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Thread: Switching to LED lights with Grafik Eye 3106s

  1. #1

    Switching to LED lights with Grafik Eye 3106s

    I have about 6 Grafik Eye GRX-3106 dimming system all over my home which worked well for me for years with my halogen lights. Now, I shifted to LEDs and chose Philips dimmable 7W MR16 bulbs (92900002373). I tried using either magnetic or Philip's electronic transformer with the bulb, and in both cases, when i turn on the 3106 for the first time by pressing a scene, it jumps to a dimmed light as opposed to before where it starts gradually and softly from zero light. If I have each zone of a room in different dimming levels, you can actually see lights popping up differently with each zone. Its not an elegant look and not what I'm used to with my halogen bulbs. Switching off is not a problem or switching from scene to scene. Its only the start-up scene that is quite annoying. Is there a way to fix this? Perhaps my 10 year old 3106 is not compatible with this particular Philips LED bulb. Perhaps, my 2-wiring setup is not right. Do I need an interface module or need to upgrade or change bulb? There are not too many dimmable led MR16 bulbs available in the country where i live (Philippines) and Philips is already considered the more expensive brand even recommended by lighting companies which worked with Lutron for years. I'm scared to even use any China-made LED bulbs. One lighting company I asked said this is what to be expected with LED lights. They can only be dimmed upto 5%. Do I just have to accept the fact that I can never be able to dim my LED lights below 5% and therefore, have to get used to lights turning on abruptly?

  2. #2
    Pete F.
    Guest
    nikkisun, thank you for your post. A big issue with LEDs is that they are all being manufactured differently, and so the dimming performance will vary greatly from one to the next. Many LEDs on the market (including ones labeled as dimmable) have issues when placed on dimming controls. On top of that, MR16 LEDs are generally one of the toughest types of LED to dim. The issue with these lamps is due to the interdependencies between the lamp, transformer and dimmer. Only certain transformers work OK on a given LED MR16 and even then, only certain dimmers will work, and even then the MR16 lamps generally have some shimmer as you dim down.
    Because of this, Lutron has done extensive testing on LEDs, however we only have a dimming solution for a few different MR16s. Because of the sensitivity of LEDs, we can only recommend these solutions if they are used with a very specific transformer and only one lamp per transformer. If you go to www.lutron.com/ledtool and change the Lamp/Fixture type to MR16 and hit search, a list of the approved bulbs will appear at the bottom of the page.
    If you are locked in to using a different MR16 LED, then we would suggest contacting the LED manufacturer to see if they have a recommended dimming solution they can offer.

  3. #3
    Thank you Pete for your reply. I understand that there seems to be a lack of standards in the LED world. I tried the LEDTOOL that you recommended with the MR16 and it resulted with only one recommended bulb (Soraa 11.5W MR16). Luckily, I found 3 suppliers locally who distribute this product so I can give it a try. However, it specified there in the report that the dimming range is from 8% to 97%. Can I safely assume that even if I use the transformer that Lutron advises, if I press a scene in the GRafik Eye for the first time, the bulb will still jump from 0% or OFF to 8% abruptly because 8% is its minimum dimming range? If yes, then it basically yields the same results as my Philips LED bulb. I was told by a lighting company that tested the same Philips bulb with the GRafik Eye that its minimum dimming is somewhere around 5%.

    Second question, I have both available with me two kinds of transformers that work with the Philips MR16 -- one is a bigger, heavier, magnetic transformer (Supra brand 11.5V) used with my halogen bulbs for 10 years (which i had to no problems with) and the other is Philips' own 10v electronic transformer which comes in a smaller, lighter, plastic box. I tested both transformers with the same bulb in the GRafik Eye, the light output is the same but the bulb with the magnetic transformer lights up a little faster than the electronic one. Which do you recommend that I use? The Lutron guy in the Philippines recommended the magnetic transformer but Philips recommend theirs. Is there a difference in performance long-term? Thank you.

  4. #4
    Authorized Lutron Contributor
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Posts
    47
    Nikkisun,
    To answer your first question yes, it would turn on and off at the 8% level. It will not fade to off or on.

    The second question, we are currently unaware of differences in the long term performacne of each of these transformer types. We would side on caution and go with the LED manufacturers recommendations for transformers to use with their LED products.

  5. #5
    I am having a hard time accepting that LEDs in general cannot be dimmed lower than 8% or 5% with Lutron. With fluorescent bulbs, Lutron recommends its own Hi-lume electronic ballast to dim fluorescent lamps from 100% to 1%.

    http://www.lutron.com/en-US/Products.../Overview.aspx

    Is there a Hi-lume ballast version for LEDs which will also allow us to dim to 1%? Thank you.

  6. #6
    Authorized Lutron Contributor
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Posts
    47
    Nikkisun,
    When dimming LED's, it is not a question of the quality of the LED or the dimming control used. Each LED will have a different performance with each control it is hooked up to. When we report the dimming range there are many factors to take into consideration. We will limit our low end rating if we notice flickering or misbehavior below a certain range, we will also limit the low end if it takes over 1 second for the LED to turn on. You can try lowering the trim for the low end range, however you might experience an undesirable performance.

    Also, we do manufacture Hi-Lume LED Drivers with the ability to dim 100% down to 1%. However, the majority of the Drivers we manufacture are only UL recognized, which means they must receive a UL Listing after they have been installed in a fixture manufactures product,, housing, Driver and LED.

    We do offer a few UL Listed Drivers, they are 12Vdc and 24Vdc constant voltage drivers. http://www.lutron.com/TechnicalDocum...369789_ENG.pdf

    Please let me know if you have any questions.

  7. Likes Armando B. liked this post

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