Dimming low power light bulbs

I know one can dim filament bulbs with triacs (or similar). I think I know that one used not to be able to dim fluorescent lamps by the same or similar means. But can one dim low power lamps _of some kind_ by _some means_? What is a low power lamp? Is it (at present) a fluorescent lamp? Etc.

The questions are prompted by strip lights outside a brach of Sainsburys that are on all day even in bright sunlight. I would have thought that lamps could be installed the brightness of which could be controlled (in an inverse fashion) by the brightness of the incident sunshine. But would that require the strip lights to be replaced as well?

Please not that my knowledge of things electrical is limited.

Reply to
Frederick Williams
Loading thread data ...

Pretty much any commonly used lighting technology (incandescent, fluorescent (T8, T12, T5, T5HO), compact fluorescent, metal halide, LED, high pressure sodium, etc.) has means to do dimming. The costliness varies. Sometimes special 'dimming ballasts' are needed wiht the fixtures, and very often, special dimmers are needed. And yes, lighting can be controlled based on daylight (search 'daylight harvesting'). While I do not know what Sainsburys is (and I am assuming that 'brach' is just a typo for 'branch'), in a scenario with outdoor fixtures mounted on a building exterior it would be typical to do less intelligent controls. At least it would be typical in much of north america. Either photocell control, or a timeclock, or a combination of photocell and timeclock, might be used. The lights would just be turned off and on in a more or less 'dusk til dawn' manner. Astrological timeclocks are available that can accommodate changing sunrise/sunset times with the seasons, and beyond that they can be programmed with routines for weekdays, weeknds, holidays, and all sorts of stuff. And they're not that expensive.

'Low power' may not be a well defined term, maybe 'efficient' is a better term (depending on what you are actually asing, of course). Certain technologies are more efficient than others, but if you want lots and lots of light out of an efficient luminaire, you still need lots of power. All of the lighting technologies mentioned above are OK for efficiency, except for incandescent which is not good for efficiency. As rough numbers, I'd say you can get 70 lumens per Watt to 140 lumens per Watt out of the efficient technologies above. Fluorescent is probably around 100, and widely used in normal indoor commercial applications. High pressure sodium and metal halide are often used outdoors, with efficiencies between say 80 Lumens/W and 140. Incandescent is probably 10-20 lumens per watt. LED lighting is changing fast. There is a ton of research money and effort going into LED and it may well be the future of lighting. I don't think it is king of efficiency yet for bulk lighting, generally speaking. Though for some people it is the go-to technology. And the marketing hyping it is at times perhaps a little ... zealous.

There are other newsgroups where you might get a better response on a question like this. I'm a little rusty on them but alt.enegineering.electrical might be one, sci.engr.lighting another. I'll crosspost them in this reply.

Reply to
operator jay

A popular beat combo m'lud. Oh, no, sorry: a supermarket chain well known in the UK.


Thank you.

Reply to
Frederick Williams

PolyTech Forum website is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.