of traditional power supplies. The LED lights also feature enhanced energy efficiency, delivering 200 lumens per watt of input, versus the industry standard of 170 lumens per watt.
“The world’s reliance on electricity deepens every day, and Amber will continue to push the envelope of electronic design to develop solutions that maximize the efficiency, utility, longevity and intelligence of the tools we use to deliver power to our cities, our businesses, our homes and our devices,” he said.
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