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Dimmer reccomendations

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Allan Scorer:
Good afternoon all, new bloke here hope you are all well. I am small grassroots venue owner and am currently updating our stage lighting. With money being tight I want utilise some of the light fittings we currently have on site and add into the DMX Universe, but need some help with a DMX Dimmer. I have 3 LED 220V Flood lights that I want to operate at the same time and 5 mini par 220v led par lights that I would like to be operated independent of each other. None of these have DMX sockets so I think I would need an 8 channel dimmer controller. Am I correct in thinking I am correct, if so would anyone be able to direct me to product that would be suitable. Pretty new to this so go easy on me!! Thanks in Advance.

Dave Garoutte:

--- Quote from: Allan Scorer on March 22, 2021, 08:23:33 am ---Good afternoon all, new bloke here hope you are all well. I am small grassroots venue owner and am currently updating our stage lighting. With money being tight I want utilise some of the light fittings we currently have on site and add into the DMX Universe, but need some help with a DMX Dimmer. I have 3 LED 220V Flood lights that I want to operate at the same time and 5 mini par 220v led par lights that I would like to be operated independent of each other. None of these have DMX sockets so I think I would need an 8 channel dimmer controller. Am I correct in thinking I am correct, if so would anyone be able to direct me to product that would be suitable. Pretty new to this so go easy on me!! Thanks in Advance.

--- End quote ---
If there are no DMX connections, the likely method would be a dimmer pack, which could be controlled via DMX.
That said, many replacement LED bulbs are not dimmable, so you need to answer that question first.

Caleb Dueck:

--- Quote from: Allan Scorer on March 22, 2021, 08:23:33 am ---Good afternoon all, new bloke here hope you are all well. I am small grassroots venue owner and am currently updating our stage lighting. With money being tight I want utilise some of the light fittings we currently have on site and add into the DMX Universe, but need some help with a DMX Dimmer. I have 3 LED 220V Flood lights that I want to operate at the same time and 5 mini par 220v led par lights that I would like to be operated independent of each other. None of these have DMX sockets so I think I would need an 8 channel dimmer controller. Am I correct in thinking I am correct, if so would anyone be able to direct me to product that would be suitable. Pretty new to this so go easy on me!! Thanks in Advance.

--- End quote ---

Here's a great analogy - analog audio is pretty simple, like amps and speakers.  Pick a 500w amp, connect a 500w speaker, and it works. 

Digital audio - you can't just swap out an amp for a 'digital amp', to a 'digital speaker', with 'digital cables'.  You have to know Dante, AES3, AES50, MADI, etc. 

Same with lighting.  Back in the old days, you took a 750w dimmer and connected a 750w incandenscent (analog) light, and it worked.  With dimming now - if you want to use external dimmers, which are going away rapidly - for LED lights, you have to know the type of drivers used (IE ELV, MLV, straight diodes), how it's controlled (0-10V, DMX, etc), to determine - can it be dimmed?  How far?  If it can - what type of dimmer module (forward phase, reverse phase, IGBT, sinewave, SCR)? 

The short answer - if you're going to LED lights - ditch external dimming, and get lights that are designed to be DMX controlled.  They'll have the driver built in, you feed them non-dimmed high voltage and DMX control, and you're good. 

The low cost of incandescent fixtures - is offset by the high cost of lamps, the high electrical costs (usage and infrastructure), and the high cost/waste of dimmers.  Long term - LED costs less. 

My recommendation - look for good LED fixtures, but the bullet, and invest in them.  If you want to go cheap - find a used lighting system, incandescent with quality dimmers, feed it a LOT of electricity, budget for lamps, and have at. 

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