The LED driver acts not only as an electrical current management system, but also protects LEDs from current or voltage fluctuations. The latest trend in LED lighting ties into wireless networks by replacing a variable resistor known as a potentiometer with wireless electronic control. One of GRE Alpha's technology partners, Lutron, offers its Caseta smart lighting control system to seamlessly integrate other smart home products such as Alexa, Siri, Google assistant, Sonos speakers and more.
As lightning-fast advancements in LED technology transform the commercial and residential lighting and markets, new challenges are constantly arising. One of the things we have learned over time is that life and reliability expectations will not be met if we do not pay attention to the type of drivers and power supplies used for powering and dimming LEDs.
While LED lighting has many great benefits -- including energy savings -- one of the potential disadvantages is LEDs require a flow of consistent and constant electrical current, at the exact required voltage.
Dimmers use an array of technologies to control light sources. Two common dimming technologies are forward phase and reverse phase.
Forward Phase (TRIAC)
TRIAC dimmers are leading edge in which the electrical current is turned off at the front of the AC input waveform immediately after the zero crossing. TRIAC dimming is the most common dimming method. While originally paired with incandescent bulbs, some models are compatible with CFL and LED loads. Forward phase dimmers are often more affordable and simpler in terms of design than other types of dimmers. However, LED's do not respond well to the irregular, "chopped" wave forms that simple TRIAC dimming provides. They work best with a constant voltage, with dimming accomplished lowering the current supplied to the LED. Attempting to use the direct output of a TRIAC dimmer could result in flickering, diminished LED lifetime and possibly an LED dimming range of less than the ideal 0 to 100%. Selecting the right components can address these issues.
Reverse Phase (ELV): The ELV dimmable LED driver is a trailing edge or reverse phase dimmer which means that the electrical current is turned off at the end of the of the AC input waveform immediately before the zero crossing. It has a lower minimum load (often 10W), making it a better choice for dimming modestly sized low-powered lighting circuits. Reverse phase-cut dimming is designed specifically for low-voltage (ELV) systems and almost always requires the use of a neutral wire. ELV dimmers are generally very compatible with LED loads, offering smoother dimming to low levels. Reverse phase dimmers are more expensive but tend to outlast their forward phase counterparts.
Flickering (typically seen with LEDs and CFLs) can be rectified by adjusting the dimming range on the Caseta Wireless dimmer. Recognizing the performance advantages and limitations of TRIAC and ELV, GRE Alpha's design team created the XLA series which incorporates a patented synchronized dimming technology that mimics incandescent dimming technology to allow full range, flicker-free dimming of LED lighting fixtures for both CC and CV loads. The long-term savings are significant.
GRE Alpha's ELV dimmable LED driver is fully compatible with most TRIAC/ELV/SCR phase dimmers on the market today. There is no dimmer on the market which provides better dimming performance or wider dimming compatibility. To maximize savings and sustainability, you can source the ELV driver directly from GRE Alpha or any of our authorized distributors like Arrow Electronics. You will find the same quality reputable products at Lutron and Lutron retail outlets. Lutron's Caseta Wireless PRO products are available to professional installers. These specialty products have features that may assist professionals in installing Caseta Wireless systems in a wider range of applications.
When EnOcean pioneered their trailblazing energy harvesting technology, the world of LED lighting was instantly and forever changed. Using sustainable energy from motion, light, and temperature to power their wireless sensors, the basis for digitized buildings, services, and processes in the Internet of Things (IoT) was formed. By partnering with industry innovators like GRE Alpha, EnOcean has made a monumental contribution toward achieving the full data potential of intelligent lighting control.
A recent 3-page spread in the EnOcean Alliance Journal (Japanese version) had GRE Alpha’s/ EnOcean joint technology powering solutions on full display. With an eye on advancing smart building/office lighting solutions, the spotlight was on GRE Alpha’s upcoming 6 channel output, dimming module, which uses EnOcean’s energy harvesting technology. A variation of GRE’s original 1 channel wireless dimmer, ENO-DIM-JP.
The new ENO-DIM-JP module is designed with 6 individual lighting segments opening worlds of new usage scenarios in intelligent building applications.
