The answer to your query “Are LED lights dimmable” is a big YES! LED lights are dimmable, but not all!
What are dimmable LED lights, which LED lights are not dimmable, their functionality, working, and uses? Might be your next most pop-up questions.
As, You’re going to find out everything you need to know regarding the dimmable LED lights in our today’s to-know guide.
So, keep reading to know the facts you were not aware of before!
LED lights are not the same. They differ in terms of their performance, design, and style. However, we distinguish them based on their working principle. Today, we will be discussing the dimmable and non-dimmable to help you pick the best one for yourself.
Nowadays, the demand for dimmable LED lights is at its peak. Dimming factor in LED bulb helps you adjust the light brightness of the bulb. Also, it helps you save energy as dimming the LED light will consume less power. All you need is a dimmable LED light plus a dimmable circuit.
Most of the LEDs, in today’s lighting market, are dimmable. But there do exist the LED bulbs that are not dimmable.
Now, the question here is:
How to know whether Your LED Bulb is Dimmable or Not?
Now, the confusion arises in your mind “Is my LED bulb dimmable?” or “Which LED lights are dimmable?” To check out the dimmable factor in your LED light bulb, read the label on your bulb’s box. If on it you see the word “DIMMABLE” then your bulb is dimmable, otherwise it’s not!
Now, you’ve find out that your LED light bulb is dimmable, but how to dim it? Is the issue here!
So, let’s solve this issue first!
HOW CAN I DIM MY LED BULB?
In order to dim your dimmable LED light bulb, you’ll need a dimmer switch that’ll be compatible with your dimmable LED light.
Now, here’s a guide to dim your LED light!
To dim your LED light, or to make your LED light work on a dimmer, you need two things:
- A Dimmable LED light bulb.
- An LED compatible dimmer.
Now, let’s go through the easy-to-follow steps that will help you in getting the dimming effect you want from your energy-efficient LED light bulbs!
Step 1: Getting a Dimmable LED Light:
As, we’ve told you earlier that not all LED lights are designed with dimming capabilities. So, the first thing you need to do is to make sure that you purchased the right “Dimmable” LED light.
How to check?
- While making a purchase from local market, the label on the bulb’s box will help.
- If you’re making a purchase from online market, then you can check through both the bulb’s box image, and the product’s description. (Check out the images below.)
Now, you might be thinking that what will happen:
If I put a non-dimmable LED light on a dimmer?
- Bulb will not dim.
- If it dims, that won’t be proper dim.
- Bulb may flickers.
- It might get damaged completely.
This is because, both the dimmable and non-dimmable LED bulbs have their special circuitry inside.
- The one inside the dimmable LED bulbs allow them to respond to varying current levels or ratings or pulsing current waves that in return produce a dimming effect.
- Whereas, the circuitry inside the non-dimmable LED bulbs is only designed to be either fully powered ON or OFF. Because of this, the bulb won’t handle the varying current levels and will become damaged.
Step 2: Finding an LED Compatible Dimmer Switch:
Well, it’s not possible to tell whether your dimmer is compatible to your LED bulb or not by just looking at it. You have to contact your dimmer manufacturer to know about it.
In most of the cases, the already installed dimmers in homes for the previously used incandescent bulbs are likely to be the “leading edge dimmers.” And such type of dimmers are in-compatible to LED lights.
Leading Edge Dimmers, and dimmer switches types?
Hey, don’t get confused! Here’s what you need to know!
The two most commonly used household dimmers are:
- The Leading Edge Dimmers: The traditional and the most commonly used dimmers in homes are the leading edge dimmers. They are designed to work with incandescent bulbs. Most likely, they won’t work well with the LED lights.
- The Trailing Edge Dimmers: New in the market are the trailing edge dimmers, and are less commonly used than leading edge dimmers. These dimmers are specifically designed to work with the LED light bulbs.
What’s the difference between Leading Edge Dimmers and Trailing Edge Dimmers?
