In the hunt for a solution to the all-too-common problem of dimming LEDs, George Robertson puts Zano’s ZSMARTLED three-way dimming controls to the test.
I’ll start this review off by admitting that dimming LEDs had literally become the bane of my life – until now!
I’m sure many electricians will be familiar with the scenario where you find an LED downlight or a lamp that your client likes, with the correct colour rendition and the right look, and then you have the unenviable task of finding a dimmer that doesn’t turn your customer’s home into a 70’sdisco or go from full on to full off with a minimal turn off the knob.
My quest to find the ideal product has led to me trying out a number of different solutions over the years, but frustration has often prevailed with everything I’ve turned to. Now, however, I appear to have discovered a dimmer that not only works smoothly, from full on to full off, but can also be utilised as a master, a master slave or a master and two slaves.
The ZSMARTLED kit comes with the lofty distinction of being the market’s first three-way dimmer and includes a master unit and two slaves, nine grid adapters per unit (Hager, Euro Module, Schneider, Lisse, MK Logic, Hamilton, Crabtree, BG, Deta and Wandsworth), and the appropriate set screws and nuts.
The first thing to mention is the simplicity of connection – the product uses normal 3 core and earth, so retroﬁtting (in most cases) doesn’t require any rewiring. Setting up the units is easy too. You just turn the lights on to full brightness and then turn them oﬀ again, then turn the control knob fully down, before turning back on again (the lights ﬂash to show your programming), set the minimum level, wait ﬁve seconds for the lights to ﬂash again and you’re done!
Should you want, you can also programme the level needed for your lights to turn on consistently. The best thing about this feature is that it actually works down to the 5W minimum load, whereas I’ve always found that the lower the load, the less responsive the dimmer. With the ZSMARTLED, however, I was dimming a single 7W LED consistently with no ﬂicker or early cut-oﬀ problems. Plus, it doesn’t matter whether you need leading or trailing edge dimming, these units work with either.
The next time you have a client that wants to be able to dim the hall, landing and stairs lights from three positions (it can’t just be me, can it?) then I recommend you grab this fantastic product oﬀ the shelf – it’s going to make your life a whole lot easier!
For more information about the ZSMARTLED dimming controls solutions from Zano visit: www.zanocontrols.co.uk/zsmartled