10 Things You Need to Know Before Buying Dimmable LED Lights
While LED lights have become more and more popular in recent years, dimmable LED lights are still relatively rare compared to other kinds of light bulbs, especially when it comes to residential applications. The incredible thing is that they are on the market, so if you want to replace your home’s lighting with LED products, you’ll have more than enough choices! As with any significant purchase, you should educate yourself on all the facts and figures before deciding what will be best for your household. You need to know ten things before buying dimmable LED lights.
1. What are the benefits of dimmable LEDs?
Using dimmable LEDs can offer numerous benefits over standard incandescent lights. First and foremost, they’re more energy-efficient, using less power (which means lower utility bills) and generating less heat than comparable incandescent bulbs. In addition, dimmable LEDs won’t burn out as quickly as incandescents and don’t require frequent replacement.
Plus, if you have a dimmer switch installed in your home’s lighting system, you can use these bulbs to create your desired light levels and ambiance by varying their intensity level—no buttons necessary! Finally, dimmable LEDs are not prone to flickering like other lights; even when dimmed low, these bulbs deliver the bright light ideal for reading or working on projects in dark areas.
2. Are dimmable LEDs more expensive than non-dimmable LEDs?
Although some dimmable LEDs can be more expensive than their non-dimmable counterparts, it’s important to note that LEDs are still saving money for consumers. The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) found that LED bulbs saved $40 over a 60-watt incandescent bulb. According to energy consultant Bob Bannister, an average household could save $230 annually by replacing all their 100-watt light bulbs with 15-watt equivalents. Every dollar you invest in an Energy Star qualified high-performance CFL or LED bulb will take four years before you start spending more on electricity than if you’d continued using an incandescent bulb.
3. How can I tell if my light bulb is dimmable?
Most LEDs are not dimmable. Only LEDs marked with dimmable are suitable for dimming. If you buy an unlabeled bulb, it won’t work for dimming and could even blow out if you try to use it with a non-dimmer switch! To tell if your bulb is dimmable, look at its packaging or box: you’re good to go if it says dimmable. Make sure that whatever bulb you get can do what you want. Many LEDs can’t be dimmed beyond a certain level; others have a very restricted range of brightness (either too bright or too dark).
4. Have there been any risks associated with using dimmable LEDs?
You must know what type of dimmer you will be using before buying your dimmable LEDs. Not all dimmers are created equal, and not all LEDs will work with every dimmer. Make sure that there are no safety concerns before purchasing and installing your bulbs.
For example, some installations have used either capacitive or inductive-based dimmers with their LEDs. While these can usually be used without a problem, each dimmer has its drawbacks in slowly ramping up to full brightness or flickering due to DC-AC conversion in an inductive system. It’s best to be aware of any compatibility issues rather than find out once you’ve bought something.
5. What light bulbs should I use with my dimmer switch?
Although it may seem like dimmable and non-dimmable lights are interchangeable, they aren’t. So if you have a dimmer switch on your wall, don’t just buy any ol’ light bulb. Check with your manufacturer to see which types of bulbs will work best with your control—and look for something that clearly states that it works with dimmers. For example, sure LED light bulbs are designed specifically for use with dimmers; make sure you don’t buy one of these dimmer-ready models until after you install your switch. Installing the wrong bulb in a dimmer can blow out circuit breakers or damage lighting systems.
6. Can I install a dimmer on a ceiling fan or another three-way lighting fixture?
There’s no need to remove or modify a standard three-way switch or other lighting fixtures to install an LED dimmer. You can control dimmable LEDs from any of three wires, as long as you have a dedicated line for dimming and are willing to give up one switch position on your current setup. Only one complicating factor is that even if you have incandescent lamps connected to your circuit, along with an overhead ceiling fan, you must install separate dimmers for all of those lights and ensure they are not on simultaneously as your dimmable LEDs. You can add a third wire for control with an additional switch or a wireless remote kit.
7. Can all brands of dimmers be used with all bulbs?
Some dimmers are not compatible with all bulbs, which can cause flickering and other issues. Always make sure you read your bulb’s manual before purchasing a dimmer. If your bulb isn’t listed on a specific dimmer’s website, it may not be compatible.
8. Where can I buy dimmable LEDs?
While you can find dimmable LEDs online, working with a professional lighting specialist is best. And while there are several things you should look for in an LED lighting specialist, there are four that stand out: experience, knowledge, quality products, and customer service. Suppose these criteria resonate with you (as they will with many consumers). Within this case, opportunities are you’ve found a qualified partner looking for dimmable LEDs.
9. What if I already have dimmable incandescent or halogen lights in my home?
Yes, it’s possible that you already have dimmable incandescent or halogen lights in your home. So while they may not be labeled as dimmable by their manufacturer, there is a good chance you can dim them. If not, replace them with some new energy-efficient LEDs and save yourself from ever worrying about accidentally plunging your home into darkness again.
10. Where can I find additional information about dimming LEDs?
Your light fixture manufacturer is the obvious choice for more information about dimming LEDs. Most LEDs can be covered; some will require a specific dimmer switch, and some do not support dimming. If you are unsure, contact your manufacturer.
So, there you have it. These are among the most common questions about dimmable LEDs that we receive. We hoped you might also strip away from them because obtaining dimmable LEDs isn’t as tricky as many people have made it out to be. There isn’t one- solution. Instead, it’s simply an issue of matching your needs with what’s available to find what works best for you. So go ahead and check out all those options we mentioned above. Don’t forget to ask your retailer any additional questions you may have along the way!