Source: GRE Alpha
With expanding ecology requirements and a wide variety of demands for the lighting environment (low current and high voltage), GRE Alpha has further leveraged EnOcean’s energy-harvesting technology and their own LED driver and dimming expertise in further partnerships with global CoB suppliers. Those efforts are speeding up the path to advances in tunable white lighting control solutions that highly flexible, maintenance-free, and easy to install.
Interestingly, the very same GRE/EnOcean technology that is doing so much to advance the lighting industry is also making inroads into non-lighting applications like wireless gate control and sanitizing spray systems. The EnOcean Alliance Journal 2020 JP spread featuring GRE Alpha lighting control technologies appears on pages 21,22 and 23. For more information about the upcoming 6 control dimming module or any GRE Alpha product, please visit the GRE enquiries page.
Since the first LED was invented over half a century ago, the evolution of LED lighting technology and proliferation of cost-effective LEDs set a new standard in homes and businesses alike, proving to be versatile, long-lasting, and highly efficient. Though it took several decades for LEDs to gain traction, once they did, technological advancements started coming at a fast and furious pace. In the last few years, tunable white lighting has entered the mainstream of LED design promising to change the world in a significant way.
What is Tunable White?
Tunable white, or Kelvin changing LED lighting, is a system that enables the color correlated temperature of lighting (CCT) to be adjusted in both intensity and color appearance with the intention of aligning with circadian rhythms or activities that require more physiological or psychological engagement. LED lighting mixes red, green, and blue channels to deliver a range of colors across the color spectrum that can simulate natural light.
With conventional tunable white products, there are two controllable phosphor-coated LEDs; one warm-white color (usually around 2700K) and a second cool-white color (usually 5000K to 6500K). There are also newer products that use three or more LED primaries which gives them the capability to produce a wider range of colors than simply different CCTs of white. The right color temperature and illumination achieved through tunable white lighting can make a real difference in visual perception by bringing the dynamics of natural light indoors.
Ushering in an Unprecedented Level of Comfort and Control
An article published by GRE Alpha in 2018 talks about the health benefits of tunable white lighting. While the information remains completely valid, more advanced control systems and higher output options are coming to market all the time bringing things to life that were formerly inconceivable. Now, with as much as 90% of our time spent indoors, the push by the lighting design community to more effectively leverage the power of tunable white lighting will only continue to surge.
Recently, supported by a tunable white dimming module custom-designed by GRE Alpha to enable ON-BBL (blackbody locus), ZIGEN created the world's first ON-BBL 2-channel tunable white COB LED (the ZG7 series). This remarkable patented technology using 3 phosphor color ranges from 2000K (sunrise) to 5000k (sunset) which eliminates the unwanted pink found in conventional tunable white LEDs and expands the adjustable color range to align with human-centric lighting applications.
The kind of ingenuity and forward-thinking being exhibited by companies like GRE Alpha and ZIGEN are resulting in more sophisticated products that are improving the usability of indoor spaces and simulating the natural cycle of daylight that defines our 24-hour internal clock (circadian rhythm), enhancing pleasure, alertness, coordination, and mood. Whether in a commercial, residential, healthcare, or education environment, tunable white lighting can be adapted for virtually every occasion and activity...
Clearly mood is a major player in tunable white, but aesthetic vision, usability and flexibility of spaces are huge as well. Versatile, long-lasting, and highly efficient, existing tunable white lighting can be modified in any space to adhere to the preferences of a new owner and give spaces the flexibility to change on a seasonable basis. More and more, when spaces are remodeled or rebranded, owners are opting to update lighting to tunable white.
Where GRE Alpha comes in
The key to achieving the perfect balance of color and intensity is the use of more sophisticated lighting control modules that allow for gradual tuning that has a smooth temperature gradient without color distortion. A perfect example of this is GRE Alpha's pioneering SLD DimTW2, a CV tunable white LED dimming module. This unique plug-and-play dimmer accepts 0-10V/1-10V control signal and enables smooth, dynamic color temperature shifts of 2000K to 8000K. It has opened ease of upgrade and options for color tuning applications that improve the dynamic of light.