The basic difference lies in the wattage range. As you know, incandescent are high wattage bulbs i.e. they use more energy than LEDs. Based on their wattage usage leading edge dimmers are designed that work with high-wattage loads. On contrary, LEDs are quite low wattage bulbs because of which leading edge dimmers are not able to read or control their circuitry very well.
Whereas, trailing edge dimmers are designed to work with low wattage range. Therefore, they can read and control LED bulbs easily and effectively.
STEP 3: Installing the Dimmer Switch:
Now, you’ve everything right. It’s time to install the dimmers to make your LED light dim!
In case, your leading edge dimmer is not working well with your dimmable LED light, what we recommend is to contact a professional to help you install a trailing edge dimmer.
Installation Cost of a Trailing Edge Dimmer:
The installation cost for a trailing edge dimmer usually lies in between $60 and $200. It depends on the electrician you hire and the ease in the installation process.
Never do this!
A few of you might think that you’re handy enough to install a new dimmer switch yourself! We suggest not to do this, until you’re a certified and experienced electrician. Letting an electrician handle the job will ensure:
- You’re installing a dimmable LED bulb and a dimmer switch that’s truly LED compatible.
- The wiring job is done correctly and safely.
This is what you all need to dim your LED light. But, to ensure everything is done properly, here’s what you should take care of!
How To Make Sure That My LED Bulbs Will Dim Properly?
Following are a few things you should consider to make sure that your LED bulb will dim properly:
- Make sure to install the latest technology dimmers for reliable performance.
- If you have already installed dimmers, we recommend replacing them with the new ones. Believe it or not, it is one of the best investments you can make for long-term benefits.
- Understand the circuit installed in your living space. It would help you purchase the right bulb for the best performance.
- With a dimmable LED bulb, you have to purchase a compatible dimmer switch. All dimmer switches are not compatible with every dimmable LED bulb.
- Using LED lights from the same brand should be your priority. LED lights from different brands usually differ in terms of their performance, etc.
- Go for the brands that provide tested products. Cheaper brands list exceptional features about their products, but there is no evidence of their performance.
- Always go for the latest options available in the market. The more innovative products you buy, the more uniqueness you will feel in your living space.
- If you have non-dimmable circuits, dimmable bulbs will work with them. On the other hand, non-dimmable bulbs are not compatible with dimmable circuits. It is what most of the new people ignore.
We recommend hiring an electrician for all of the processes. Changing the circuit is not an easy task and should only be done by an expert person.
YOUR LED LIGHTS WON’T DIM IF THIS IS THE CASE!
Now, consider a case here:
The dimmer you used with your previous conventional bulb, may won’t work here!
If you’ve an already installed dimmer that you use to dim incandescent or halogen bulbs, it may not work when you replace conventional bulbs with LEDs.
Each dimmer has a minimum power level on which it operates. In case of incandescent bulbs, the power is in between 40 and 80 watts. So when you use the existing dimmer with LED light that operates on lower wattages than standard bulbs, it’ll not reach the minimum power required hence, will start flickering, and overheating, all because of the incompatibility with the LED light bulb.
How you’ll get to know that your dimmer is in-compatible with your LED light?
If you see any of the following cases after attaching a dimmer with your LED light, then it’ a sure sign that you’ve installed an in-compatible dimmer switch with your LED light.
- Flickering – Light will flicker.
- Drop-out – You’ll get no light as the scale ends.
- Poor dimming – Your LED light might not dim to 100% because of the no matching change in light output.
- No smooth dimming – While dimming the LED light, the light output may not go linearly from dim to bright.
- Damage or a complete failure – LED driver, circuit or LED may get damaged or might fail completely.
All this might happen just because of the power load of LED that is below the minimum required by the dimmer! Furthermore, attaching multiple LED light to a single dimmer might cause issues like above. Also, different models of LED lights are likely to have different drivers. As, each driver behaves differently this could may lead to the dimming issues.
HOW CAN I BUY THE RIGHT DIMMER SWITCH?
