RETRO Troubleshooting

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  1. The RETROs are flickering–why am I experiencing this issue?

  2. 95% of the time, this is due to not enough load on your dimming system to keep the electronics stable. Most of the older, less expensive dimming systems should have a minimum load of 100-200 watts, in order to keep that TRIAC/SCR stable. If you are replacing three or four 500 watt lamps on a single circuit with three or four 49 watt RETRO units, there is a good chance that under 50% control the circuit may be unstable and cause the lights to flicker/shimmer. In order to fix this issue, combine one circuit with another circuit to increase the load on the dimmer. We have found this value will differ from dimming manufacturer to dimming manufacturer.


    The other issue that you may encounter is that your current dimmer is starting to go bad. When this happens, the LED Driver is sensitive to AC voltage coming into the driver, in order to keep all the units at the same output. If the AC sinewave form going to the RETRO is bad (by way of a failing dimmer), then it can cause the LEDs to flicker.

  3. The RETROs are not dimming as well as I have seen them before. What can I do to improve the dimming performance?

  4. Here is a list of different methods based upon different types of dimming racks in the market:

    • If the dimmer rack is able to adjust the zero crossing/rise time, go to a higher rise time for the zero crossing. Some of the more advanced and newer dimming panels may have this option via software. Contact your manufacturer of the dimming panel to confirm. The zero crossing rise time is a feature in some dimming panels, initially designed to minimize audible vibrations of a tungsten filament. This feature is able to be implemented to correct for oddities in dirty power behaviors, which the LED engine may be sensitive to.
    • Enable 16-bit dimming mode. If your unit is not dimming as smoothly as you want, this is an effect of software on the dimming panel. We have tested the RETRO series on the same dimmer rack with the same processor, but running different firmware, and the unit will dim differently. Some dimmer racks may include a feature to enable a 16-bit dimming mode, therefore creating more steps for the line voltage in dim, allowing a smoother effect in terms of timed fades while dimming the RETRO. See “Technical Notes” on Dimming Compatibility and our white paper on defining 1% for more details on dimmer racks we’ve tested.
    • On newer dimming systems within the past four to five years, there is a new feature that is referred to as smoothing mode. This software feature changes the way the dimmer reacts, creating a smoother effect to the LED and a response movement similar to that of a tungsten lamp.

    • Check to make sure that your dimmer rack is not sharing power with another device, such as motors, sound equipment, air conditioners, and so on. This can affect the power going into the dimmer rack, thus affecting the performance of The RETRO.