No one likes to be called back to a job by an unhappy customer. We look at three common callbacks and how to solve them - or even better, avoid them all together.
“Since you installed our lights, our WiFi has been on the blink. Did you cut a cable or something?”
We’ll take a wild guess here that you did not, but that doesn’t mean the sudden drop in your client’s connectivity is a total coincidence. A lesser known complication caused by installing dimming control with LEDs is WiFi disturbance. The fix can be simple – but it might mean swapping out the dimmer you just installed.
Many dimmers sold as ‘LED compatible’ are still fitted with Triac technology – a copper coil designed for use with simple resistive loads, such as an incandescent lamp. However, the truth is that – like most technology created for incandescent – Triac is not compatible with LED. You can find a full explanation as to why Triac + LED = WiFi interference here.
In the meantime, if WiFi interference is causing a problem at an LED install, your best bet is to source a dimmer that replaces the coil with a digital microprocessor. No coil, no WiFi disturbance.
“The lights look great, but sometimes they don’t turn on properly.”
This is particularly frustrating if it’s not discovered until after you’ve left the job. It usually occurs when lamps have been dimmed to a low level before turning off - but it’s entirely avoidable with the right dimmer.
If lamps are failing to start up after being dimmed to their lowest level it’s often because they lack the power boost they need to start up. As they usually do turn on again after a few tries, it’s often more of an annoyance to the client than a reason to call you back - but it can spoil an otherwise flawless installation (and prevent those all-important recommendations).
With a Zano dimmer, you can simply set your Start Level Preset during installation and it will do the hard work for you. This exclusive Smart Setting gives lamps a boost when turned on, to make sure that the light comes on quickly even if lamps have been dimmed to low levels before switching off. When turned on, the lamps will warm up quickly to this chosen ‘start level’ before dimming back to the level they were previously dimmed to.
“The lights don’t look like they’re flickering...but we get a weird blurry effect if anything moves underneath them. What is it?”
Flicker isn’t always obvious. We all know what flicker looks like when a lamp and a dimmer are incompatible, but there are actually different levels of flicker, some of which are perceptible to the human eye, some of which aren’t - and some that are only visible in certain situations.
For instance, a high frequency flicker rate may not be noticed in a place with little movement - such as a library or living room. The same frequency flicker rate in a squash court, however, will become obvious, creating a blurry afterimage or strobe effect.
Getting rid of obvious flicker is usually a case of making sure you’re buying good quality lamps and using a suitable dimmer for the project. Unobvious flicker is more complicated - and it’s something that many lamp manufacturers are still trying to solve.
One simple DIY way to test for flicker on a domestic job is to wave a pencil under the light at different dimming levels. A flicker frequency low enough to be visible will result in a strobing after image; the more obvious, the worse your flicker problem is.
At Zano, we’ve set out to banish harmful flicker for good, working on several technical solutions to measure and eradicate flicker from lighting installations. Speak to our technical team for more information.
The best way to avoid call backs on an LED install is to fit the right dimmer for the job from the start. Switching from Triac to digital dimming can solve most of your LED dimming headaches, and Zano now have a one stop shop for all your LED dimming needs.
To find the right dimmer for your next project, take a look at our interactive product finder.