Once you’ve purchased dimmable LED lights, check them out with the existing dimmers. If they both seems compatible, then that’s great!!! Otherwise, in case of dimmer-light incompatibility, we recommend you to purchase the Lutron CL series of dimmers.
- This is because, Lutron CL series were the first to be designed dimmers for LED light bulbs. They offer a trim adjustment switch that allows for full and accurate control of dimming range.
WHICH LED DIMMER SWITCH SHOULD I CHOOSE?
It’s recommended to always choose the LED dimmer switches that are renowned and widely used. Instead of buying cheap, poor quality switches with short lifespan, go for the ones that are widely recommended. Ideally used dimmer switches are electronic dimmers that are universal, tending to be suitable for all bulb types like incandescent, halogen and LED lights bulbs.
Furthermore, always pay attention towards the power output the switch can handle. Just like if you have a bulb with 100 wattage, you should must purchase a dimmer switch that can handle the bulb’s power output.
Here are a few of our top recommendations, you should make a purchase from!
CAN YOU DIM AN LED LIGHT BULB WITHOUT A DIMMER?
WHERE TO INSTALL THE DIMMABLE LED LIGHTS?
Where to install dimmable LED lights, just depends on the context and purpose of the location. For example, in your work stations and work spaces, you need a more focused light. Let it be the kitchen counter, you need a focused beam light all the time and here dimmable LED light would be of little to no use. As, in such areas, more of a non-dimmable cool white LED light can help you with your work.
If it’s the resting location where you relax for a while, let it be your bedroom, a dimmable LED light would help you a lot. It will not refresh your mood by giving off cozy vibes, but will make you energetic for the up-coming tasks.
So, wait not and make a purchase from our top recommendations of dimmable LED lights you should consider installing in 2021!
INSTALLING DIMMABLE LED LIGHTS
It is one of the frequently asked questions nowadays. People prefer to use dimmable lights rather than non-dimmable lights because of their exciting features. For installing dimmable LED lights, you need compatible dimmer and light bulbs.
Using the dimmer switch of an older technology might be problematic in the future. If it works fine initially, there are high chances that you might face issues in the long run. So we recommend using compatible dimmer switches of the latest technology.
A dimmable LED transformer is what you can use to experience the dimmable feature. With these LED transformers, you will save your money as they don’t require the replacement of old dimmer switches with the new ones.
The thing to keep in mind is the power of a dimmable LED transformer. Note an estimated number of bulbs you will use with a single circuit. Calculate the total voltage and buy a dimmable LED transformer that will bear that load.
- For optimum performance, we recommend buying a dimmable LED transformer whose 80% wattage is enough to match the load of your attached bulbs. It means the total load of the bulbs should not be more than 80% wattage of the transformer. So remember this tip!
ARE DIMMABLE LED LIGHTS EXPENSIVE?
It is obvious that dimmable LED lights would be more expensive than non-dimmable LED lights. Dimmable LED lights offer more features, which is why they consume more resources. As a result, they are more expensive to manufacture than non-dimmable LED bulbs.
When comparing a dimmable LED light with a halogen or incandescent bulb, you will find it more expensive. It is because a dimmable LED light uses quality material has optimum performance and comes with long-term benefits.
Following are the advantages of dimmable LED bulbs over halogen bulbs:
- They work while consuming 90% less energy than halogen bulbs (perfect for those who are tired of paying expensive electricity bills).
- They have a longer lifespan, allowing you to use them for months or years without replacement.
- They work smoothly, generating less noise even at their maximum output.
Dimmable LED bulbs have countless advantages over halogen bulbs. We accept that they are expensive. However, they will save you money in terms of their performance in the long run. Now ask yourself which one is more expensive – a dimmable LED light or a halogen light?
THE SIDE BENEFITS OF HAVING A DIMMABLE LED LIGHT
If you want to control the brightness of your LED light bulb, that installing one that is dimmable would help. But, what are the benefits of having a dimmable beside the fact that you can control light?
- Dimmable LED bulbs help you control the amount of light with which you can create a mood you want.
