How Dimmers Work


In this article, we will guide you through various dimming methods, helping you choose the right products to fulfil your lighting desires effortlessly.
Before we explore different dimming methods, it’s important to understand one crucial aspect: the difference between Primary and Secondary power:
  • Primary Power: The main electrical supply in any Australian property, also known as ‘mains’ power, which is 240v.
  • Secondary Power: Generated when the ‘mains’ is converted by an LED driver to power the LED chip.

Types of Dimming

Dimming is achieved by reducing either the primary or secondary power.  Now let’s break that down..
  1. Phase Dimming: Common in homes, this method decreases the amount of 240v primary power feeding the LED driver or a traditional bulb. This technique, also known as ‘Phase-Cut’, adjusts power at a specific phase of the sine wave, with two variations:
    • Leading-edge
    • Trailing-edge
We’ll explain the difference below
There is also…
  1. Digital Dimming: DALI is a popular universal digital dimming systems which is commonly found in commercial and large-scale residential builds. It operates by reducing the secondary power that feeds from an LED driver to a LED light fixture.  
  2. 1-10V Dimming: This method often works very well for dimming dedicated LED fittings when coupled to a 1-10V dimmable driver. Dimming is often smoother and lower than Phase Dimming options however it requires a separate ‘control’ cable to be run from the controller to the fittings driver.

Phase Dimming: Leading vs. Trailing Edge

Both leading and trailing-edge dimming work by modulating the 240v primary power delivered to the light and are typically operated via a nearby rotary dimmer.
Dimmers have a defined wattage range; ensuring your lights align with this range guarantees a smooth dimming experience, preventing issues like flickering.
  • Leading Edge Dimmers: Primarily found in older properties, these were created for dimming higher wattage incandescent or halogen bulbs, often controlling a substantial wattage range. When used on LED lights, you’ll find these either flicker or simply don’t work.
  • Trailing Edge Dimmers: A newer invention, these are designed specifically for LEDs, which generally have significantly lower wattage compared to their halogen counterparts, thus handling a much smaller wattage range.


To sum up, if you’re planning to dim LED fixtures in a residential setting using a straightforward wall-mounted rotary dimmer, trailing edge dimming is your best bet. Moreover, Faze Lighting offers innovative solutions to meet your dimming needs. 
Additionally, other sought-after products in our range like the Edge 100 are fully compatible with modern remote dimming solutions such as the Casambi CBU-TED Bluetooth Controllable Dimmer (71-CASCBU) & the Casambi BasicDim Driver 13W, offering you flexible and convenient options to achieve your dimming dreams effortlessly.