Friday February 14th is upon us, and that only means one thing – it’s Valentine’s Day. The day of the year when love-struck singletons aim to woo their would-be partner, and couples make an extra effort to do something romantic together.
Many people choose to head out on the town on Valentine’s Day evening, eager to enjoy the nightlife and treat their other half. But many others stay in, perhaps to cook a romantic meal, or cuddle up in front of the TV or a roaring fire.
If you fall into the latter category, you need to think about how your décor and lighting can help create the perfect romantic mood. You might wish to put up decorations, change to a red colour code, or alter the level of illumination.
Many people light candles on Valentine’s Day, but this is down to personal preference as others do not like naked flames. With LED lights, it is possible to create a similar toned-down vibe simply by dimming your light bulbs. Homeowners can choose the level of their lighting with the flick of a switch – turning their bulbs right down if they choose.
This can evoke thoughts of Parisian back-street cafes, hidden corners in fancy wine bars, midnight cruises on sparkling harbours, or timber-framed country pubs. In fact, any romantic destination you can think of. And with the rain and wind battering the UK this week, you won’t even have to leave the house!
How dimmer switches work
Investing in dimmable LEDs means homeowners do not need to take a one-size-fits-all approach. They can adjust the brightness of their bulbs according to changes in mood, season, time of day or the activity. This is perfect for a Valentine’s Day evening at home.
Simply by turning a knob, it is possible to reduce the output of your lamp or downlights. You can go from near-darkness to full illumination in an instant, or vice-versa if you are looking to create a romantic vibe this Friday.
Resistors in the dimmer switch control the amount of energy flowing which flows through the circuit. LED switches achieve this by shortening the A/C cycle at the trailing edge of the input waveform. The outcome is easily customisable lighting, with smooth control and silent running.
Choosing LED dimmer switches
If you want to take advantage of dimmable lighting, you need to select a compatible dimmer switch. You must check before purchase that the switch you have selected is designed to work with GU10 LEDs, or whichever type of bulb you have selected.
Any usage restrictions will be made clear in the product specification on the packaging. This will also inform you whether the switch is a leading or trailing edge triac dimmer. Usually, LED dimmers have a minimum load of 10W, meaning the combined load of all the lamps on a single circuit must be at least 10W. The minimum wattage could be achieved by using two 6W bulbs on the circuit, creating an overall load of 12W.
You should be able to dim your lights without any buzz or flickering. If the bulbs do flicker, it points towards a problem with the dimmer switch – such as incompatibility. Ensure you take the bulbs out immediately as you do not want them to blow.
Time to upgrade?
Even if you’re not the most romantic of sorts, your partner might be. So it doesn’t hurt to make the effort, even if it’s just once a year. Installing LED dimmers makes it easy to lower the lights and get in the mood – so why not give it a go?