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IGBT Dimming

Benefits of IGBT vs. SCR Dimming

Circuit Technology Cooling

IGBT dimmers are an Insulated Gate Bipolar Transistor power IGBT dimmers use an extruded aluminum heatsink for waste
device that works in tandem with a dedicated microprocessor to heat dispersal, and are natural-convection cooled. Most IGBT
control almost any type of lighting load required. dimmers need no cooling fans, unless placed in an enclosure.
IGBT dimmers are completely silicon-based and operate silently Each individual IGBT dimmer uses the microprocessor "intelli-
without the use of chokes, and do not produce any mechanical gence" to monitor and manage operating temperature. SCR
buzz or hum associated with SCR dimmers. They are smaller, dimming uses forced air cooling and requires cooling fans. Most
lighter, and generate fewer neutral harmonics than SCR dim- SCR dimming racks monitor the ambient temperature of the
mers. entire rack, and will shut down the entire rack upon reaching
maximum temperature.

Transition Time
Distributed Dimming
IGBT dimmers operate with an 800 micro-second transition
Since IGBT dimmers are lightweight at less than 2 lbs per dim-
time, and can sense and automatically respond to changes it
mer, more efficient at any load, create no mechanical buzz or
detects in incoming power, load size, load type, load condition,
hum, and use natural-convection cooling to produce less heat,
and temperature. SCR chokes are tuned to a specific rise time
they can be distributed adjacent to the required dimmed load.
at a specific load wattage and load type. This means IGBT dim-
Distributed Dimming is the most cost effective way to equip a
ming requires only one module type at a constant 800 micro-
facility. Savings result from lower electrical installation costs,
second transition time and produces less waste heat.
longer lamp life, and less wasted energy. Distributed dimming
lowers electrical installation costs by requiring less wire, fewer
Voltage Drop terminations, the elimination of air-conditioned dimmer rooms,
and noise-corrective acoustical treatments. Placing the dim-
Voltage drop across an 800 micro-second rise time IGBT dim- mers at required loads allows for a completely flexible dimming
mer is less than 2.5 volts. Voltage drop across an 800 micro- system.
second rise time SCR dimmer exceeds 7 volts. This means that Distributed IGBT Dimming is available in all Intelligent Raceway®,
SCR dimmers produce less light and more waste heat. Voltage Intelligent Power System™ and Bak Pak® individual dimmer
drop through the IGBT dimmer itself is minimal. This means the product families.
lamps come up at the same time, to the same color tempera-
ture, and to the same intensity. The IGBT dimmer will then main-
tain the specified lamp color temperature. Manual Dimmer Control

All IGBT dimmers incorporate a "focus" button feature which

Voltage Regulation allows for manual operation of each dimmer, saving setup time
and labor. Most SCR dimmers must be controlled through a
An IGBT dimmer actively regulates both the VOLTAGE and the central processor module or switched "on".
CURRENT supplied to its load.
IGBT voltage regulation at 120 VAC is accurate to 0.5 volt (a
swing of one volt). The best SCR dimmers regulate to 2.5 volts
(a swing of 5 volts).
IGBT maximum output voltage is selectable, and has a default of
120 VAC. Choosing 115 VAC can extend lamp life even further.
IGBT current regulation solves a problem called cold current
inrush. Cold lamp filaments have low electrical resistance.
Uncontrolled, a cold filament will pass roughly 15-20 times "nor-
mal" current. As the cold filament heats, resistance rises and
the flow of current tapers off. Cold current inrush contributes to
lamp failure. IGBT can extend lamp life by precisely controlling
the amount of current supplied.

10911 Petal Street • Dallas, Texas 75238

1-800-223-9477 •
IGBT Dimming

Benefits of IGBT vs. SCR Dimming

Neutral Harmonics IGBT Benefit Checklist

All phase control dimming systems generate har-

monic currents. Excess harmonic currents can No RF
Quiet Efficient Size Affordable
overload neutral conductors and overheat service
transformers. Excess harmonic currents also
manifest themselves as noise. IGBT dimming fea- SCR D D
tures a patented LOW HARM® operating mode
that limits harmonic currents and reduces the
noise produced by the dimming system.
See Benefits of Low Harm Mode for more details.

Figure 1: Forward vs. Reverse Phase Control


Transition Time Transition Time

Sudden rise causes Smooth rise minimizes

filament oscillation filament oscillation

Reverse Phase Control

Forward Phase Control

This product may be covered by one or more of the following U.S. Patents: #4,413,211; 4,430,576; 4,465,956; 4,733,138; 4,792,731; 4,880,950; 4,988,840; 4,992,709; 5,004,969; 5,004,969; 5,128,654;
5,153,816; 5,189,259; 5,194,858; 5,239,255; 5,239,255; 5,371,439; 5,371,444; 5,506,480; 5,636,111; 5,642,104; 5,646,490; 5,814,550; 5,821,704; 5,920,156; 5,930,126; Des. #307,578; 333,124;
435,203; 440,207; License #4482844; 5,004,969; 5,239,255; and corresponding foreign patents. Other Utility, Design and Foreign Patents Pending. We reserve the right to change details of design,
materials and finish in any way that will not alter the installed appearance or reduce function performance. Specifications are subject to change without notice.

For technical/sales assistance, call: 1-800-223-9477

Made in USA © 2005 Genlyte Group LLC
10911 Petal Street • Dallas, Texas 75238 P/N: 87-0540