- To create mood lighting, dimmable LED lights would work best. Whether it’s a romantic night-in, or a late night movie, having dimmable light on would help in making the vibes more dramatic.
- For accent lighting in living rooms and bedrooms, dimmable LED lights will work best.
- For chilling and relaxing in your favorite areas, having dimmable LED lights will make the auras cozier.
- You can use these lights as spotlights to your specific decorative items like artwork or sculptures.
To help you out in making the best purchase of dimmable LED lights, we’ve gathered a few of the top lightings below!
USES AND WORKING OF DIMMABLE LED LIGHTS – HOW LED LIGHTS WORK?
Dimmers are compatible to work with high-voltage circuits to control the voltage. It ensures that you can control the brightness of a filament bulb, minimizing energy consumption. In the case of LED lights, you don’t require dimmers for such purposes as they work differently.
An LED bulb comes with a built-in driver to convert high voltage AC to low voltage DC. These drivers come with different specifications for every LED bulb. However, using dimmers gives you more features such as lowering the brightness, changing the illumination pattern, and more.
LED lights are bringing innovation day by day. You might think of using the newly launched LED lights with the old dimmers installed in your house or office. The idea could be a bit messy as the conflict between the new and old technology might be problematic.
The load also matters here.
- You have a dimmer with a minimum load of 25watts. You can’t use a bulb with it, which has a maximum load of 6watts. It is a crucial step, so don’t forget it.
Today, the market is flooded with countless dimmable LED lights and dimmers. However, we can’t expect that all of them are compatible to work with each other. It is because each dimmer works in a different way. You will enjoy a unique dimming experience with each dimmer switch.
LED vs. Filament Bulbs
Filament bulbs are known for their bright output. When talking about the dimmable feature, the LED bulbs win the race by offering a 10% dimmable feature out of the total output. Filament bulbs, on the other hand, will offer around a 2% decrease in the light after dimming them.
Where To Use Dimmable LED Bulbs - How Do LED Lights Work?
Dimmable LED bulbs work in two methods:
- Pulse Width Modulation.
1. Pulse Width Modulation
In the Pulse Width Modulation or PWM, you can enjoy a beautiful dimming effect with dimmable bulbs. Here, the bulbs are independent of the voltage they take. How they work depends on a continuous cycle. It switches between on and off states to keep the lights working.
You might think that you will see the on and off state of the lights, but that is not the case. It is an automatic function that is carried out within milliseconds. An LED light is dimmable up to 10% of the total light. It means, 10% is the on state and 90% of it is the off state.
In the analogue method, there is no rocket science behind the process. You have the current control. Increase or decrease the current supply to experience the bright or dim light respectively.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q. Is there a need of special dimmer switches to make LED lights dimmable?
If your LED light is dimming perfectly over the previously installed dimmer for traditional bulbs like incandescent or halogens, then there’s no need of a special dimmer switch to make your LED light dimmable. But, if issues occur then you need to buy a special dimmer switch that’d be compatible to your LED light.
Q. Can I dim LED lights?
Yes, you can dim your LED light if it’s dimmable. If it’s not, then there is no way to dim your non-dimmable LED light.
Q. Can LED lights be dimmed?
Yes, LED lights can be dimmed with the dimmer switch. But for that you’ve to make sure that you’ve a dimmable LED light and that your dimmer switch is compatible to your LED light.
Thanks for making till the end of this blog. This was all we’ve got you for today in our lighting guide to “Are LED Lights Dimmable?” Yes, many of the LED lights are dimmable, but there are those that are not dimmable. The label on the bulb’s box will help you determine whether your LED bulb is dimmable or not!
So, if you find your LED light bulb dimmable, then you can dim your LED light with a dimmer switch. If your previous dimmer switch works well with the LED light, then it’s good. If not, then you need to buy a dimmer switch compatible with your LED light bulb.
With that said, do let us know in the comment section below, whether your LED light bulb is dimmable or not, and if it is, then you purchased a new dimmer switch or the previous one went well? We’d love to hear back from your guys!
Happy Dimmable Lighting!