With more new products and partnerships in development, at GRE Alpha you will always find solutions for a life well lit, with benefits far beyond illumination. For more information about GRE tunable white products, please visit the GRE contact page. You will find our team of experts ready and eager to provide the support you need.
Hong Kong, August 12, 2020 – The strategic partnership recently created between GRE Alpha and Casambi Technologies is already proving fruitful with the release of GRE Alpha's first Casambi compatible dimming module. GRE's new SLD-DIM-CB is a 240-Watt single channel output constant voltage LED dimming module that allows for seamless integration with Casambi-enabled luminaires, sensors, wall-mounted and wireless switches.
Preferred by the world's leading architects, designers, and lighting companies, GRE Alpha's easy-install LED drivers and dimming modules are designed to operate with the highest efficiency and reliability at extreme environmental conditions. GRE's new Casambi compatible dimming module is a vital extension of Casambi's growing ecosystem of wireless lighting controls and networks based on Bluetooth low energy.
According to GRE North America's Business Development Manager, Rick Araujo, "GRE Alpha's partnership with Casambi allows us to combine our best-in-class LED powering solutions with state-of-the-art Bluetooth technology. We are confident that GRE Alpha's Casambi-ready SLD-DIM-CB dimmer will further help OEM lighting companies with the quick and easy cost-effective upgrade of their existing lighting systems to smart connected lighting."
Utilizing the latest in Bluetooth mesh, the SLD-DIM-CB dimmer features direct, peer-to-peer communication between nodes, ensuring instantaneous response to input from switches, sensors, and mobile devices without the need for hubs or a central controller. The result is instantaneous, flicker-free dimming. Applications include retrofit lighting, commercial, retail and residential lighting, museum, hotel, and office lighting.
Among the many benefits:
GRE Alpha is looking forward to creating many more innovative, interoperable powering solutions in partnership with Casambi that continue to advance smart lighting technology. For more information about the SLD-DIM-CB Casambi-ready dimmer or any other GRE Alpha product, please visit the GRE enquiries page.
About GRE Alpha
GRE Alpha® Electronics, Ltd. specializes in the design and manufacturing of solid-state lighting power supplies and lighting control accessories, which are the lifeblood of indoor and outdoor LED lighting systems. Their superior performance products are the power behind LED lighting systems. GRE's unique modular approach allows their dimming modules and drivers to be used either with used in either new or existing installations.
It was not long ago that the ability to have control over the CCT (correlated color temperature) of your light source was inconceivable. Now, thanks to ZIGEN Lighting Solutions supported by GRE Alpha’s tunable white dimming module, the industry’s first tunable white COB LED product series has been introduced. Labeled ZG7, the On-BBL tunable white COB LED changes luminous colors following the blackbody locus (BBL) by just using a 2-channel input.
While conventional tunable white LED only starts from 2700K or above and can result in a pinkish color at mid-range, ZIGEN’s newly patented technology using 3 phospor color ranges from 2000K sunset color temperature to 5000K which eliminates the unwanted pink and expands the adjustable color range to human centric lighting applications. It is a major step forward in tunable white lighting that is being welcomed by architects, engineers and building managers alike.
Consider ZIGEN’s ZG7 tunable white series solutions to help maximize ambiance and well being for:
Listed above is a mere sliver of the usage possibilities in ZIGEN’s new tunable white technology. According to ZIGEN management, they are planning to adopt this new technology to higher power COB and SMT solutions in the near future. GRE Alpha is proud to be an LED powering partner with ZIGEN and looking forward to supporting their progress in any way possible. About ZIGEN Lighting Solution Co., Ltd
ZIGEN Lighting Solution Co., Ltd. is an LED device company established in 2017. The company won the Hiroshima Venture award and makes innovative lighting LED devices continuously. Involved in the production and distribution of lighting LED devices with unique product design, their products have established reputation by quality and features not available from other LED suppliers.
About GRE Alpha
GRE Alpha® Electronics, Ltd. specializes in the design and manufacture of solid-state lighting power supplies and lighting control accessories, which are the lifeblood indoor and outdoor LED lighting systems. Our superior performance products are the power behind LED lighting systems. GRE’s unique modular approach provides ideal, easy to integrate powering solutions for new and existing installations.