Almost nothing sets the mood in a room as much as the lighting. If you love LED strip lights and want to make the most of your LEDs and affect the feeling in any room, you’re going to want to know about dimmable drivers from HitLights. What are dimmable drivers? Do you need a dimmable driver to make your LEDs work? Why does light level (how dim or how bright the lights are) influence the feel of a room? HitLights has answers (and more importantly—HitLights has exactly the dimmable driver you need for you or your client’s projects.)
There are two sides to this dimmable driver discussion: what dimmable drivers do (and how they do it) and the results of having a HitLights dimmable driver (a flicker-free, perfectly set, just right light level in a room.) In other words, there is a tech side and style effect side. We’re going to talk about both. Let’s start with setting the mood.
How to set the mood with LED strip lights
Many LED lighting fans enjoy strip lights because they can do things that other bulbs can’t do. In the early days of LED strip lights, one of the advantages that old fashioned bulb lighting had over strips was the ability to dim. All a person had to do was install a rheostat device and—ta da! Lights that went from full brightness to barely there (or anywhere in between.) Nowadays, most LED strip lights have the capacity to dim—you should still always look for the word “dimmable” in the product description—but the technological breakthrough that allows for LEDs to dim has arrived.
But have you ever stopped to think why changing the light output (the fancy way of saying how bright or how dim the lights are) has such an impact on how we perceive a space? You could walk into any room and depending on the light levels, you would experience the room in totally different ways.
There are social and biological reasons for light’s effect on us. Bright lights mimic sunlight which is why workspaces are usually bright and well-lit. We think of bright rooms as being energetic, active, designed to let us see everything.
Lower light spaces reflect either dusk or dawn— transition times. “Bio hackers”—those folks who like to optimize their personal health—often like to match the light levels in their rooms to what the sun is doing. No bright lights before the sun naturally comes up; start dimming the lights in the evening to get the body ready for optimal sleep.
Rom-com movies over the years have shown us that lights dim to create an atmosphere of romance. But lower lights can also simply invoke feelings of relaxation, unwinding, gentleness, intimacy. Medium-low lights enhance a party. But dim lights aren’t all fun and games: imagine if you found a loved one sitting in a dim or dark room. Your first instinct might be that they are feeling down or blue.
How much does light effect your mood?
Some easy experiments you can do yourself to get a sense of how much light impacts your personal mood—try these and gain some insight about your own responsiveness to light levels.
- Mix it up
If any of your rooms have more than one light source (window? Standing lights? LED strip lights?) and you normally use one type of light when in that room try intentionally using a light source that you don’t normally use. Mix it up! Do you normally only fire up the LED strip lights at night? Try them during the day. Do you usually use only one light? This time try two. Do you always flip on a light, even though it’s daylight and you have a window? Try only using the natural light. Pay attention to your reaction. Are you in habits with your lights that no longer serve you? Is it time to rethink or refresh the light sources in any particular room?
- A little more or a little less
Go a little outside of your lighting comfort zone intentionally to see how it makes you feel. Do you normally like a bright workspace? Try working in slightly dimmer light. If you feel your energy waning, boost the brightness and check in on how you feel. Do you take some quiet time in the morning? Try lowering the light down below what you’d normally set: does this make you feel cozy and relaxed or sleepy? The next time you have friends over, set the lights ever so slightly lower than normal. What’s the vibe? Deliberately dim or raise the lights in order to gauge your mood. You might be surprised with the feelings that come up!
- Try something new
This is your call to add accent lighting. Accent lighting might be lower light output than other lights sources, but that’s okay because accent lighting is only intended to enhance the style and impression of a room; not to create the kind of light that is appropriate for various tasks. Low voltage (12v and 24v) LED strip lighting is most commonly used for accent lighting. After installing accent LED strip lights like XPremium 24V COB LED Strip Light from HitLights, try being in the room with only accent lighting on; then add light sources until you like the feel of the space. Accent lighting allows you to “layer” light sources which gives a unique feel to any room.
Now that you have the scoop on how to experiment with dimming and light levels, let’s turn to the tech that makes the whole system go. Get ready to go all in on HitLights dimmable drivers.
Can you dim LED strip lights?
Okay, you’ve found the HitLights LED strips you like. You see that the product description confirms they’re dimmable. Good to go, right? Not so fast. The strip may be compatible with dimming. Off to a good start. What’s next, a rheostat switch? Now we’re done? Getting closer, but the rheostat is only a control switch. Almost there… what makes the connection between the action of the switch; the light strip’; and manages the electricity? This is where the dimmable driver comes in.
What is a dimmable driver?
To use some lay terminology, the dimmable driver is the “brain” of the dimming sequence. The dimmable driver converts the electricity running to your house or office into power that can be used with the 12v or 24v LED strip lights. It’s also the central point that responds when the dimmer switch is changed. We call our HitLights dimmable drivers the elegant solution to any of your LED strip light dimming needs.
Do dimmable drivers have to be compatible?
Probably the most important thing to know about selecting a dimmable driver for your project is that each piece of the LED strip light installation must be compatible with the other components. Make sure if you are using a single-color light that the dimmable driver works with single color lights. We carry a wide variety of dimmable drivers and are happy to help you if you are unsure at all about which driver you should select.
Why should I get a dimmable driver?
In a home setting, we often recommend that installations be set up to dim if you’re using dimmable strips. There’s almost no time where having the capacity to dim is a burden to have. In other words, it’s better to have the option to dim your lights and opt not to rather than pass up the capacity to dim. At the very least, a dimmable driver gives you options and generally it’s easier to install a new system with dimming capability rather than add it after the fact.
What HitLights dimmable drivers should I consider?
Remember what was noted above about compatibility! After assessing the needs of your LED strip light installation, take a look at our 100 Watt S-Series Dimmable Driver (Electronic, UL Listed, 12 v.) Working with a 24v LED strip light? Check out 96W LED Dimmable Driver (Electronic, UL Listed, 24 v.)
You can see the entire HitLights dimmable driver collection here.Don’t forget: we want to help you! Whether you are unsure about which dimmable driver to pick or you are a contracting pro who wants to know if there are special pricing options available to you, we want to talk! Give one of our knowledge-based tech staffers a call. One call is all you need to make. HitLights representatives want to talk to you. Reach out now: (1 (855) 768-4135) From lowlights to highlights, HitLights is ready for you.